take aerial view of Lewis and Clark's trek
By CHRIS RUBICH
Of The Gazette Staff
Lewis and Clark Across America: A 21st Century Aviation Adventure"
Authors: Ron Lowery and Mary Walker,
Publisher: Windsock Media
The varied landscape that greeted Meriwether Lewis and William
Clark two centuries ago as they explored the Louisiana Purchase
takes on new dimension in "Chasing Lewis and Clark Across
America: A 21st Century Aviation Adventure."
Photographer/pilot Ron Lowery paired with author/pilot Mary
Walker for a three-month journey in the air to trace the lands
that Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery traversed
by ground in the early 1800s. And readers can ride along with
the modern duo through the text and photos in their book.
Lowery and his
older son built the "Cloud Chaser," a bright green,
open-cockpit airplane that allowed Lowery to take spectacular
shots. Of the flood of Lewis and Clark books that I've viewed,
the shots included in this book are among the best at providing
perspective to the fields and rivers, valleys and mountains
along the historic route.
Walker and Lowery
traveled more than 14,000 miles in search of story and scenes
during the summer of 2003. Readers may recognize some of the
sites, although they'll get a different view.
seem to pop from the pages with depth rarely found in photo
books. It's almost like looking at a topographical map overlayed
with the actual colors and textures of the land.
You feel as if
you're in the plane moving forward over The Dalles on the
Columbia River Gorge. And the view of White Cliffs in Montana
offers a sharp contrast between the powdery-looking rock faces
and the brown-and-green stripes of the fields.
In the air above
Upper Red Rock Lake, the adventurers find a part of Montana
where "a potential artistic masterpiece stretches out
before us in every direction." The beauty that Lowery
captures is the "mirror-like surface" of the lake
where puffs of white clouds dance in a vivid blue sky that's
reflected in the waters.
But the book is
much more than landscapes and text recalling the past. Many
photos feature towns, wildlife or residents along the way.
Excerpts from the Lewis and Clark journals are used, but Walker's
text gives a personal feel to the modern journey.
such as the photographer's notes about tools and technology,
add richness. For example, the corps navigated by compass,
while the authors used GPS and the Internet.
Among the corps'
colorful challenges were traveling past the falls of the Missouri
River near modern-day Great Falls and cresting daunting heights.
The modern team found moments of accomplishment, too: "We've
done it, crossed the Continental Divide in a flying machine
not much bigger than a canoe, with the wind in our faces and
some of the nation's most rugged mountains not far below our
are adventures hard, if not impossible, to duplicate in all
their difficulties and discoveries. But this book is readers'
best chance to sample the experience for themselves.
his journey aptly at the start of the book: "The plane
flies, but it's my mind that soars."
book can let yours, too.
© The Billings Gazette, a division of Lee Enterprises.
Recommended Lewis & Clark books
Saturday, February 13, 2005
by Larry Winslow
Great Falls Tribune's suggested reading list for children
and adults interested in Lewis and Clark
Lewis & Clark Across America," by Ron Lowery and
Mary Walker, Windsock Media (2004). Of all the Lewis and Clark
by air books out, this one has the most stunning photos and
modern-era text. Looking for a special gift? This coffee-table
book is it.
Books About the South, February 2005
Chasing Lewis & Clark Across America
by Blake Griggs
book, subtitled A 21st Century Aviation Adventure,
re-creates the legendary journey of Lewis and Clark across
the Louisiana Purchase expanse and beyond. Photography and
prose unite to illuminate the American geography and culture
along the Missouri River all the way to the Pacific Ocean.
Ron Lowery and writer Mary Walker fuse their talents to record
America the beautiful. Though Lewis and Clark possessed no
plane nor charted map, the two-person crew aboard Cloud
Chaser, Lowery's handcrafted plane built especially for
photography and exploring, captures a stunning modern version
of the explorer's adventure.
and Walker show the country not as a mere landmass nor a reservoir
of cultures. Instead, we see it as a living thing, with curving
rivers for veins and the people themselves representing a
steady heartbeat. Join Lowery and Walker in a "green
canoe" in the sky, and experience the journey of Lewis
and Clark. ©2005 Southern Living
& Business Journal, Pacific Northwest Edition
Lewis & Clark” Chronicles an Aviator’s Dream
By Terry Stephens
plane flies, but it's my mind that soars," Tennessee
aviator and photographer Ron Lowery likes to say. That's become
a catchy phrase for promoting "Chasing Lewis & Clark
Across America: A 21st-Century Aviation Adventure," his
glossy, 168-page coffee table photo book published last October.
