Riding High in Colorado
The Notier Notes
Our Sunday Scoop
We were already feeling pretty much on top of the world after our incredible weekend at the Overland Expo Mountain West near Denver. We had just spent four days meeting wonderful people, sharing stories, and it was a real honor to be given such a spotlight as the only presenting representatives of international motorcycle travel.
But this feeling of euphoria was about to get even better as we headed off with a film crew from LA into the mountains to do a shoot on us!
I know what you're thinking... what???! Yeah, that's what we were thinking too.
We had been told that the Overland Expo wanted to do a short documentary series on overlanders that would come out monthly called Why We Roam. It will be produced by John Kingston of Roaming Lost, and we had been recommended to be a part of their second episode!
Each episode is only going to be about six minutes long, but the way I see it, they are like extended commercials on what it's like to be a full-time overlander, focusing on what inspires us, and what challenges we've faced. I believe the purpose is to get people excited about hitting the road by whichever means they have, and to showcase several different ways of doing it.
But when we signed up for this, we didn't really have any understanding of what we were getting ourselves into. Was this going to be weird, awkward, exhausting, or amazing?
Well let me just put it this way - it BLEW OUR MINDS, and was one of the coolest things we've ever done!
First of all, we got introduced to the "crew" - Kingston and his wife, Kat, were part-time overlanders in their 4x4, and have been interested in possibly upgrading (Unimog maybe?) and hitting the road full-time in the near future. Their friend and co-filmmaker, Jackson, also enjoys a life on the road, and it was fantastic getting the chance to pick their brains about the photography and videography equipment they used, and the entire world of film and commercial production.
Oh yeah, and then there was Shadow, a gorgeous Australian Shepherd who, not surprisingly, also enjoyed a life on the road just as much as his owners.
We met them at the Expo, and followed them out to a dispersed campsite in the mountains, arriving in the night. The next morning, we got straight to work bright and early in order to get the first rays of sunlight (golden hour), which makes good lighting for shooting.
First they did an interview of us, which I was surprisingly nervous for. My voice kept cracking (it was still quite early in the morning), and since I'd not even looked in the mirror yet, I later realized that my necklaces had been all messed up the whole time... Oh well. There's nothing we can do about that now. But they said that the interview was usually done first so that they had a backbone from which to focus the rest of their shots.
As we made our tea and coffee back at camp, they'd take amazing artistic b-roll of the steam coming from cups, or of Tim lighting our MSR stove. It was so cool to see the small little things that they would pick up on, but also a little weird to have a silent camera man following you around while you did your daily tasks.
But then once the morning light streamed into full-on daylight, the work stopped. And it was time to wait until evening.
This siesta time was wonderful, because as you can imagine, Tim and I were pretty tired after the Expo weekend. But this also gave us a chance just to sit back and enjoy the mountains, along with our new friends from LA. These were some of my favorite moments of our time out there - just chatting about how we all make our crazy lifestyles work, and throwing balls for Shadow to fetch. I came to really respect everything that the three of them were doing, and their artistic eye and talent for taking ordinary things and making them look extraordinary on film.
Tim and I have been recording our lives for many years now, and it's hard work. We don't record everything, just the things that matter to us, but even that is tough. Getting the right shot, the right audio, then organizing it all and creating something that makes sense out of it (for example - our YouTube videos, this blog and its pictures, our website, social media posts)... it's all a full-time job in many ways. But no matter how hard we work on it, it will never be anything close to the real thing - to actually living our dreams, and to how we feel as we get up that mountain pass, or soar down those twisties.
But as evening approached that first day, and we went out for a ride into the mountain roads, this was the first time in my life that I felt that maybe some of what we do had actually been captured in a proper way. Because as Jackson and Kingston would show us some of their raw footage of us going down a trail, or bouncing over rocks, I was just stunned at how gorgeous it was. In my head, listening to the music in my helmet, I feel like I'm my own protagonist of my own movie. But now it was like that movie was real, and actually playing out in front of my eyes!
Tim turned to me and whispered, "Man, that footage of us on the dirt roads was so good, I hope they end up using a bunch of it." But what happened next, made him take back his last statement.
Because Jackson strapped on a crazy gimble thingy to the back of his car, and then a super nice camera onto that. And while Kingston drove, Jackson controlled the camera while we rode right behind them on a gorgeous paved road high up in the mountains. Oh yeah, and it was sunset, with sunlight streaming through bits of clouds like god rays... it couldn't have been better.
We had to stay as close as we could to the car due to the wide angle lens (to capture the views). "The closer the better, but whatever you're comfortable with," they told us. Well, a motorcycle can brake faster, speed up quicker, and be more maneuverable than any car, so yeah, we were close. Like six-inches close to their car, going at a good speed down the highway. It was a little scary, but totally thrilling!
And when they gave us a glimpse of the footage on their phones afterwards, even the raw, flat, colorless footage, Tim and I were speechless. It looked like we had just starred in our own KTM commercial! It was a scene out of a Marvel movie, it was a dream sequence from heaven... You have no idea how excited I am for this video of us to come out.
Once again, Tim turned to me and said, "Ok, forget all that about the dirt road footage. I hope they use more of this in the video!"
We spent a total of three nights camping out there, and after the first full day, the rest was pretty relaxed. They took some shots of us breaking down our camp, but mostly they were busy shooting another overlanding couple for the third episode of Why We Roam. This couple was Eric and Brittany of Hourless Life, with their young son Caspian, who was adorable. They've outfitted an awesome Jeep Gladiator which has become their new home, and in it they travel the country while raising their child on the road.
We had wonderful evenings talking about all our travels and plans for the future, but at last, it was time to leave our little idyllic world in the mountains (besides the fact that we ran out of water and food, and I desperately needed to shower).
So now we're back in the real world (Denver), and making preparations for the next leg of our journey - Idaho! I hope you are all well, and I'll see you next week with plenty more adventures, I'm sure...
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