The Arizona BDR is about to begin. As usual, I will traveling along as a filmmaker, documenting the historic creation of this new off-pavement route across the state of Arizona. This is the fourth installment in the Backcountry Discovery Routes series. Our departure date is set for Wednesday, May 8th in Bisbee, AZ. We are giving ourselves eight days to ride north across the entire state, to the border of Utah. Following the completion of the BDR, several of the group will be attending the Overland Expo in Flagstaff, AZ.
Our team of riders includes:
Justin Bradsahw – Chief Cook, Butler Maps (KTM990R)
Tom Myers – The Fixer, Touratech (R1200 Water Boxer)
Rob Watt – Trailmaster, Trailmaster Adventure Gear (KTM 990R)
Paul Guillien – The Boss, Touratech (BMW F800 GS)
Sterling Noren – Mr. Director, Noren Films (BMW F800GS)
Jon Beck – Camera Jockey, Jon Beck Photography (R1200 Water Boxer)
Inna Thorn – BDR Babe, Backcountry Discovery Routes (Yamaha WR250)
I’m really excited to release the latest installment in the Backcountry Discovery Route series, the COBDR. I recently completed riding and filming the epic Colorado Backcountry Discovery Route. It was a wonderful motorcycle expedition and I think we’ve created a classic adventure ride. Viewers of the film will get a taste of what awaits them in Colorado — spectacular scenery, historic mining towns and exhilarating adventure riding on what is arguably one of the best rides in the country.Here’s the official movie trailer from the forthcoming documentary.
Here’s a short video I recently created for Touratech-USA highlighting the Yamaha Super Ténéré motorcycle. We filmed this video as part of our Colorado Backcountry Discovery Route expedition which will be a feature length documentary film released in early 2013.
This was one of the more interesting work-related things to occur in a while. I was on the OTHER SIDE of the lens this time, as the SUBJECT of an interview rather than the person conducting or filming the interview. How did this happen?
A couple of months ago I was contacted by Steve Kroeschel from Kroeschel Films. Steve is producing a documentary called “The Grounded”, which is based on a book called Earthing. The Earthing website says that earthing is a “fast-growing movement based upon the major discovery that connecting to the Earth’s natural energy is foundational to vibrant health”. From what I gather, the idea is that there is some kind of natural “Earth energy” that is good for us, and we can connect to it by walking barefoot, sleeping on the ground, etc. If we isolate ourselves from this energy, as we naturally do in the modern world by wearing shoes, sleeping indoors, etc., then we are less available to this natural healing energy.
Apparently Steve has some first hand experience with this, as he “grounded” himself, and felt the benefits first hand. That was what lead him to produce a film about the subject.
Steve Kroeschel filming for the documentary "The Grounded" in Seattle with an old 35 Mitchell movie camera
How does all of this relate to me? Steve heard about my adventures in Mexico with the Tarahumara Indians, who are (mistakingly) known as barefoot runners. In all honesty, they run in shoes, handmade huarache sandals, but their footwear is pretty minimal, consisting of used tire tread and leather straps. Steve contacted me to see if I had any stock footage for sale and ended up asking me a lot of questions about the Tarahumara and my travels in Mexico. In the end, he proposed flying to Seattle to interview me for his movie.
And that’s what happened. Steve flew in to Seattle and picked up his son and girlfriend and together they arrived at my house. We went to a Barefoot 5k race in Seattle and then did some filming around town before returning to my studio for the interview. I’m looking forward to seeing what the final film looks like, especially considering that Steve filmed everything on an ancient 35 mm Mitchell movie camera. Who shoots film these days!?!? Steve Kroeschel, that’s who.
I will be presenting footage from the Caballo Blanco documentary (work-in-progress) at an event in Philadelphia on September 22nd. Joining me will be photographer Diana Molina of El Paso, Texas. The event is based on the currently featured exhibition of photography and film at the museum, called “Run! – Super Athletes of the Sierra Madre”.
Next week: Two new motorcycle filmmaking presentations by Sterling Noren at the Sound RIDER! “Rally in the Gorge”. (Aug 1-5). The first one is “Moto Video Techniques” on Thursday at 4pm. The second one is “10 years of Making Moto Documentaries Around the World” on Thursday at 8pm.
Here is a short video that I produced a few years ago for Sound RIDER!
Last month I had the opportunity to attend the third annual Pacific NW Adventure Rally by Touratech-USA and RawHyde Adventures. This adventure motorcycling summit is held each year in the mountains around Leavenworth, WA and draws several hundred adventure riders for a long weekend of riding, seminars and camping. Here is a short video that I filmed about this year’s rally. Enjoy!
I recently rode the Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route with a couple of friends. This 1,000 mile journey across the back roads of Oregon was an adventure full of delightful encounters with wildlife,challenging riding and numerous mishaps along the trail. The most serious for me was an unexpected branch sticking out of the brush that caught my pannier and sent me spinning. After recovering from a short dirt nap I realized what had happened when I saw the end of the branch protruding from my pannier. As for myself, I was relatively unscathed from the incident and got a cool picture of the damaged box which made it into an Overland Expo monthly newsletter column:
There was a recent article in the New York Times about Caballo Blanco and a few of my photos made it into the photo gallery that accompanied the article. I spoke with the author of the article a number of times as he was working on the story and I was pleased with the way it came out. I think he got most of the facts and details right, as far as I can tell.
We are still working on the trailer for the documentary and I made some progress recently when I had a chance to watch footage with my filmmaking partner Leslie Gaines down at the Overland Expo in Arizona. With about 50 hours of footage it is proving quite a task to work my way through all of it but I have been doing just that. I’m at the point now where I am beginning to transcribe all of the interviews that we filmed.