Well… I was sitting around on New Year’s Morning, trying to decide how I was going to put my New Year’s Resolution plan into action. How I could be MORE Guerrilla History. Doing something that other Historians and Historical Organizations WOULDN’T do. So over my cup of coffee, it occurred to me… Host a FREE Kick Ass Field Trip.
Hey there Ass Kickers!
So call it the New Year, call it the Holiday Spirit, call it whatever Happy Horseshit you want, but I woke up this morning (1/1/2014) and decided I’d give a little back… and I’m hoping YOU will want some of what I’m passing around!
How about a FREE Kick Ass Oregon History Bigfoot Field Trip to The Dalles! (Well, kinda free…)
I just went and posted some stuff on the internet, inviting folks to join us in Historic The Dalles, to take in the new Bigfoot Exhibit that The Columbia Gorge Discovery Center was hosting. To come hear my “History of Bigfoots in Oregon” talk. To join us for a burger and a beer, and to check out the awesomeness that IS The Dalles. And all of it would be free, except for the museum admission and the food. It was to be a gift from Kick Ass Oregon History to You – Our Fans.
We didn’t ask permission. We didn’t get a grant to help fund it. There were no marketing meetings or strategy sessions. I was just drinking my coffee and said “You know what? Fuck it. I’m going to The Dalles to see this exhibit, and I hope other people will join me.”
And guess what? About 30 folks decided to join come!
At about 10:00am on Saturday January 18th, we met in the parking lot of The Discovery Center. After I had announced this thing, I called the Center, and they were kind enough to offer us a group rate discount on their admission price.
The exhibit itself was a little disappointing, but come on – it is a museum exhibit about a mythical primate, so what the fuck do you expect, right? The REST of the Discovery Center is pretty bad ass, and I HIGHLY encourage you to stop in and visit the next time you are passing through The Dalles.
After we check out the center, we had some hot coco that Melissa and I brought from town. We walked down to a natural trail area, right on our beloved Columbia River, and I gave may Bigfoots in Oregon talk. It was crazy – absolutely nuts, to be giving this talk right on the river. It has to be my favorite historic location I have ever spoken at (Yes – even better than Mary’s). THIS was EXACTLY the shit I wanted to be doing! It was crystallized in that moment, at that location – talking about Oregon History – for free – on the bank of The Columbia River. Amazing…
As I spoke, our guest learned how to make plaster casts of animal tracks (insert your favorite native Oregon animal here. Whether it is a cougar [hehe…], a bear, or an 8′ tall primate – the technique is the same). We had brought 50 punds of dental casting material, hydrocal, and Melissa mixed it up and helped the Ass Kickers pour it into their tracks on the muddy ground. All along the Columbia, all while I yelled out History to these intrepid cast makers! It was a pretty cool activity to have hosted.
After the lecture and the casting, we voyaged to my favorite Oregon Bigfoot Encounter Area, the Pinewood Mobile Manor – a trailer park. We visited the location and set the scene, but also discussed how it was emblematic of the numerous Bigfoot sightings that took place in this section of Oregon for many, many years.
Next we ventured into Historic The Dalles proper, when we had a fine lunch and drink at Zim’s Brau Haus. The staff at Zim’s was quite hospitable, and had secured a large area so we could mostly sit together and chat. The burgers were fantastic, and quite reasonably priced too! I would absolutely recommend a stop at Zim’s!
Then we headed into The Dalles and visited two historic locations – a marker denoting the height of The Great Flood of 1894 (remember – that was not just a “Portland Thing,” but a region wide event). Then we went top the Wasco County Courthouse, and took a look at MY personal favorite public art in the state of Oregon. The field trip then concluded, and we parted ways – with most of us heading back to the Portland area.
We had never hosted a Field Trip before. We had never done such a “flash mob” (God I hate that term), no registration event before. With the exception of a trip to McIver State Park, we had never done a Kick Ass Event outside of Multnomah County before. And we certainly hadn’t previously offered such an activity, free of charge, just to get folks all fucking geeked out on Oregon.
So what do you say, Dear Ass Kickers? If we did another Field Trip, do you think you’d come?
Check out more photos of the field trip on the Facebook Thingy.
Some photos by Joshua Fisher and Melissa The Intern Lang.