That Big Dam Adventure

By Mike Johnson

Creating sound is big business.
Music. Radio. Books on tape. Podcasts.

The beauty of these businesses is that once created, do not require your physical presence.

Our trolley tour passed the Buffalo Bill Dam outside of Cody, Wyoming. Of course we shared its history but had no time to stop.
The folks running the dam visitor center wanted more exposure and kept lobbying us to stop our trolley tour at the dam. We couldnít do that for many reasons. So we offered to create an audio tour for their attraction that did not require our presence.

They agreed and I dove into a steep learning curve.

Researching and writing an entertaining tour script was within my skill set. But finding voice talent, sound effects and audio producers was not.
Fortunately, I found a company that did it all. Their website had a hundred samples of male and female voice performers to choose from. They had a library of sound effects. They had a producer who could assemble it all. I directed the producer until we got the desired results.

Then we created signage, designed a CD box and directory, and bought 50 portable CD players with headphones and neck lanyards. Finally, we created 50 laminated booklets of historical photos that followed our tour.

Nobody got rich from the project but it was an artistic, historical and entertaining success.

You can hear two sample clips from the tour here: Buffalo Bill Dam Audio Tour

Even today, I mentally toy with recording my posts here, set to inspiring music and effects. I know from working as a DJ, radio stations desire unique content. Podcasters and listeners do too. So thereís a market.

But daydreaming provides the pleasure of imagined creation without all that dam work. Perhaps thatís why itís so difficult to buckle down and actually do things. A big piece of the payoff comes without effort.

Today, I think of that dam audio tour as another adventure. It sits in the completion basket with other one-and-done projects like the hobby farm, Fenn treasure hunt and baseball fantasy camp.

Itís OK to dabble with desires and interests. You donít have to dive in for decades. Lurching from one adventure to the next is an interesting, inspiring and enlightening way to live.

If your path through life has turned into a rut, perhaps what you need is a fresh dam adventure.


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