by Max Brantley
Does Kat Robinson ever stop traveling? I don't think so. Her report, and photos, from the annual cardboard boat races on Greers Ferry Lake at Heber Springs.
It's damn hot here at Sandy Beach in Heber Springs, where a good thousand people or more are lined up on the sand, in the treeline and on a bevy of boats in the water to witness the World Championship Cardboard Boat Races. But the heat isn't running people off. They're stripping down to their swimming gear and flip flops and diving on in.
The boats this year are so widely varied. ASU Heber Springs has brought back its canoe, which has seen some 13 years worth of racing. Other amazing creations include "The Flying V" (an electric car shaped boat), the Arkansas Toothpick (created from engineer blueprints and shaped sorta like a cigar boat), a Napa truck, "The Cool Brees" (painted black and gold and piloted by a guy in a Drew Brees New Orleans Saint jersey), "Daydreamer" manned by guys in Hawaiian shirts and a fellow dressed in a parrot costume, and the Green Bay Packing entry this year — a replica space shuttle.
Even an hour into the event, more boats continue to arrive. They've made a floating reef around the pageantry. I'd love to be part of that boat culture, but then I couldn't be on land to upload an update for those landlubbers at home to read. Yes, I'm drinking plenty of water. Gorgeous day for the event. Planning to stay for the demolition derby at the end.