WOODWARD TOWNSHIP -- From the road to the river, every year at the Linden boat launch near Williamsport, it takes a crew to get the Hiawatha Paddle Wheel river boat into the Susquehanna for the summer season. This year is no different.
"When it's in the water and its floating and it's headed down the river, it's a great feeling,” said James O’Brien.
Getting the river boat ready for the season is another story.
"There's a lot of factors involved,” said O’Brien.
The engines are ready and the boat has a fresh coat of paint, but Captain Gary Gardner still has work to do before his first trip.
"We still have some paint work we're going to do this coming week and everything has to be set up,” said Capt. Gary.
The Hiawatha will be ready for its first public cruise in about a week. This is the first year in 36 years that people can now book that trip online.
"We have a new website -- www.ridehiawatha.com. People right now are restricted to call between, you know, 8:30 and 5 but now they can be home in the evening and buy tickets whenever they want," said Capt. Todd Wright.
"Oh, it's great. I go on that thing all the time,” said Dale Coombe.
For many, the Hiawatha is a sign of warmer weather.
"They all look forward to see it going up and down the river all the time, too. It really is a pretty neat thing,” said Coombe.
The Hiawatha’s first public cruise is scheduled for next weekend. It will set off from its dock in Williamsport.