Captain gets true Ohio River experience on flatboat journey

The Ohio River is a part of American history. One man is traveling from Pennsylvania to New Orleans the same way many in our area once did: on a flatboat.

Local 6 photojournalist Randall Barnes boarded Patience to talk with Capt. Rinker Buck, who says this trip is an education.

"One of the things that happens when you make a trip like this is you learn the generosity of the American people," Buck says. 

On the living history of flatboats, Buck says: "You know, how many people go down to the river and look at a beautiful picture of a flatboat or look at these barges and say ‘Well, my great granddaddy worked on flatboats, and I understand what’s happening here."

"People get in touch with what’s on the river nowadays by going to a casino, you know? Well, that’s not even anything of it," Buck says. 

Buck plans to write a book about his experiences on the river after this voyage. About the value of the trip, the captain says: "What’s in this for you? A good book. My present book on this Oregon Trail, that’s been on the best seller list for a long time. Not like the best seller thing is most important, but once in a while I do like to eat."

But that’s not the only thing Buck gets out of it. 

"It’s the pleasure of sharing history that people have forgotten," he says. "It’s the opportunity to write the history, to share the adventure, and to tell about the enormous generosity and kindness we’ve met along the way."

 To learn more about Buck and his flatboat, click here

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