Paddlewheel steamboat docks in La Crosse - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Paddlewheel steamboat docks in La Crosse

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La Crosse, Wisconsin (WXOW) --- An unusual sight in the Mississippi River in La Crosse today.

You don't often see paddlewheel boats because they're powered by a steam engine that drives paddle wheels.

Its an obsolete form of energy. The name of the boat is Pickett Hastings. It's a riverboat that also serves as a house boat.

The ship's captain said it's the 47th boat he's built. Ike Hastings is 89. Captain Hastings is what you would imagine-a carefree outdoors man with a knack for storytelling and a love of the water.

He usually travels with a deck hand and is never without his dog, Belle and his 30 year old bird, named Harry.

Hastings is also an artist and a lot of his art hangs on the walls of the boat. Hastings said he lives on the water over the summer and stops up and down the Mississippi River which always attracts a lot of attention.

Some say it's the boat, others say it's Hasting's personality.

The History Channel is doing a series on Hastings which airs in the fall. He'll meet the crew in various locations over the next few months, but he can't share the details.

Hastings and the Pickett Hastings are in La Crosse until the end of the week.
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