"I promised myself I needed to do the whole river and prove at my age you can still have adventures," Hannes Zacharias said to the Daily Globe on Friday.

Zacharias is traveling along the Arkansas River on his way to New Orleans, Louisiana, for the second time.

In 1976, when Zacharias was 22, he made the trip, starting out in Dodge City and with him taking a Bicentennial letter from the mayor of Dodge City to the mayor of New Orleans.

Now at 64, Zacharias is returning to the river and finding out how much has changed since the first trip.

"It has been all new up to this point," he said. "In 1976 there was little amounts of water in the river as well so I dragged to Wichita on my way to New Orleans.

"Now, since Memorial Day this is all new territory for me."

When the dry spots come along, Zacharias uses an all-terrain vehicle to tour the river and communities that are a part of the Arkansas River, at other parts he uses a car which his wife drives.

"We'll see how it works when we get to certain portions," Zacharias said. "There is no real flow until we get to Hutchinson but this trip isn't just about the river, it's about the communities that are along the river that interest me more."

While in Dodge City, Zacharias will make a visit to Boot Hill Museum to see how it is being portrayed.

"It has been a long time since I have been back and I love the history of it," Zacharias said. "It is the history of us."

From Dodge City, Zacharias will travel to Kinsley, Larned and Great Bend before hitting Hutchinson.

When taking the trip in 1976, Zacharias spoke to the Dodge City Daily Globe as he began his tour.

"They were so kind to me back then," he said. "I stayed in correspondence with them as I made my way to New Orleans all while bringing awareness about the Arkansas River."

Zacharias recently retired as the Johnson County city manager and will be taking a position as professor of practice in public administration at the University of Kansas.

The original trip began with Zacharias's father who in 1959 planted the seed to follow water from Dodge City to New York.

"So he planted that in my head," Zacharias said. "Instead of talking about it I wanted to actually do and thought it would be an interesting adventure."

To contact the writer email vmarshall@dodgeglobe.com