Drive down Pike’s Peak

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The view from 14,000 feet. (c) 2018 J.S.Reinitz

For me, mountain driving is a combination of nerve-racking terror and pure wonder and inspiration. Part of me wants to stare out over the endless view of the countryside, while the other part is white-knuckle gripping the steering wheel, sweating over the possibility of missing a turn and plummeting endlessly down into that same countryside.

Fortunately, my wife and kids sprung for a dashcam a year ago, so I could pay attention to the road while driving and admire the scenery after surviving.

Below is a video of our descent down Pike’s Peak, the drive-up 14,000 foot mountain just west of Colorado Springs. This year, the operators of the peak highway offered a shuttle ride for the last few miles of the road to ease congestion at the top during a construction project, so part of the video is from the van ride with the dashcam footage picking up at Mile 16 of the Highway.

The dashcam segment is sped up to five times because I know that no one wants to sit through 35-plus minutes of driving footage. It also increases the sense of danger.

Some 20 years ago, we hiked up the Barr Trail to the top and then headed back down, staying at the Barr Camp. This year’s plan had been to take the Cog rail to the top and hike the 12 miles of the trail back to town, but the Cog is closed this season, so we ended up driving.


Video: Splash

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I shot this back in January and edited and forgot to do anything with it until now.

Sharing a thunderstorm 

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My gaming group be like … 

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A year or so ago, I started running games for my teenage son and his friends. Nothing fancy, just old-school pencil and paper and dice using outdated rules. I try to keep it simple to speed play along, and they are pretty good at focusing, for a group of Millennials. But every now and then … 

DashCam: Wildlife in Town

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My family surprised me with a dashcam for Father’s Day so I can record the scenery when we drive through mountains or other interesting locations. So far, I have only had the occasion to use this in town, and the attached footage is as exciting as it gets.

Video: Waterfall fountain

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Time for a mandatory waterfall break. But because this is the Midwest, and there are few waterfalls, we are going to have to settle for a city fountain.

The upside to the smaller, contained waterfall — less chance of breaking a toe.

Video: River Cave

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Tham Khoun Xe from Ryan Deboodt on Vimeo.

Not much to write about this time. I’ll let the video do the talking. The film shows a trip through Tham Khoun Xe cave, which envelops about four miles of the Xe Bang Fai river in central Laos.
The cave had been closed to foreigners until about 2005. The video is by photographer Ryan Deboodt. His Vimeo video channel is here.
For more on Tham Khoun Xe, including a detailed map, check out the July 2009 issue of National Speleological Society’s magazine.

Video: Nubian Pyramids

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We had to pass along this cool drone video of the Nubian pyramids in Sudan, courtesy of National Geographic.

Eagle cam

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Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream

It’s that time of year again. The bald eagles nesting outside Decorah, Iowa, are laying eggs. Tune in and watch live around the clock.

Live Video: Eagles

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Live streaming video by Ustream

Here’s live footage from the camera mounted at the eagle’s nest near Decorah, Iowa. The camera has been running during the hatching season for several years and is made possible by Raptor Resource Project.

Joshua Tree in time lapse

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Here is a time-lapse video of the night sky, and other scenes, at Joshua Tree National Park shot by Derek McCoy. More of McCoy’s work can be found here.

Live Video: International Space Station

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Live streaming video by Ustream

Above is footage from the International Space Station. I’m not sure what there is to see from up there. A good chunk of the world, I guess. There area also shots of the crew working inside, along with audio. No audio from the outside shots because, in space, no one can hear you scream.

Other caveots and info from the UStream site:

“Only available when the space station is in contact with the ground. During loss of signal periods, viewers may see a test pattern or a graphical world map that depicts the station’s location in orbit above the Earth. Since the station orbits the Earth once every 90 minutes, it experiences a sunrise or a sunset about every 45 minutes. When the station is in darkness, external camera video may appear black, but can sometimes provide spectacular views of lightning or city lights below.”

On the other side of the window, NASA’a Human Space Flight website tells you the best time to spot the ISS from your area.

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