He hitchhiked from Key West across the United States to Alaska
20 years ago. Now age 39, he has noticed the country's hospitality
and friendly conversation.
"When you've got a hovercraft, it's easy to break the
ice," he said. "The size of the world is in its
detail. It's not the parameters."
He doesn't always have to sleep on the craft and sometimes
locals will give him diesel fuel for free.
Hodson hopes to travel a total of 20,000 miles, spending
the winter in Tennessee or flying back to England for the
His journey would complete the longest hovercraft trek in
history, said Chris Fitzgerald, president of Neoteric Hovercraft
Inc. and chairman of the World Hovercraft Organization, both
based in Terre Haute.
Hodson brought his craft, "Wings of the Dawn,"
new and the hovercraft has traveled 4,000 miles without breaking
"Duct tape and cable ties do sort of get you out of
a number of problems," he said.
"Hovercrafts are noisy, often spray dust and water and
can be as hard as an airplane to learn to operate, but the
crafts can travel on almost any surface, making them helpful
in rescue situations," Fitzgerald said.
"This makes ice rescue almost a recreational activity,"
Marquis Songer and Eric Whitesell are both building their
own hovercrafts. They developed interest in them after Terre
Haute North Vigo High School started teaching about hovercrafts
in 1994 as part of its mechanical curriculum. Several Valley
institutions now have craft programs.
"Mainly, it's more like a club," Whitesell said
of hovercraft racing events and those with the same hobby.
Hodson hopes to record his adventures and update his Web
site while in Terre Haute. He hopes to meet Wabash Valley
residents or even talk to students at schools.
He is online at www.hover-adventure.com
or contact Neoteric at (812) 234-1120 for more information
about Hodson's visit.