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Some stories don’t need words. Only pictures.
Which is why Brandon Zauche’s story of Dahlonega contains about 5,000 of them.
Over the course of a couple months, the University of North Georgia Art Marketing major has created a five-minute chill-bump-inducing time-lapse video, deemed Dahlonega: City of Gold, that’s currently making waves on Youtube.
In fact, less than two days after posting it to the site, the video has attracted more than 12,00 views.
(Editor’s Note: Since we won’t be able to write anything nearly as cool as his video check it out right here. Then come back to see how he did it.)
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“I would say I spent 200 hours on this project,” said Zauche. “That’s a good estimate.”
The film is actually composed of a series of shots taken at different scenic Dahlonega locations for about 90 minutes at a time.
“Each second of the video is 24 still pictures,” said Zauche.
The Forsyth County native got the idea for his senior project late one night as he drifted off to sleep.
“It just popped in my head because I had seen a video of Yosemite that was similar,” he said.
Suddenly he was awake.
“I got up and started typing on my phone, looking up all the locations to shoot,” he said.
Those locations include the familiar Dahlonega sights of the Public Square, Lake Zwerner, Price Memorial Hall and the UNG drill-field; as well as the nighttime sky from Preacher’s Rock, a field near Zauche’s house and even one especially starry spot in his backyard.
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The striking, otherworldly results have some viewers asking if Zauche somehow dabbled in Hollywood special effects to produce the ethereal images.
“I’ve had people ask me if the nighttime shots were real or did I animate that,” he said. “A lot of people don’t realize that the earth rotates that much in a few hours.”
So, yep it’s all real; right down to the passing planes that streak across the sky like shooting stars, he said.
Now that Zauche’s project is complete he’s anxiously waiting to see if he’ll receive the passing grade needed to graduate. And though he thinks it’s a pretty safe bet, he doesn’t want to get too cocky.
“I’m hoping,” he said with a laugh. “You never know though.”
Yet as the Youtube views continue to boom, it’s apparent the Internet crowd has given is an A+.
“Honestly I’m a little blown away by this reaction,” he said. “I was hoping for a couple likes and a couple shares but honestly this had gotten out of hand.”

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If you haven’t checked it out yet, here’s Brandon’s video one more time. And check out his web-site right here.
And if you like this post (and want things to get out a hand just a little more) share it!

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Sure, there aren’t many words that rhyme with Dahlonega, but singer-songwriter Kurt Thomas says he’s found one. Sort of. All this and much more is revealed in the always popular local musicman’s exclusive DigDahlonega interview right here! Read on reader!

iDig: Hey Kurt! Tell us about the first time you picked up a guitar.
Kurt: I saw Jay Drummonds play at my graduation at Lumpkin County High School and I knew it was what I wanted to do. So I went to my friend Zac and asked to buy a guitar from him and he sold me one for 80 bucks. It’s been a roller-coaster ever since.

iDig: Since  Zac Brown was kind of a musical mentor to you, and he was musically mentored by Shawn Mullins, do you have any mentoring plans of your own?
Kurt: I’ve tried to help when I get asked questions and helped some local folks get some shows. I guess I’ll wait for the right one to come along. I’m romantic
that way.

iDig: You’ve played a lot of shows in a lot of places. What’s the strangest
gig you’ve played?
Kurt: I’ve found that its usually not the place that makes a gig strange, its the people. And there are so many stories I wouldn’t know where to begin.

iDig: Is writing songs about your hometown extra hard because you have to rhyme words with Dahlonega?
Kurt: I once tried to rhyme it with harmonica, that song went nowhere.

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iDig: If they ever make a KidzBop version of Kick Back (with a bottle of Jack) would you rather they change the words to “kick back with a carton of whole milk” or “kick back with a bottle of Yoohoo?”
Kurt: I’m a whole milk kinda guy. Nothing like the real thing. From the tap.

iDig: If someone shouts Freebird at a concert will you play it?
Kurt: I used to put a sign on my tip bucket that says “Freebird $20.”

iDig: If someone shouts Play that Funky Music White Boy will you then play that funky music?
Kurt: I find that you have to get your funk on every chance you get. Or is it funk out?

iDig: I think it’s either one. So what’s been the high point of your career so far?
Kurt: Making a living playing music and meeting Levon Helm of The Band.levonpics

iDig: Finish this sentence: If I wasn’t a musician, I would have been…
Kurt: …a comedian. I have to entertain somehow and I’m not pretty enough for
Hollywood. I was told I have a face for radio.

iDig: Where can we see you play and where can we buy the album?
Kurt: Please go to kurtthomasmusic.com, they have my merchandise and a list of all my upcoming shows. I’m also on iTunes and CD, baby.

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You can also kick back with Kurt at the rescheduled First Friday Night Concert in Dahlonega’s Hancock Park this Friday, July 19.

Thanks for sitting in with DigDahlonega, Kurt! And if you like this post, share it!

Screen Shot 2014-02-06 at 4.33.45 PMIt emerges from the Etowah River like a watery black hole.
The craggy yawn in the rocks sits nearly four miles downstream of Dahlonega’s Castleberry Bridge where it often tempts brave paddlers into pressing their luck with a quarter-mile underground ride into the darkness.
It’s called the Etowah River Mine Tunnel. And, yes, it’s as cool as it sounds.
Local historian Chris Worick said the tunnel was originally created by enterprising miners looking to divert the water-flow and expose gold-rich sections of the river. Drilling on the tunnel began in 1883, but due to complications, the project wasn’t completed until the 1930s.
Though the get-rich scheme might not have worked as planned, the miners did succeed in creating  an awesome Indiana Jones-worthy river-run.
Just ask the folks at American Whitewater.
“There’s virtually no light,” reads the site. “And the noise is intimidating, so hang on, stay seated and keep your limbs in the boat for a fun ride.”
Kerry Morris did just that last year, as he and few fellow adventure-seekers took to the waters with kayaks and a digital camera in tow.
Check out his white-water adventure here: (The Long Dark Tunnel begins at 4:05)Screen Shot 2014-02-07 at 2.54.48 PM
And, remember, don’t try this at home. Try it on the Etowah River instead! (But only if you’re an experienced paddler or have access to one.)
And if you like this post, share it!digdirectory4