Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Kansas City Expedition

In less than a week I'll cast off and row my first solo expedition.
I'll miss the support of Chris Harrison and the other gentlemen I've had the honor to share a boat with, but it's about time I tried one on my own, and my heartfelt thanks go out to all who have contributed to or played a part in bringing me to this moment.

Here's a press release introducing the event:


Irving Gondolier to Row a Popcorn-filled Gondola on the Missouri River
To Raise Awareness of the Start of Boy Scouts Popcorn Sales

Irving, Texas (Sept. 1, 2009) – In the spirit of exploration, The Irving Convention and Visitors Bureau and Gondola Adventures have teamed up to support the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), Heart of America Council (HOAC) with a gondola row along the Missouri River on Friday, September 11. The gondola expedition is designed to raise awareness as the Boy Scouts start “Show and Sell,” the annual popcorn sales campaign, on Saturday, September 12 throughout the Kansas City area. Irving chose to support the HOAC because the BSA and National Scouting Museum are based in Irving, and Gondola Adventures operates gondola tours along the Mandalay Canal in Irving’s Las Colinas.
The Lewis and Clark Expedition arrived at Kaw Point in June 1804 exploring the Missouri River and what is now Kansas City. With that same sense of adventure, Irving gondolier and Eagle Scout Greg Mohr will start a gondola row departing from Kaw Point at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 11, in a popcorn-filled gondola named “Rosa” and travel the same route as Lewis and Clark down the Missouri River. Local Boy Scouts will be on hand to assist as the gondola departs. The gondola weighs approximately 1,500 pounds and is 32-feet long. It will travel a route along the river towards downtown Kansas City and pass in front of Riverfront Park. The expedition will cover approximately 20-30 miles at an average speed of six mph. According to the Friends of Kaw Point and the Gondola Society of America, this is the FIRST gondola to depart Kaw Point and row that portion of the Missouri River. ( (
From Sept. 12 through Oct. 24, Scouts across the Kansas City area will venture into the fun and excitement of popcorn sales. During this period, the average unit will sell $6,100 worth of popcorn. Top popcorn seller for 2008, Michael Anderson of Troop 1367, sold $6,628, and the top selling unit Pack 4016 sold $33,128. Gross sales for 2008 were $2.8 million, with a goal for 2009 of $3.0 million.
The HOAC serves approximately 1,200 packs, troops, crews, teams and posts throughout Kansas City and the 19-county service areas. With more than 17,300 registered youth members and participants, this accounts for approximately 25% of the total youth available. The many programs keep the Scouts active by providing educational programs to build character, to train in the responsibilities of participating citizenship, and to develop personal fitness. (
Located between Dallas and Fort Worth, Irving, Texas serves as the national headquarters for the Boy Scouts of America and the adjacent National Scouting Museum. The museum is a tribute to the rich history of Scouting, with hands-on learning experiences and a historical collection that traces the Scouting movement from its beginnings. Irving offers discounts for Scouts and their families at local hotels and attractions. For more information on Irving, Texas, visit

I'm looking forward to the opportunity not only to row on a new river, but to once again support the Boy Scouts of America. And while it might seem out of ordinary, if I have to row a popcorn-filled boat to do it, then SIGN ME UP!
Details of the preparation and execution of this row will be posted both here and on the Gondola Expeditions Blog.
And if things don't go according to plan, you'll certainly hear about it. After all, sometimes those things make the best stories.

Anyone for popcorn?