‘A grand experiment’: Outlandish Experiences offers unique activities for tourists and locals | TheUnion.com

‘A grand experiment’: Outlandish Experiences offers unique activities for tourists and locals

Robert X. Trent knows Nevada County is a special place to visit.

With its myriad of dining options, its designation as a California cultural arts district and its rich history dating back to the gold rush, there is no shortage of activities to keep locals and visitors busy all year long.

However, Trent noticed during his extensive world travels that other locations he has toured offered something more; something special and unique that would show people a new and perhaps unseen glimpse of life in the area.

This realization led to Trent's brainchild, the newly launched Outlandish Experiences.

The idea behind it is to offer folks from near and far a chance to get to know the people in the community and to experience the unique talents so many locals possess. Trent's mission is for people to do less observing and more participating in the community.

In addition, it will serve as a marketing platform for local individuals and businesses to offer their experiences to the public.

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"People that are traveling, younger people, what they want is changing," said Trent. "They want authentic experiences, and they want to really get to know a place."

Featured experiences include a sustainable garden tour, an indigenous walk along Deer Creek with tribal spokeswoman Shelley Covert, Far-Out photography with Douglas Hooper, and a tour of Hirschman Pond & Beyond with Laura Petersen.

Experiences also allow participants to meet new people and learn something interesting.

"It's affordable (and) they have something magical that they can remember their visit by," said Trent.

The former director of the Nevada County Economic Resource Council, Trent said that the experiences are meant to compliment existing businesses and attractions in the county, not to deter people from enjoying these services.

"This is not about not going to the shops and it's not about not eating at restaurants," Trent said. "Of course they're going to do that. We aren't taking away from that at all, it's adding to it."

"It's helping create a sustainable rural economic ecosystem for us."

The cost for each experience will be set by the individual guides and will vary depending on the activity. The guides remain independent, enlisting with Outlandish to help promote and market their experiences.

Experiences can be booked on the company's website — outlandishexperiences.com — though the menu of options is far from complete. Trent is seeking others who have a special talent or knowledge of something local they would like to share, and has already received a number of applications from folks wishing to offer their own experiences.

In addition, businesses such as Bed and Breakfasts, hotels, Airbnbs, entertainment venues, and others can earn 10 percent of experiences they help sell when they sign up for the Outlandish Experiences Affiliate Program.

"It's cool. It's fun. It's unique. It's a little bit outlandish," said Trent. "This is a grand experiment for Outlandish Experiences as a business, and for the guides. And we'll just see where it goes."

Jennifer Nobles is a staff writer for The Union. She can be reached at jnobles@theunion.com or 530-477-4231.