I have mentioned before in this space how I have no luck with cameras.
I always either lose them, forget them at home, or forget that I have them, and so fail to take any pictures. Any way you slice it, the end result is that I finish my trips with few or no pictures. It always seems to go the same way. The pictures in the posts below were all taken with my cellphone camera, which I had to turn on and wait forty-seconds before I could use it, so many of the prettiest views I had in the road never got photographed, because they were gone before I could take a picture.
Here are the pictures I wish I could show you.
___ the mountain ranges that kept seeming to turn up exactly at the spots in the rockies where there was a passing lane, so that I was always so concerned with passing or being passed, and navigating corners safely, that I never got around to taking pictures of any of the snow-capped mountains footed by mirror-still lakes.
___ Highway 22 Northbound from CrowsNest Pass, Southern Alberta. If you ever get a chance to drive around in Alberta, you need to just get on Highway 22 and drive as much of it as you can. It runs parallel to Highway 2 (or Queen Elizabeth Way 2), the main corridor from Lethbridge to Calgary, Red Deer, and Edmonton; however, instead of having towns and gas stations all along its roadsides, it has huge foothills covered with yellow grass and cattle ranches, fences enclosing giant acreages, and the occasional deeply rutted river valley, steep-banked, and widened by floods.
___ The shores of Long Beach, Vancouver Island. The vegetation here slopes up like the front of a race car, razed down to that shape by terrifying winds and storm weather that washes entire trees ashore during the winter. Climbing on those logs was like being a little kid again, and watching the giant waves crash in (best surfing in Canada on Long Beach), then seeing what those waves did during the winter (huge piles of tree-trunk-sized driftwood right up next to the forest) was humbling and elevating at the same time.
___ The picture I'm glad I CAN'T show you: Banff downtown (previously one of the prettiest, cutest main strips in any town), all under construction as they expand it to fit Banff's growing tourist industry (sigh. so sad)
Imagine taking a highway exit expecting, looking forward to this:
And instead getting this.
Quite a let-down, unless you happen to have a fetish for heavy machinery. (Which I, categorically, do NOT).
___ I wish I could show you pictures of my friends. Especially Mel and her two wonderful little boys (you can click on the link to her blog on the side of this page and see that), and pictures of Tamie and me in Lynn Canyon, and me and Anila and Antaya watching TV together, as cozy as kittens.
Here's a picture that almost perfectly recreates my first experience in Agassiz since October 2005.
Along with my camera curse, I have a sunglasses curse.
Every time I travel, I lose a pair of sunglasses. The trip where I danced with some crazy old ladies was the first trip that started this trend (I'd finally shelled out for a pair of shades I quite liked, and they broke. Shouldn't have sat on them, I guess), then I bought another pair in Japan, only to lose them in Malaysia. I bought another pair (with playboy bunnies on them) in Malaysia (you can see them here) but one of the tiny little nuts holding the glasses part onto the frame came off, so you know it's only a matter of time for them. Well, at a random gas station with my kid sister Antaya, I saw a pair that I quite liked, bought them, and used them all through the sixty-plus hours of driving I did in July, but then, on my last day of driving, I think I took them off to use an ATM machine, or to put Irish Cream syrup in the gas station coffee (didn't help the coffee, either) and forgot to pick them back up again (the same way I lost the camera I got with my university graduation present money, except that time I was climbing a mountain, and changing out of sweat-soaked clothes). So I'm back to my usual cursed, sunglasses-free self, thinking about just wearing a hat all August, rather than getting heat exhaustion from the criminally hot sun all month long, and needing nine hours of sleep a night.
My usual policy with things I keep losing, breaking, or otherwise seeming to have bad luck with, is just to give up. I will no longer buy expensive cameras or sunglasses, because I'm just throwing my money away. Of course, there are some of those kinds of battles I WILL continue to fight -- for example, I will continue zipping up any slippery flies on any cursed pairs of pants I may one day own, but I certainly won't get myself frustrated buying cameras and sunglasses, when they just get lost, and I prefer journals and hats anyway.