Posted on August 22, 2010
Vacation Game Brainstorm: Mark Twain was here…?
So I’m on a short trip with my family on California Highway 49, in the Gold Country. Specifically, we have been roaming Calaveras County, the very same county made famous by a certain Samual Clemons in his story the local Frog Jumping Contest.
Now, there is a lot of history up this way. 100’s of towns and mining camps sprung up and wound down within a very short time span in 1850’s during the gold rush. Most still exist in some form, and offer a lot of historical significance for those who bother to take the time to look.
However, in Calaveras County, one thing is perfectly clear. Mark Twain rules. Except, in some places there are very tenuous ties to the man himself.
Take this cabin to the left for instance. The sign on the road said “Mark Twain Cabin”. We drove-up there, only to find that this was was was “thought” to be Mark Twain’s cabin. Huh? I “think” that sucks.
Obviously, the desire to grasp to history, no matter how tenuous, overshadows the fact that there is a whole lot of really great, easy to access, rich and deep history in this place regardless of whether. Mark Twain visited it or not (I’m a Twain fan, but not at the expense of reality). However, that basic truth does not necessarily make a fun game.
So, here is my game idea. You have just bought Calaveras County. Not reason to make-up a story, you simply own the whole thing. Your job is to mark every spot that Mark Twain ever set foot upon. You first goal is to “discover” some of Twain’s DNA.
After that, you have to buy a “DNA detector” and go wondering the hills looking for every spot Mark Twain “visited” in the woods, When you find one, you erect a beautiful marker, like this one:
When you have 10 markers, you can create a “tour”. I’d call it, “If Mark Twain Took A Cr*p In The Woods…”