The Last Frontiersman designs wheel chair accessible riverboat

Posted: Wednesday, August 22, 2001

Dan McDowell, advertised as the Last Frontiersman, is a professional Guide and Outfitter who has lived on the Kenai all his life. Dan, with the help of Mikes Welding in Sterling has designed the first wheelchair accessible riverboat on the Kenai.

"I put a lot thought into it. Mike and I built some ramps that go from the docks up on to the landing on my boat and from there another ramp goes right down inside the boat that has wheelchair tie downs. Safety was my first concern and is my main concern still, and I also designed the boat to be able to do rescues on the river. I have a lot of handicapped as well as first aid equipment, backboard, neck braces, everything I would need if there was an emergency on the river," said McDowell as he demonstrated his new rivercraft at Bing's Landing to Representative Ken Lancaster recently.

The Last Frontiersman plans to use his new boat for more than guided fishing trips and rescue. McDowell is now taking reservations for scenic river excursions and river taxi service. He even offers riverside log cabin rentals. "I'm taking recommendations from anyone who can help me make the river accessible to every single person who wants to enjoy the river," said McDowell.

Representative Ken Lancaster, former Soldotna City Mayor, has been working to make the Kenai River wheel chair accessible for decades, "Dan's new boat speaks extremely well of how we are working to make the River accessible for everyone regardless of their special challenges. We wish him all the success in the world," said Lancaster. For reservations or further details The Last Frontiersman may be reached in Sterling at 262-1046, or on the net at

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