Thursday, February 25, 2016

Frozen River (Cache La Poudre River) - In A Colorado Minute (Week 304)

A frozen river, with its clear water breaking through the white ice, all of it glistening in the sunshine, is a special perk of Colorado winters.

Frozen River (Cache La Poudre River) - In A Colorado Minute (Week 304)

Only 15 minutes north-west of Fort Collins, the Poudre Canyon offers stunning views of the Cache la Poudre River cutting through the hills and mountains and flowing underneath and around the ice.

During the sunny Colorado winters, it's not difficult to find the perfect day to enjoy the visual drama between water and ice, sunshine and shadow, steep rock walls, big boulders and small pebbles. You can get so taken in by the views that you might not even notice at first that you're actually walking on the river - or on the thinning layer of ice separating you and the gushing water right below your feet.

Needless to say, I went out to the Poudre Canyon a few times this winter already and captured these images of the frozen river for you during several outings with Miriam or Scott and always Whiskey. The video shows a collection of some of my favorite places along the canyon: Diamond Beach (my own naming), Grey Rock Trail Bridge, Diamond Rock, and "that place we went with Erica, you know the one, where the road crosses the river" (I really need to come up with a new name for that one).

By the way, the water in the river is very low right now, typical for winter. It's going to be above most of the boulders again once the snow melt happens up in the high mountains. I just sincerely hope that it won't become so much to lead to flooding again like the last few years...

The song in the video is “Second Nature” by Jason Shaw of Audionautix. He has made this and many great tunes available via a CC BY 3.0 license. Thank you, Jason!

For another view of the Poudre Canyon and the frozen river, check out these videos (make sure to watch in HD):

The Narrows, Poudre Canyon (Time Lapse) – In A Colorado Minute (Week 197)

Drive through Poudre Canyon, Colorado, in the winter – Time Lapse (extended version)

Frozen River
Cache la Poudre River - Poudre Canyon - Colorado

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Complete Cañon City Skyline Drive - Colorado (Extended Version)

The Cañon City Skyline Drive is a scenic and thrilling road right in-between the Royal Gorge Bridge and Cañon City.

Complete Cañon City Skyline Drive - Colorado (Extended Version for week 303)

Cañon City Skyline Drive was built as a tourist attraction atop a row of hogbacks or razorbacks (which are a row of hills with a sharp and deep drop on both sides) at the beginning of the 20th century. Local prisoners were given reduced sentences in exchange for building the road way.

Last week, I published 1-minute In A Colorado Minute video of the second part of this drive, which starts after the overlook where you can see the dinosaur tracks. Also, that video was 450% sped up.

To make sure you get to see everything, I am now sharing with you the Complete Cañon City Skyline Drive at only twice the original driving speed - and with a few additional shots of the view from the overlook.

Since this was a spontaneous drive and filming, I unfortunately didn't clean the windshield beforehand - sorry! Also, I didn't know exactly where the dinosaur tracks where until after finishing the drive.

Now I can tell you, the ancient tracks are in the rock face on the left side of the frame - about 50 seconds into the video. I added a still picture of that moment later in the video, which also lets you see the row of hogbacks with the road ahead. By the way, the dinosaur tracks are the round things that actually stick out of the side of the rock face, not indentations!

The music in this video is called "Heading West" and was written and performed by Jason Shaw of He has made this and many other instrumental songs available via a CC BY 3.0 license. Thank you so much, Jason!

Watch the 1-minute version of the drive in double-speed: Skyline Drive (Cañon City) – In A Colorado Minute (Week 303)

Speeding along Skyline View Drive near Cañon City, Colorado

Monday, February 22, 2016

Bleached - "Wednesday Night Melody" + "Keep On Keepin' On" (MusicMonday)

The LA band Bleached (sisters Jennifer and Jessie Clavin + Micayla Grace) is about to release their sophomore album Welcome The Worms on April 1st.

Wednesday Night Melody
Text + Image by Bleached

The two singles released of the album so far, "Keep on Keepin' On" and "Wednesday Night Melody", are right up my alley - melodious, with a punk rock edge. I like both songs and videos so much that I couldn't pick one over the other for this Music Monday post...

"Wednesday Night Melody" - directed by Gil Kenan

"Keep on Keepin' On" - directed by Lana Kim

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Skyline Drive (Cañon City) - In A Colorado Minute (Week 303)

Cañon City's Skyline Drive is a must-see sight during a visit to the Royal Gorge area in the Foothills of the Rocky Mountains.

Skyline Drive (Cañon City) - In A Colorado Minute (Week 303)

Skyline Drive is a scenic one-way road that follows the narrow crest of hogbacks (steep ridge of hills), allowing for great views of Cañon City and the Arkansas River Valley. The added thrill: the tight road goes up and down and through several sharp turns with the valley floor a few hundred feet below.

Skyline Drive is conveniently located off US-50 between the town of Cañon City and the main attractions of the area, the Royal Gorge, carved by the Arkansas River, and the Royal Gorge Bridge, which until 2001 was the highest suspension bridge in the world. Just like the bridge, Skyline Drive was created as a local and tourist attraction. It was built around 1905 by prison inmates. Initially intended for horse and carriage traffic only, it was soon open to motorcars as well.

If all that wasn't enough, Skyline Drive features dinosaur tracks that can be found in the rocks on the side of the road. Because this road trip (with Scott and Miriam) was rather spontaneous, I didn't realize until I was doing research for this post, where exactly the imprints of the tracks are. So while, they do show up on the side of our ride's footage, I didn't get a a very clear picture featuring them. The spontaneous nature of this excursion and shoot also explains why I had to film through a dirty window. Sorry about that.

