Camping Trip # 3!

Aug 4, 2009

Another long weekend has come and gone. August has arrived and the end of summer is approaching much faster than I'm willing to accept. That said, I'd rank 2009 pretty high in my list of "Best Summers Ever" and we still have a month left.

This weekend was another epic 3 days. On Saturday morning Ryan and I packed up the Neon and set out on a camping adventure. We took a slight detour, stopping at a camera store in Calgary. Having just purchased a new camera body, Ryan was in search of a perfect lens. He tested out several of them, convincing me to pose for photos despite my obvious disinterest. Oh, the life of a photographer's girlfriend. We spent 2 hours in that store before I finally persuaded him to spend only $1000 as opposed to the $3000 that he was ready to charge to his credit card. I do love cameras, and I having a growing interest in photography, but 2 hours was a bit excessive. I was hungry. He reluctantly left the store and it was onwards to Peter's Drive In, where we dined on amazing burgers and a chocolate-strawberry milkshake. Finally, we started heading west towards the Rocky Mountains.
I was born and raised here in Alberta, only a short drive from the mountains. Despite this fact, it never fails to amaze me when I first catch a glimpse of the giant rocky peaks. We drove down the beautiful winding roads, stopping around what seemed to be every corner to get out of the car and take photos. We were so preoccupied with our cameras that we forgot to stop for gas in Canmore, and were faced with a nearly empty tank and 70 km to our destination. Luckily we were able to find a small gas station in the middle of nowhere, with an old fashioned gas pump and ridiculously overpriced fuel. It was expensive, but it beats being stuck on the side of the Trans Canada highway on a long weekend. It was 10 pm when we finally made it to the campsite. We set up our tent, ate some dinner, and snuggled up inside warm sleeping bags.
The next morning we woke up bright and early and cooked bacon and eggs over the fire.... a change from my regular marhmallows and hot dogs. Perhaps I should go camping with Ryan more often! Sunday also marked the day that we'd been dating for 2 months. 2 entire months, and we still like eachother?! This for me is a huge accomplishment. We were kissy and cuddly and all sorts of romantic couple on a romantic mountain getaway sort of stuff. I'm so used to being single that displays of affection normally make me roll my eyes or mutter sarcastic comments... but I'm finding that even commitment-o-phobics such as myself can have trouble resisting romance once in awhile. This boy sure has a strange effect on me. We ventured to the Columbia Icefields where I was mesmorized at the sight of a huge glacier on a hot summer day. The one issue that I have with camping is the lack of showering. I'm okay with not wearing makeup, but being in the dirty, dusty mountains and not being to rinse off is a bit hard for me to deal with. My hair was greasy, my clothes were dirty, and I was wearing no makeup... but that didn't stop Ryan from taking far too many close up photos of me. Oh well, it just goes to show that he still likes me even when I'm at my worst.

That evening we stood under the moonlight as he taught me a bit about long exposure and night time photography. I was fascinated and want to try more. For one particular shot, he had me hold down his shutter button as he walked far away, lantern in hand. There I was, all alone in the pitch black as he walked away with the only source of light. I started convincing myself that I could hear a bear in the trees behind me, and stood in fear until he finally returned. The photo turned out great, but that was the last of that. I headed back to the tent, out of sight from the bears that I was sure were out to get me.

When we woke up, Monday had arrived and it was time to pack up and head back home. More photos, more food, and we finally hit the road. It was such a perfect weekend, and I'm such a happy camper (get it, camper? Okay... not funny) these days.


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