Ike portrait
Ike Hastings:
The Mississippi by paddlewheel and propeller

If Mark Twain were alive today, he would be living like Ike Hastings. In the constant company of his parrot and dog Inge, Ike spends his summers exploring the channels of the Mississippi and its major tributaries aboard a remarkable vessel that is as steeped in historic tradition as it is technologically advanced. 

Lilly BelleHe pilots the sternwheeler Lilly Belle (pictured here--CLICK HERE to see enlargement), which he built himself in 1958--the twenty third boat constructed by this now-retired high school art teacher. If that weren't unusual enough, the Lilly Belle pushes an aircraft carrier with deck space for the two-person float plane which Ike also built himself. 

Ike's engineering abilities are complemented by an on-going love of art--his excursions into the Mississippi backwaters allow plenty of time for making water colors, woodcarving, and creating pottery and jewelry. Once he was stranded on a sandbar near St. Louis (pictured here) by a pulse in river levels resulting from the combined effects of heavy rain and high levees. No matter--he stayed put and painted while waiting for the water to rise again, using his plane to get supplies and to rendezvous with his wife in Freeport Illinois. 

Learn more about Ike
Dialogue with Ike and A Wild Trip

Center for Global Environmental Education
Hamline University Graduate School of Education
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