The speed limit on the road is actually 15 mph - so this time-lapse is at 450%.

This video only shows the ride from the top of the ridge. Very shortly, I will publish another longer and slower video that will let you see the whole drive and a few views from the main stopping point.

The song in this video is "Swarm The Hill" by Jason Matherne of Goonygoogoo Productions. Thank you, Jason, for making all your great music available for videos!

A lone motorcycle on Skyline Drive in Cañon City, Colorado

Monday, February 15, 2016

Favorite songs from the 4th 1/4 of 2015

Yes, yes, long overdue; but still great songs... Here are my favorite songs from the 4th quarter of 2015 (October, November, December).

For the first time (at least in quite a while), all the songs were available on Spotify! So you can listen to the entire mix tape right now via the embedded player below or this link.

Cover and song list for the autumn 2015 mix, featuring a photo I took in Hamburg in December 2015

1.  Bodyline [Feat. Nick Zinner] / Peaches
2.  Electric Love / BØRNS
3.  Move Systems / Georgia
4.  I Wanna F**k You Till I'm Dead / YACHT
5.  Goldmine Junkie / Big Grams (Big Boi + Phantogram)
6.  Thank God for Girls / Weezer
7.  Too Bad, So Sad / Metric
8.  Get Better / Frank Turner
9.  20/20 / The Vaccines
10. Raise A Wreck / Skinny Lister
11. Whistleblower (Acoustic) / Bonaparte
12. Caught By My Shadow / Albert Hammond, Jr.
13. Demons / Frank Turner
14. Need A Friend / EL VY
15. Mountain At My Gates / Foals
16. 4AM / The Motel Beds
17. Sprinter / Torres
18. Lonely Hunter / Foals
19. Vacation / Florist
20. Don't Even Think / Twin Limb
21. Doing The Right Thing / Daughter

Watch the videos for the songs on my Pinterest music board.

Listen to all of the songs as a playlist on Spotify.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Meet Miriam Blaich (Quilter, Fashion Designer) - In A Minute Portrait (Week 302)

Miriam Blaich is a passionate quilter and fashion designer with her own fashion label no mimikri and a store of the same name at Pfluegerstrasse 5 in Berlin, Germany.

Miriam Blaich (Quilter, Fashion Designer) - In A Minute Portrait (Week 302)

Miriam Blaich's clothing and accessory line, no mimikri, offers colorful and comfortable handmade fashion for active and authentic women. As the name suggests, her fashion designs aim to encourage women to be themselves.

To the world of quilting, Miriam Blaich is known as BerlinQuilter, which is also the name of her quilting blog and her Instagram account.

Miriam and I met in Berlin through a mutual film editor friend quite some years ago. We bonded over having both worked in the film industry for many years. I was always very impressed and inspired by her creativity, focus, dedication and ambition.

At first, I was surprised when I found out about her passion for quilting. Incorrectly, I had assumed that only Americans were sewing quilts, especially after I was given handmade blankets only by American friends and family. Through Miriam, I now know how popular quilting is around the world - and how meaningful it can be.

Recently, Miriam visited me during her 6-week road trip of the Western USA. Again, very inspiring! We got go on shorter road trips together, where I shot the "Royal Gorge Bridge - In A Colorado Minute (Week 300)" video and a few upcoming episodes. We also took the opportunity to record this interview, during which I learned about the awesome idea of the travel quilt, for which she is collecting material along this trip. Cool, right?

Additional photos in this video courtesy of Miriam Blaich and Melanie Fronicke.

Fashion designer and Berlin quilter Miriam Blaich

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Cross-Country Skiing - In A Colorado Minute (Week 301)

This week, I went cross-country skiing for the first time. The setting was the Araphaho Bend Natural Area, in Fort Collins, Colorado. The picturesque landscape features a section of the Cache la Poudre River and the Arapaho Bend Ponds.

Cross-Country Skiing - In A Colorado Minute (Week 301)

Our friends Lisa Eaton and Pascal Desilio of Vibe Boards are experienced cross-country skiers, and joined Scott and me on this wonderful outing in a foot of powder snow that had fallen two days before. They also gave us helpful instructions on how the classic style of cross-country skiing is done: striding forward with the skis parallel (vs. the movement of skating, as in the skate skiing style). With the opposite arm using a ski pole to push you forward while your abs help you keep your balance, it is quite the full-body workout. Next time, I'll make sure to not get as bundled up as I do for snowshoeing, since one warms up so quickly.

Since I knew my hands would be occupied with the ski poles, I decided to strap a GoPro to my chest to film this experience. Of course, with the full-body movement, the footage got a bit shaky. So I'm glad I brought my regular compact camera along to get some steadier shots and some photographs. Otherwise, I would have never caught those two bald eagles passing overhead. One of these days, I hope to catch some with a good telephoto lens...

The Arapaho Bend Natural Area is part of a chain of city-maintained parks and trails along the Poudre River, including Prospect Ponds and Riverbend Ponds, all of which are connected by paved trails. You've got to love this about Fort Collins!

Arapaho Bend is especially lovely because of all the fishing ponds, the view of the Rocky Mountains and several abandoned buildings, including the historic Strauss Cabin. I didn't have room for those buildings in the video, but will feature them in an upcoming photo post on my personal blog.

The featured song is called “Back to the Woods” by Jason Shaw of He has made so many excellent songs available via a CC BY 3.0 license! Check them out! Thank you so much, Jason!

Cross-country skiing in the Arapaho Bend Natural Area
Fort Collins, Colorado