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Chasing Lewis & Clark Across America: A 21st Century Aviation Adventure Hardcover – July 31, 2004


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Windsock Media, LLC; First Edition edition (July 31, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0974920711
  • ISBN-13: 978-0974920719
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 13.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,396,877 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"...An evocative and inspiring message to re-live the journey... to learn to fly, and to have an adventure." -- Patty Wagstaff, award-winning aerobatic pilot<br /><br />"...Takes us exhiliratingly aloft...see the trail from a perspective that neither Lewis and Clark nor anyone else has seen." -- Landon Jones, author of William Clark and the Shaping of the West<br /><br />"stunning photos and crackling prose...visual and literary feast. The grandeur of our land comes vividly and explosively to life.. --Stephen Coonts, Best-selling adventure author

Seattle Post-Intelligencer 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 of Discovery: 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. --John Marshall ©1996-2004 Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Southern Living Books About the South, February 2005 The 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. Photographer 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. Lowery 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. --Blake Griggs©2005 Southern Living

About the Author

Ron Lowery, a professional photographer, prefers to think of himself as a sculptor of art who assembles real as well as imaginary elements to form a visual expression. Ron has proven his abilities in many media by producing award-winning three dimensional illustrations marketed as stock images, as well as written works, such as this book. For the past 14 years he has explored and photographed the beautiful United States with his home-built airplanes. These creative talents, plus the lure of adventure, are what led him to take on the challenge of the Lewis and Clark journey.

Mary Walker, writer and highly accomplished pilot, has widely explored her interest in cultural history, ecology, and earth sciences. Her background as a chemist in environmental and scientific research and natural resources has led her to the founding of Environlink® magazine. Mary has studied the history of Lewis and Clark for the past three years. During her journey with Ron, her compassion and knowledge of Native Americans made the duo many long-lasting friends. Mary is an instrument rated, multi-engine private pilot and lives in Tuscon, AZ.


More About the Author

Born in Washington, DC and raised in northern Virginia, I became interested in photography at age 16. What started off as a hobby rapidly turned into a passion. In order to afford all this expensive gadgetry I decided to pursue photography professionally. You can see images on http://www.ronlowery.com.

For the next twenty plus years I worked in various fields of photography such as industrial, photojournalism and commercial photography. In 1978 I started my own commercial studio in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Although business was great and I had a lot of fun and interesting experiences, the challenges started disappearing. In my office hangs a cartoon of a frustrated buzzard sitting in a dead tree in the desert. The caption reads "Patience hell, I'm going out and kill something." This cartoon sums up my attitude toward life.

With a low threshold for boredom, I took up scuba diving to do underwater photography and at the same time got up to my neck in computers. Then, a couple of years later, I also started building my first plane. People probably thought I was having a mid-life crisis--not so. I've been having one all my life!

In addition to these interests, I have also developed a great fascination with astronomy. To me, astronomy is not just the study of distant objects and seeing back in time. It's the vastness of energy that captivates me. We are energy and everything around us is in a constant state of transition. Energy is the most important ingredient I want my images to have. With cameras I could express what I saw and now with the help of computers I can express what I imagine. Where the plane and scuba help me explore the real world in 3D space, the computer allows me to explore my imagination. For over 10 years I considered my monitor a porthole I crawl through to escape reality and my tablet pen my sword for fighting the evils of mediocrity. Even though these concept images sold very successfully in advertising and editorially all over the world I yearned to travel and explore.

In February 2000, My son, Alan, and I completed my second airplane I named Cloud Chaser. It didn't take me long to realize the lure of this 'She Devil in the Sky' was more than I could resist. With twin engines and six hours endurance on a few gallons of fuel, I felt I could now afford to "live in the sky." Right away I started exploring and photographing everything from the desert of the Southwest, autumn colors in New England to the gator swamps of Florida. Now with these tools that give me limitless perspectives I will never again be tormented by the sign along the trail that says "Photo Vantage Point."

Still seeking even greater adventures, my wife, Sue, and I decided to retrace the route of Lewis and Clark in celebration of the bicentennial event. Unlike the solo projects done in the past, this took a team of four people and a dog. For three months and 14,000 miles we followed the Missouri River and several other rivers culminating at the Pacific Ocean. Since every day and every mile I was constantly nourished with new challenges, I felt it was more an artistic sabbatical than a project. The resulting products of our incredible adventure are a book, DVD and fine art prints from the photos.

