What that “red neck” houseboat really was


I published this photo on my blog last month in a post titled Rolling on the river – part II. I had just got my new camera and took it down to the Willamette River boat launch to take some photos. My timing was perfect to see both the above houseboat and the Portland Spirit float by.

I heard that the story of the houseboat was covered by a local TV evening news but couldn’t find anything online about it. Yesterday my massage therapist said that she saw a story in the newspaper. So I did some more searching and found the story.

Two friends, a houseboat and a river: A final adventure before real life beckons. – James Mayer The Oregonian

“William Steele has been dreaming about floating down the river since he was 9 years old.

It wasn’t Huck Finn who inspired him, but a book at home on backyard bungalows that had a drawing of a houseboat. The design looked like it would fall over. Steele thought he could do better.”


It is a story of friendship, a dream and determination. Go read the story and watch the video interview.

3 Responses

  1. A great story – thanks for sharing!

  2. The story was great behind this. You should find these guys and send them your photo. I’m sure they would love to have it. It was so funny seeing the houseboat up against the mansion.

    • Bennie,
      I emailed the photo to the author of the newspaper article asking him to forward it on to the guys. I never heard back from him. Maybe this weekend I will try to find the guys in the story to send them the photo.

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