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Friday, May 20, 2011

Winners and the Jasper Accident / Adventure

The last few days have been exciting on all kinds of counts.  The Great Greeting Card Contest came to a close, the Canucks whipped the Sharks to a pulp, and my Jasper adventure in search of bears provided a little more adventure than I'd bargained for!

My Jasper adventure offered up a little more than just bears and loons!

I'll start off with the Greeting Card Contest to keep you all in a little suspense about the accident (and the grizzly pics below).  My first ever online contest came off with a rousing success, with well over 300 entries into the first part of the card contest, and more than 100 entries into the second part, an online survey to determine the ultimate winners in terms of which cards will be hitting the stores this June.

In the prelim round, Nancy Webb of Morganton, North Carolina and Shawn Boonstra of San Diego, California each won themselves packages of 50 greeting cards.  While the Grand Prize was won by Matt and Cathi Shaw of Summerland, B.C. (100 cards or a 16x24 print!).

I also decided to offer a final bonus prize of 25 cards to one of the entrants, and that's been won by Steve Woods of Calgary, AB!

Congrats to all of the winners.  I'll be posting all of the new cards in the next few weeks and will let everyone know when they're available in stores or for ordering online.

Ok, on to the goods.  Aka, the first accident I've had in 25 years of driving more than 750,000 kilometres (450,000 miles).

It happened on Wednesday morning in Jasper at the one and only highway intersection on the edge of town, where Highway 93N meets Highway 16.  I pulled up to the light and as I did, it turned green, so I glanced left and right quickly and started out into the intersection.  Somewhere in the deep, dark recesses of my wee brain, I'd registered that there was a vehicle moving towards the intersection on my right, but it had been moving slowly and I'm guessing my brain figured, "Hey, car's slowing down to stop."  But no, said car was not slowing down to stop.  Rather, it was a little old guy that hadn't noticed the light had changed.

Anyways, to make a long story short, we had a bit of a collision in the middle of the intersection.  Thankfully, no one was hurt, but my Subaru did sustain a bit of damage as you can see above.  So, in one swift second, my Jasper bear trip turned into my Jasper 'Hey, I had an accident!' trip.

Now I'm cruising around in a Nissan Pathfinder thinking that it's:

  • quite a bit cooler than my Subaru Forester is...the Pathfinder is all shiny black and new; the Forester is not.
  • roooooomy!  Wow, is this thing big.  I can do a starfish in the back (trust me on that one)!
  • a gas guzzler.  Yikes, how do people drive big trucks around all day long?  I thought my Subie was bad on gas, but this takes it to a whole new level.  $100 to fill a tank is not my idea of a good time.

I'm not sure how long my Subaru will be out of commission, but for now, I'll revel in this new-found shiny-ness and room, and curse the terrible fuel economy.

Here's a few pics from the Jasper trip. Enjoy!

Ran into this beautiful grizzly bear on my way up late in the evening.

The same grizzly bear marching along towards my car on his search for roots

Testing out the 24-70mm, f2.8 lens that Sigma has given me to try...this is an 8-image panoramic stitch

Another shot with the Sigma 24-70 f2.8 wide angle lens.

I was impressed with the Sigma 24-70 f2.8 lens' ability to provide nice, clean, crisp images.  For the price, size, and weight, it's an excellent alternative to the equivalent Canon or Nikon lenses.

A common loon doing a wing flap in Jasper

A grizzly bear along the Sunwapta River in Jasper (I'm photographing it from across the river)

The Sunwapta grizzly again.

Happy shooting!

John

2 comments:

  1. Beautiful shots. Glad no one was hurt in the accident.

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  2. Glad to hear that you're okay, John. I love the grizzly and loon images. One of these days perhaps I'll see a grizzly in one of the mountain parks.

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