June 04, 2004

Kalispell to Canmore

Icefields Parkway, Banff National Park, taken from the back seat through the front windscreen of the car

OK the great photo disaster. Well it didn't turn out to be a complete disaster, but I did lose some of the morning's photos :( What happened was that I was trying to organise my photos onto compact flash cards to get burnt to cd. So I'd put one of he cards into the camera, but I forgot to flick the switch from Memory Stick to Compact Flash, and formatted the day's photos. I didn't actually realise I'd done it until I went to download them and found an empty card. So I downloaded a utility that Tim from work had bought last year and used it to recover a pretty good percentage of the photos. I'm going to have to buy him some Guiness when I get home. The photos I lost include the ones of Flathead Lake (which weren't very good anyway), a huge metal bald eagle statue (the parents have photos of that), signs to the entrance to Glacier National Park (I've been collecting entrance sign photos), an Idaho number plate (I've been collecting pics of number plates of states we've been to - I could probably have gotten the majority of all the states just in Utah alone!), and some nice photos of the mountains over Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park.

So this morning, the first stop was to burn 1.5gb of photos to cd at a local camera/photo shop. Took about 3/4 hour. Unfortunately it was a proprietary burner system, and it renamed all my files and date/time stamps, and nuked the directory structure. Oh well, hopefully it's just a backup .. The cd I sent home last week arrive, so I sent three more home today.

Today was a very quiet photo day - I only took 35 photos, and one was for Theme Thursday!

We crossed the border into Canada early this afternoon. For the first time this trip I felt like I was going to a foreign country. I guess because I've been to the States a couple of times before and see so much of American culture on tv it doesn't feel like a strange place to come. But Canada was an unknown quantity. Would I be able to get money? What would be the electricity situation? What about road rules? Can you turn right on red after stopping like in the states? How accessable would public toilets be? Would my mobile work? Would be able to get internet access easily? It didn't take long to confirm that Canada is strange. We went into a department store to see if we could find an ATM, and on the way out, Mum got bailed up for having a backpack on. Apparently they don't let you take backpacks into department stores. Instead you have to leave them in lockers outside - which of course you have to pay for. How ridiculous is that?!? I aint leaving my backpack anywhere - not with my camera and laptop in it. So I guess one of us will be waiting in the car whenever we go shopping.

So this afternoon we began our Canadian National Park bash. An annual park pass for the family was $89. We started in Kootenay National Park. We didn't take many photos as much of the snow has already melted, making the mountains not very photogenic. Also a big bushfire took out about a 1/3 of the park last year leaving lots of dead trees. Then on into Banff National Park. Again there was not much snow left and so we didn't stop very often. Eventually we checked into a motel - actually a ski lodge - in Canmore and wandered off to dinner - ribs and lasagna yumm. We only ordered two dishes for three people and still came away with a huge bowl of leftovers.

Internet from here is going to cost me $7.99US/hour - ouch! Can anyone suggest a simple, cheap, prepaid dialup account for Canada? MaGlobe is ok but it's going to be a bit expensive here :(

Posted by kazza at June 4, 2004 02:40 PM