Because of the great popularity of our book "Chasing Lewis & Clark Across America: A 21st Century Aviation Adventure," I now stay busy doing lectures, media interviews and writing articles. Even though people are fascinated with my images and artistic and adventurous life style, they have no idea what it's like being a frustrated artist that is never satisfied with his work.

We are currently working on another book about the Tennessee River, from my unusual perspective.

Customer Reviews

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The photographs are stunning and the narrative both informative and interesting.
Jenn
I just finished reading "Chasing Lewis & Clark Across America" and my mind is soaring also.
K. W. Jutzi
You are surprised at the untamed beauty of our vast country that most Americans seldom see.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Harold McFarland HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on October 17, 2004
Format: Hardcover
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.

The photographs 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 photography.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on September 15, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Lewis & Clark Across America: A 21st Century Aviation Adventure is the collabortive 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 vast 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 for oneself.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By K. W. Jutzi on September 9, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Now I know why Ron Lowery likes the phrase "The plane flies but it's my mind that soars."

I just finished reading "Chasing Lewis & Clark Across America" and my mind is soaring also. What an exhilarating adventure and personally rewarding project this must have been for everyone involved! Ron's photographs are awesome and Mary's "down to earth" narratives made me feel like I was traveling right along with them. The intermingling of photographic journal entries with Lewis & Clark history and descriptions of their interactions with the many local communities they encountered along the way has created a kaleidoscopic adventure for the reader. As an amateur photographer, I also very much enjoyed the "photographer's notes" sections. My guess is that one of the most difficult challenges the author's faced in putting this superb publication together was deciding which photos to exclude.

Another factor which made this publication especially appealing to me was that I could personally relate to a lot of it ... because of the Lewis & Clark reading I have done and from first hand experience on "The Trail". The aerial views of the same areas I traveled have added a perspective and dimension that has greatly enriched my "ground level" experience. I'm sure other readers who have spent time on "The Trail" will say the same thing.

Ken Jutzi

Camarillo, California

September, 2004
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Richard R. Blake TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 25, 2006
Format: Paperback
Two hundred years ago The Corps of Discovery set out to explore the uncharted West. To mark the bicentennial of this epic journey, Ron Lowery determined to retrace their trail from the air.

The Corps was led by Captains Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. Over a four year period this assignment took the Corps thousands of miles through flatlands, moutains, and rivers that no American had traveled before.

After studying the journals of Lewis and Clark, and doing extensive research studying the photographic possibilities and the topography of the proposed flight, Ron concluded it was feasible.

He recruited co-pilot and co-author, Mary Walker, and a ground crew of four to begin "Chasing Lewis & Clark Across America." The incredible photos Ron captured of the grandeur of America during their three month adventure are published in this book.

Ron's airplane the "Cloud Chaser" is an experimental aircraft made from a kit. It was originally designed for a National Geographic project in Africa's Congo. The design fit perfectly into Ron's plans for aerial photography.

Breath taking views, spectacular country, contrasts of colors, and a voyage of discovery are all word pictures that inadequately describe the photos displayed in the pages of this amazing book.

Mary Walker expresses an experience this way: "The air is cold and pure, and we are alone in this high realm of austere, timeless beauty. We stay as long as we dare...Ron wants to capture the backlit haze gathering in the valleys as the sun slips down. It's been a magical evening at the top of the world."

Whether your interest is in history, aviation, photography, travel, or adventure, you will enjoy your ride in Ron's "flying canoe."
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Susan S. Johnson on July 12, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Who amongst us hasn't contemplated an adventure requiring skill and courage beyond our dreams? After having read Chasing Lewis & Clark Across America, one has great respect for the achievements of Ron and Mary as well as a Walter Mitty like feeling that we wish we'd done it ourselves! Following Lewis and Clark's trail from the air in their homemade airplane is both an artistic and a technical achievement. Breathtaking photos from the air capture the grandeur of America and at the same time, create an intimate feeling with the land and its beauty. Lewis and Clark's spirit of adventure is undiminished in Ron and Mary. This breath taking book is a must read for the adventurous at heart and the history buff wanting to see in a new and different way, the great northwest that Lewis and Clark explored for our young country.
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