Who's idea was this, anyway? - Windermere Studios

It all started innocently enough. Armed with a burning desire for a photography adventure, good memories of two days in London, and knowing that Canada was on her bucket list, I approached my colleague Ana Pogacar about traveling 'home' from the annual SmugTrip in Oregon with me. Simple idea - drive from Oregon to Edmonton equipped with cameras, the will to chase good light and a sense of adventure. 

Wanting to remain flexible in our schedule so that we were able to follow the good light and good weather meant not booking accommodations in advance. Ana is a much more experienced traveller than I, and willing to forgo a comfy bed if it means catching a sweet sunrise. I, on the other hand, am a plump out of shape 52 year old, terrified of not being able to walk were I to sleep in the car. Also terrified of not being able to find affordable, last minute accommodations in the National Parks, a new plan was hatched. A tent as back up for those nights where hotels were not in the cards. 

Back up quickly evolved into primary. Tenting allowed maximum flexibility and affordability in good weather. And so, camping equipment was researched and purchased. Trial runs of sleeping in the tent in our yard were made. 

Efforts to 'get into shape' before the trip were also made by me, with the best of intentions.  I walked, rode my bike, gave yoga a try, spent hours in my garden bending and squatting in preparation for photo taking. We made an impromptu trip to Canmore and did a couple of hikes in late June. I was in better shape than I had been at the end of winter but still not as fit as I wanted to be for the trip. I've got no problem walking for 5 or 8 km, but elevation changes kill me and steep inclines kill my hip and knee joints. We put more than 10K steps on almost every day, and I ended the trip stronger than I started. 

From the beginning the plan was for my hubby to accompany me to Bend, and then accompany us for a portion of the return trip. There are lots of airports between Bend and Edmonton at which to drop him so he could return home to work. But as the date got closer, and the tenting became a reality, he got more and more enthusiastic about the adventure. No number of descriptions of what a photography road trip means, to a REAL photographer, deterred him. And so we were three, two photographers and one cook/chauffeur.

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Equipment list:

MEC 4x4 Lodge Tent. Two bedrooms, separated by a nice size 'living' space. 

Footprint for tent.

Coleman Queen sized air mattress

Coleman Queen sized sleeping bag.

Coleman Twin air mattress.

Cabela's twin sleeping bag. 

Coleman portable propane stove

Coleman 2 gallon water jug

Flashlights, dishes, cutlery, etc. 

Total investment approximately $1000.00 in re-usable assets. 


The tent was easy to set up and take down, though fitting it all into the bags provided was often a challenge. We had to replace one air mattress half way through the trip, and the water jug (while great for sangria at our party in Sunriver) broke on our second last day. 


Next up, the trip before the trip.

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