MidWest Book Review,
Book Watch, January 2005
Chasing Lewis & Clark Across America
Ron Lowery, Mary Walker
6303 Clark Road, Harrison, TN 37341
ISBN: 0974920711 $45.00 167 pp.
This is an absolutely
beautiful pictorial trip along the route Lewis and Clark took
as they followed the Missouri River west to find an overland
route to the Pacific Ocean. But this is a view that Lewis
and Clark could not see. Almost all the pictures are from
the viewpoint of a small aircraft flying over the landscape.
The photographs include everything from modern cities to landscapes
that have not changed significantly from the time of their
original explorations. The text contains historic information
about the trip and the sites photographed as well as details
of the plane trip and current information.
include beautiful patchwork landscapes, meandering rivers,
forts Mandan and Union, the rough folds of the hills and canyons
of the Missouri Breaks, the Rockies, and the Columbia River.
This aerial vantage point gives a different perspective on
the difficulties and beauty of the terrain that Lewis and
Clark traversed so many years ago. Chasing Lewis & Clark
Across America is a highly recommended book for anyone interested
in the Lewis and Clark expedition or who just enjoys aerial
CamperWays Mid-Atlantic Lifestyle Guide
of the Month
Chasing Lewis and Clark Across America: A 21st
Century Aviation Adventure
is a pilot and writer extraordinary.
His personal observations of this expedition are absolutely
poetic. Lowery and his son, Alan, built a unique plane from
a twin engine kit. They named the plane Cloud Chaser
and because it was bright green color it was referred to as
the “green canoe in the sky.”
airplane buffs, the plane will cruise at 75 mph, stalls at
35 mph, can climb 1,800 feet per minute and can take off with
less than two hundred feet of runway.
Arts & Entertainment: Books
TOP OF THE PILE
Amid the current deluge of Lewis and Clark books, here are
recommended titles with a variety of approaches to the Corps
Lewis & Clark Across America” by Ron Lowery and
Mary Walker, Windsock Media, 163 pages, $45.
Retracing the route of Lewis and Clark today has become the
most crowded sub genre
of books on the expedition, one with any number of novel (and
sometimes bizarre) approaches and conveyances. This time,
a different approach succeeds brilliantly. This coffee-table
opus uses a light kit airplane, specifically designed for
photo missions, to retrace the route from low altitudes that
showcase the dazzling American landscape, some transformed
by dams and urbanization, but much of it still stunningly
pristine. These large-format color photographs, shot from
an open cockpit of this slow-moving plane named Cloud Chaser,
cause jaw drops, page after page.
©1996-2004 Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Lewis & Clark Across America is the collaborative
effort of accomplished pilot and writer Mary Walker and aerial
photography expert Ron Lowery. Sweeping and stunning full-color
images from above display the territory that Lewis and Clark
once crossed in their heroic journey of exploration. A small
amount of commentary and photographer’s notes enriches
the collection, but the vase pictures of terrain stretching
as far as the eye can see speaks for itself too. A breathtaking
memorial to treasure, and the next best thing to getting in
an airplane and flying over the Lewis and Clark trail to see
Picks of the Month...
November is the month we begin to think about holiday gifts
for family and friends. Books are always great gifts.
always liked “coffee table” books because their
size permits them to deal with various topics in a large format
that is particularly useful for those that feature photography
and art. Since I also love history, Chasing Lewis & Clark
Across America ($45.00, Windsock Media) by Ron Lowery and
Mary Walker, just knocked my socks off. Lowery, an experienced
pilot and photographer, along with Walker, a pilot and writer,
decided to celebrate the bicentennial of the famed expedition
that opened up the West to the then-fledging American nation.
Retracing the expedition’s route, these two have produced
a book filled with the most stunning color photos of America’s
still breathtaking prairies, vast forests, abundant farmlands,
and western mountains. Lowery shot more than 4,000 photos
of their journey from an open cockpit twin-engine plane called
“Cloud Chaser.” His partner has written an inspiring
text to accompany the photos, providing a history of the expedition
and telling who this team came in contact with along the way.
This is a book about America, then and now.
Editor, Member National Book Critics Circle
Titles of note from our review bins that you
Chasing Lewis & Clark Across America: A 21st Century
Aviation Adventure. Two modern-day explorers re-trace
the great explorer’s route, this time traveling by air.
—ForeWord Magazine, This Week
stunning photos and crackling prose, Ron Lowery and Mary Walker
have created a visual and literary feast. Here is a view of
America you won’t see from an interstate or the window
of an airliner. The grandeur of our land comes vividly and
explosively to life in this terrific book; you’ll fall
in love with America every time you pick it up.”
Best selling adventure author, Liars & Thieves