My new GoPro Hero 2 takes its first adventure to Beer Can Island in Tampa

In preparation for the mysterious #ProjectZ trip with the OmniTen crew, Columbia Sportswear teamed up with GoPro to supply us each with the new Hero 2 HD camera – and naturally, I figured I ought to put my new toy to the test before taking it out to Sedona for an epic adventure.

While tagging along with Niko during a trip to visit family in Tampa, Florida, we made a trip out to the coast for a day spent at one of the neatest beaches I’ve ever experienced. The spot is called “Beer Can Island,” and while it may conjure up images of littered shoreline strewn with discarded aluminum, it’s actually a pristine slice of coastal wonderment unlike any other beach in the area.

Rather than the usual stretches of shadeless Floridian sand that line much of the Gulf Coast, Beer Can Island is home to a sprawling landscape of enormous driftwood pieces, including one upright tree that boasts a little wooden swing – and by swing, I mean a chunky, splintered log tied haphazardly to a suspiciously fraying rope. 

We set up our little beach camp a few yards away from the temptress swing, and it wasn’t long before I was lured towards the idea of swaying above crashing waves and creating my own little breeze on the particularly scorching day.

Initially, I hopped right on the swing with my feet planted on the wooden base, and my fingers clasped around a series of knots along the upper part of the rope. I attempted to swing myself back and forth – but quickly realized I wasn’t going to make any significant movement on my own. Niko lent a hand and sent me soaring through the sky (and a few times directly into the tree beside me).

While playing on the swing, we decided to sample a few of the many settings found on the GoPro Hero 2. We took still shots, video footage, and used a unique feature that takes ten photos in a one second burst.

While reviewing all my footage from the day, I had originally come across a short bit filmed by Niko while we were splashing around in the shallow sea. It started off great, with Niko swooping the camera in and out of the water like a leaping dolphin as he snagged footage of our group meandering in the saltwater. Suddenly, the clip became a no-go as someone decided to pull their pants down while the camera was peeking underwater. I figured it would be inhumane to subject my readers to the pale sight of that soggy behind, so instead, enjoy this clip of me fooling around on the swing. Enjoy!

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It ain’t too fancy, I’ll admit that much.

Stay tuned for way cooler clips, photos, and stories as I embark on a wild adventure this week in Sedona!

Daily Climbing Inspiration

After being inspired by sites like Pimpin’ & Crimpin’ – back in its glory days – I have decided to start incorporating a lot more about rock climbing and traveling into my posts on The Morning Fresh. To start our Wednesday morning, I’ve included one of my absolute favorite YouTube videos of my climbing idol, Alex Puccio. This girl is seriously badass, and watching her videos gets me stoked to become a better climber. Check out Puccio’s ripped shoulders and arms, it’s ridiculous.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ds2PTEVXMzY]

If that doesn’t make you want to slide on your climbing shoes, chalk up your fingers and CLIMB – then I don’t know what will. Watching videos of Alex Puccio makes my hands sweat. I was planning on having a rest day today, but let’s face it – I am definitely hitting up Tally Rock Gym tonight for a few hours. Climb on, readers!

Why you should listen to Lea Kram.

For the past five years, my talented friend Lea Kram has been dazzling my ears with her original songs and sweet, sweet ukulele strumming. I must have a dozen CDs scattered throughout my house with her first recordings. Her soft little voice is the perfect compliment to her summery ukulele. Lea started off with a timid voice, and would always become shy when someone requested to hear her play. Now she is bold and her voice reflects her confidence. I highly encourage everyone to check out her YouTube channel, where you can find a selection of her songs – some original Lea Kram pieces, as well as a few of my favorite covers.

I have included two of my favorite videos from her channel. The first is a Kram original, entitled “Close to Me.” The ukulele in this one makes my heart swell, and the lyrics are ridiculously charming. The second piece is my all-time favorite song she’s ever sent me. In this video, Lea and her friend Tuqui acoustically remix T-Pain’s “Buy you a Drank.” Enjoy!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S3_DlWu62BA]

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fi8IU3o1OAU]