A Month of Fervent Preparation

We’ve been super busy this last month, and I owed you an update on the progress of the Secret History expedition.

In early June, I got a lot of stuff together, set up meetings with river people, borrowed video and audio equipment, and as you know, launched a very successful Kickstarter campaign to help fund the project.

In late June I flew to Minneapolis and St. Paul for a week of trip reconnaissance. I met with some remarkable people, including:

  • the National Park Service chief for the Mississippi River area,
  • the top riverboat pilot on the river,
  • a radical history professor from Macalester College who knows tons of people’s history about the Twin Cities and beyond,
  • a professor from University of Minnesota who works exclusively on river projects and is exploring the possibility of a permanent home for the Secret History Archive,
  • a reporter/fisherman who knows the river and was ridiculously entertaining,
  • an artist who coordinates other artists and experts for amazing river events,
  • a choir that sang river songs to the flooded Mississippi River, and
  • lots of people who grew up on the river and know decades of personal and local history.

I also scouted out all the boat ramps within a stone’s throw of Minneapolis and enjoyed lots of great food and good coffee.

Now I am back in California for two weeks making final preparations to the shantyboat for the journey. (And dealing with the theft of the truck that was to tow the shantyboat across country.)

Kai on the newly completed back porch and head on the Shantyboat

Kai on the newly completed back porch and head on the Shantyboat

We are scheduled to launch July 15th and going until the end of August. You can follow the trip in a variety of mediums, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, blog, and email. Go here to get automatic updates: http://peoplesriverhistory.us/contact/

I will try to respond to direct emails. So if you have suggestions, cautionary tales, advice, or questions, please please feel free to contact us through the contact page.

Thanks for your various contributions to the project. We are in the exciting and stressful run up to launch!

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