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Who Says It's Called the Cacique Underpass?
updated: Apr 28, 2012, 9:00 AM

By the Urban Hikers, Peter Hartmann & Stacey Wright

As many of you know, since New Year’s Eve 2011 we’ve been bragging that we’ve systematically walked each and every street in the City of Santa Barbara. And that was the truth until April 2, 2012, when the City went and opened a heretofore closed part of one of the city’s streets. For 100 some-odd years, all was well with Cacique Street - and then progress got in the way. With the construction of the U.S. 101 also came the closure of a portion of Cacique Street. Then, on that glorious day in April, the street was reopened with a grand “ribbon-cutting” ceremony and an estimated crowd of 250 people, some of whom no doubt traveled from across the globe to witness this blessed event.

We, on the other hand were less enthusiastic about the new modification of our city streets. Not necessarily because we disapprove of the change, but rather because it meant we were obligated to hike this “renewed” little strip of street in order to retain our title and its accompanying bragging rights.

We considered the best way to hike this block or so, and in our ponderings came to the obvious conclusion - we needed to invite Edhat’s own, Roger Dodger, “Scanner Guy extraordinaire” to accompany us on this once-in-a-lifetime trek.

For those of you who know of and love Roger, you’ll understand...and for the rest of you....well, never mind.

After pleasantries and introductions, we set about the task of walking the underPANTS, as Roger has consistently referred to this little multi-million dollar project. Only a block or so long, it’s quite an engineering feat. It connects the lower Eastside to Milpas Street and the beach areas. It also has specially designated lanes for cars, bicyclists and pedestrians.

In an effort to bring you the most comprehensive coverage of the underPANTS, we first consulted local historian Neal Graffy’s book, Street Names of Santa Barbara. From it we discovered that Cacique Street derives its name from Caribbean natives who referred to the chief as the “Cacique”. Neal goes on to explain that the Spanish, having spent some time in the Caribbean, adopted the word and applied it to the chiefs they encountered in California, although they changed the spelling and most likely the pronunciation to a more Hispanic version. Thus we ended up with a street honoring the local Chumash chiefs.

Not satisfied with the simple origin of Cacique, we furthered our investigation and discovered there are two significant retail brands who also utilize this exotic name. One claims to be “The #1 brand of Hispanic cheeses, chorizos and creams”; the other is used by Lane Bryant, a retail outlet for “plus size” women who boasts a line of bras, panties, sleepwear and “performance gear” they call “Cacique Intimates”. Did Roger know something we didn’t?

Generally speaking, we believe our stories have mostly reflected our moderate and tasteful sensibilities. However, this story begs us to depart temporarily from that path. Specifically we are moved to mention what Roger pointed out right there in the middle of the north-side sidewalk...upon first noticing a large brown stain, he declared, “Looks like a skid mark in the underPANTS to me!” And truth be told, we sort of had to agree....but then Peter looked up and saw what appeared to be a water leak at the seam of the underpass, and we surmised this is could be the real reason for this underPANTS phenomenon. But this is how rumors get started, folks.

As part of our official UH documentation, we shot this pic, which we really do hope is the final official UH City of Santa Barbara hike photo...unless of course another street is added to the city.

Recently we have started to venture into the coastal region of Montecito, and there we have found marvelous architecture, fascinating history and phenomenal scenery. We plan on returning to this hiking agenda in the future, but must admit that we were delighted to hike the newest city route in Santa Barbara, complete our official project, and BEST of all, make a new friend - the one, the only, the incomparable Roger Dodger, Edhat Scanner Guy. Thanks Roger, for the memorable hike!

As always we encourage you to go out and explore your town, meet your neighbors, keep your eyes, ears and minds open to all that you encounter, and above all, expect the unexpected.

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 275561 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-04-28 10:00 AM

I loved the whole series! Of course, this is the final hike of Year 1. When does Year 2 begin? I can't wait. Also, the skidmarks after the picture of Cacique Underpants was fab! You get an A for composition.


 COMMENT 275569 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-04-28 10:26 AM

One small correction...the name "Cacique" was given to this particular street, not to honor the Chumash Chiefs,which are called "Wot`s",but according to an excerpt from "Libro de Grabar", the conversation goes thusly..."We [Spanish] are the chosen "parents" of the New World,to be known as "Cacique`s". So the name is actually to honor themselves. Nearby,the st. called "Indio Muerto" was named after the Wot of that village was killed & buried there to show the strength of the Spanish soldiers...the new "Caciques". I know the history books tell a diff. story,but the Mission Padres kept meticulas recordings & Native oral history coincides with their accounts.


 SHOREBIRD agree helpful negative off topic

2012-04-28 10:35 AM

We're those undies made by Omar the tent maker?


