I woke up early and went with Jordon to Saskatoon City Hospital while he got treatment and some tests on his foot. It gets better for a while and then it gets way worse. Today was a way worse kind of day. The good news is that they did the test on his leg that he has been dreading and the results were amazing. The leg is messed up but the long term prognosis is getting better.
After that ordeal was over, I had a nice brunch with Mark and Oliver who then along with Jordon took me for a walk with our cameras along to Wanuskewin Heritage Park. We got out there and it was closed for a special function (doh!). We had been out on Sunday’s before but didn’t realize they also close on Sundays in the winter.
So we decided to go out to Pike Lake and check it out and The Gift of Green Nature Trail. We walked the promenade but the trail wasn’t open yet and was still barricaded. We will return to hike it for Oliver’s birthday (it was his idea and was excited about it).
Jordon had some photos of Mark, Oliver and Marley framed for me. They look great. Well the photos of Mark and Oliver look great, the one he picked of Marley was of me after I had to run after her after she bolted. I look mad, Mark looks indifferent, and Marley looks defiant.
I hope you are having a wonderful Mother’s Day as well.
It’s an upgrade over the Olympus PEN E-PL2 that Jordon gave me for Christmas in 2013. I love that camera but this one is faster, has better image quality, a viewfinder, wifi, and is better in low light. I am super excited to try this out and master it.
I already have a collection of lenses from my E-PL2 so I am set there. Now I just need to master the new camera.
He will use it to shoot Mark’s football this fall with and maybe some wildlife. I hope he likes it. Of course Mark is super excited as it means that he gets Jordon’s older Sigma 70-210 lens. He sees it as a win-win.
They also ordered Jordon a 65 litre backpack for our trip to Grey Owl’s cabin. It’s big enough that we can pack Oliver in it and have room to spare.
It is Jordon’s day off today. I took it off to hang out with him. After the boys were off to school, we went for coffee at City Perk and then grabbed lunch at the Spring Roll on 33rd. This afternoon we are off for a long walk as Jordon tried out his new lens and then to Broadcast House where Jordon does his 5:15 roundtable with David Kirton and Cynthia Block.
Jordon got a great year end bonus. Instead of spending it on himself, he decided to get me a new camera. We looked at a variety of Olympus options from the Olympus PEN E-PL5 and E-PL7 to an older Olympus OM-D E-M5 but decided on the Olympus OM-D E-M10.
I ordered the Olympus OM-D E-M10 from Don’s Photo in Saskatoon and I hope to have it in a couple of weeks. Thanks to Jordon who bought (and surprised me) with the Olympus PEN E-PL2 and two Christmases ago and surprised me with the decision to get me this camera. I can’t wait.
I brought a Canon EOS 40D and the longest, most versatile lens then available for that camera, a Tamron 18-270mm ƒ/3.5-6.3. This outfit gave me the 35mm equivalent of 29-432mm with a stabilized (Tamron calls it Vibration Compensation, or VC), reasonably fast, autofocus lens. Sure, sometimes I wished for more wide-angle when under an architectural masterpiece, and sometimes I wished for more telephoto reach when we saw elusive wildlife, but 99% of the time, that 29-432mm was all I needed. My only accessory was a polarizer for my lens. I also had two extra batteries and a good-sized JOBY GorillaPod tripod. We photographed every day, almost all day, especially when we got to a new place and didn’t need to “move on” till we decided it was time. My equipment held up fine for the entire 21 months.
The second is a summer vacation to Calgary at the end of July. Jordon was born in Edmonton but still considers Calgary his hometown despite only living there for less than a decade as a kid. I think it is a combination of childhood experiences and memories combined with his one way bromance with Calgary’s Mayor Naheed Nenshi. Oh yeah, the Rocky Mountains.
When we started to think about a trip this summer, I realized that we have a lot of AirMiles accumulated. AirMiles are the only reason why we continue to be treated poorly by the Bank of Montreal (which took a year to fix Jordon’s debit card so it would not randomly lock him out of his account). We are using the AirMiles to pay for our hotel which makes for a really cheap trip.
The plan is to take off in the early morning of a Friday and let the kids sleep in the back of the car. We will take the leisurely drive to Drumheller and take some photographs of their rather scenic downtown and give the kids some time to stretch their legs. Hopefully be in Calgary by early afternoon and book into our hotel. As soon as we get settled in, we will grab our cameras and head downtown on the LRT and explore downtown Calgary, find the Peace Bridge, check out The Bow, and wander around downtown Calgary. If I know us, we will be right back down there to do some night photography.
The next morning the plan is to get up early and take the scenic route to Banff and then head straight to Johnston’s Canyon Trail and walk the trail along the seven waterfalls. Knowing us, we will have cameras in tow and I am really looking forward to doing this again and with the boys. It’s about a two hour hike which will leave us lots of time to explore Banff later on in the day.
After the hike, the plan is to continue up the Bow Valley Parkway to the Chateau Lake Louise where we will grab lunch and head back to Banff. Hopefully we will see some wildlife along this section of the park.
On the way back to Banff, we will grab lunch at a wonderful picnic spot at the start of the Sawback Trail. It has some quiet picnic tables, a babbling brook, and amazing scenery. The first time Jordon took me there, a large herd of elk surrounded our car and licked all of the salt off it. It was covered in Elk saliva, even under the door handles. Gross. I hope that doesn’t happen again. If it does, I’ll get the boys to open my door.
The brook in Sawback and water running off the canyon walls of Johnston’s Canyon have a rich history with Jordon. He has drank both of them and gotten really sick from Giardia as a kid. Hopefully he has learned something since then but it’s Jordon so expect him to be hospitalized in Calgary.
After Johnston’s Canyon, we are off to Cave and Basin National Historical Site which in all of my trips to Banff, I have never been to. The last time we were in Banff it was being renovated and updated. It’s now open, improved, and dirt cheap to explore. Jordon loves it and can’t wait to take the boys and myself into the cave and see the glowing water. It should be amazing. Since we are there on a Saturday, we may stay late and return there for a lantern tour of the caves.
If we have time, it will be up the Banff Gondola again. I have been up a few times in winter but never in the summer. It will be a long day but there is always time for the Bow Falls in Banff. July weather will mean a little more green than in this photo Jordon took in 2010.
To end the day, Mark suggested we will head to the Upper Banff Hot Springs for a hot soak in the pool before heading back to Calgary.
After soaking in the hot tub that night, the next morning should find us at Heritage Park. I have never been but it looks amazing and a lot of fun. Jordon won’t tell me why but he says to bring some extra small change along when we go.
Finally on our last day there we will take in the Calgary Zoo. I’m not worried about Jordon in Banff, downtown Calgary, or even in Drumheller but he has this fear of birds. Calgary Zoo has a bird house. Jordon kind of freaked out the last time he was there. We’ll have our cameras out this time.
As always we will connect with some friends, family, and MEC and since it is right next door, The Camera Store.