Expedition to the Barbary Coast

By “Colonel Windenbag”

I like projects. Not home improvement type projects. I am always jotting down and occasionally developing creative, cultural, or quirky community ideas. I have boxes of them. Focusing on one to pull out of the void means a commitment. Sometime I’ll work on one for awhile, set it aside for a year or two, then come back to it if it keeps gnawing at my brain.

One of my bigger brainstorms that is back on the front burner is my “Expedition to the Barbary Coast.” It could be huge and get our boondocks more national publicity than arresting sail boaters for speedboat caused deaths. As residents know too well, we are kind of isolated here in Lake County even though we are not that far from the Bay Area. Other than a big blue spot on the map there is little to captivate the imaginations of outsiders other than tail gating a few connect-the-wine-tasting dots on the Napa Valley picture.

What if we teased out the water thing a little more. We already have bass fishing, a little sailing, but what about kayaks? Yes I know, kayaking on flat water gets old quick. What I have in mind is a kayak run with a purpose. Unlike Cache Creek which disappears into Yolo drainage ditches, Putah Creek makes it all the way to the Sacramento deep water channel. From there a group could eventually paddle down to Fishermans Wharf amid much fanfare. What’s the fanfare for? Well, we would have been promoting this event for 6 months by personal contacts with the media and interested parties along the route. I will also be making themed videos for the internet. Themed videos? Isn’t this just a long kayak trip? Oh no, it is so much more.

The Lake County segment of the trip will be turned into a scenic video weeks ahead of the downstream trip segments. There will be a mock “planning” video as well as videos of staged events, involving Lake County residents and previously recruited people along the expedition waterways. Footage will be combined in a final video after being serialized on this blog. If the local schools don’t jump on this as a way to make education relevant they’re crazy.

So what’s the hold up? Putah Creek is dangerous in parts, overgrown in others, and boring in the Central Valley stretches. I need to do a lot more research. The expedition could become an annual event involving more and more people as Lake County makes the supreme sacrifice to bring civilization to the Barbary Coast savages.

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