 COMMENT 275576 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-04-28 10:38 AM

UH, thanks for a WONDERFUL, fascinating, and fabulous body of work this past year. Have you thought about making a book out of your adventures? I think the Santa Barbara community would love it.
Perfect ending with Roger and the underpants skidmark.


 COMMENT 275580 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-04-28 10:57 AM

Is Roger really Randy Quaid, hence the anonymity?


 YIN YANG agree helpful negative off topic

2012-04-28 11:06 AM

Another great chapter; thanks for the laughs. Hi Roger. I think I'll start calling you "Wilson" (-- the hidden neighbor from a sit com, not the volleyball-head. ;-)


 COMMENT 275587 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-04-28 11:10 AM

We had a wonderful hike with Roger...or was it Randy???? Ha! Good one 580...I'm proud to say really was the one and only Roger...He's a much bigger celeb than Randy, and you have to go through his agent to get a spot on his calendar. Roger is really terrific guy and of course, a GREAT scanner guy. Thanks Roger for giving us the tour and making the story! That was a day I'll long remember.


 COMMENT 275588 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-04-28 11:10 AM

sweet, you guys always make my day. Thank you : )


 COMMENT 275599 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-04-28 11:52 AM

My awful ego needs the shout-out for posting the Cacique underpass this past week. Thanks for posting the picture d8 !!!!


 COMMENT 275600 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-04-28 11:55 AM

Kudos to you for doing another great story and great pictures! And getting Roger Dodger to pose was sheer madness/genius..... Icing on the cake in his own neighborhood.


 ROGER DODGER agree helpful negative off topic

2012-04-28 12:24 PM

Roger like big womans UNDERPANTS Roger need to find Omar the Tent Maker.. Spanks for including me in this strenuous hike. :)


 COMMENT 275650P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-04-28 05:32 PM

Thanks for the edutaining story. Lighthearted, local, irreverent, this posting shows how Roger, Edhat, the other writers and the readers contribute to our SB area story.


 COMMENT 275655 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-04-28 06:53 PM

Many Thanks for the tour. +++ Bonus Roger!


 COMMENT 275663 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-04-28 07:57 PM

Thanks UH's for a wonderful, whacky end to your educational and inspiring series...hope there is more where that came from!!


 COMMENT 275664 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-04-28 08:08 PM

Roger, you are studly!


 COMMENT 275666P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-04-28 08:23 PM

Pity that already the Cacique underpass is marred with graffiti on both sides of it, great long scrawls.


 COMMENT 275689 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-04-29 07:10 AM

I used the underpants on my bike for the first time last week and it really does help get past the freeway.

Hopefully the city will clean up the grafitti on the new walls soon.


 COMMENT 275690 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-04-29 07:14 AM

UH superb job & Roger that on Roger Dodger. Montecito would enjoy reading about their highways & byeways. Perhaps you can gain entry to the beautiful structures behind high walls & strong gates?!?!!


 FLICKA agree helpful negative off topic

2012-04-29 09:16 AM

Thanks, can't wait to try the new underPants. I really dig Roger, neat to see (most of him) out and about. When my mom was little (she'd be 100 this year) there was a farm on what is now Cacique St., around where the 76 station is. Grandpa's friend, Clare, would take Mom, her sister and brother there (his parent's farm). The kids would take home lots of corn and strawberries, among other veggies. When I see the wonderful "corn street lights" they remind me of my mother and her farm story.


 ROGER DODGER agree helpful negative off topic

2012-04-29 10:05 AM

@FLICKA, If your talking about the CAR STEREO GUYS, There on the corner my friend and neighbor Gentleman Jim used to run it and I think he owned it in the 70's..


 COMMENT 275764 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-04-29 12:03 PM

Yeah, 666P, I was astonished when I saw that they completed that underpass with acres of virgin cement, like a blank canvas for all the little worthless loser taggers to spraypaint on! !! --- The city KNOWS we have a graffitti problem, they should have taken measures to plant vines or some other deterrent. Can something be done to protect the spot from ugly vandalism?


 COMMENT 275785 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-04-29 02:30 PM

Since they spent a lot of $$$ to built this, they should of invested in cameras. Sad to read about the tagging.


 COMMENT 275835 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-04-29 07:35 PM

It's good to see ya on here Roger, they should have used the picture of you and your lizard , that's a good picture. The city spent so much money on the new underpants , don't they know they can get a pack of 6 for 10.00 at K mart ha ha. Good story guys


 COMMENT 290865P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-06-24 08:18 AM

love the moorish arches, nice photos, UHS. Roger, you are a gem!


 COMMENT 750950 agree helpful negative off topic

2017-01-10 02:22 PM

sure have loved reading all your urban hikers diaries. Good rainy day activity to go back into the archives. And to have Roger along with you must've been a bonus. Wishing you well in 2017.


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