Time certainly flies when you’re having fun!

This past week was fairly productive. I started the week doing my VCCA re-application for the Spring, and being reminded that I already applied to MacDowell in January, so I have to wait a few more months ro apply again (which saved me considerable time and aggravation).

I got through the second section of the orchestra piece, which still remains title-less, and started in on the third major section. I’m particularly happy with the piece so far, but I also feel as though it will fall completely into place once I find a suitable title.

Thursday, I went with Stephanie and another of the residents to Ten Sleep to do some hiking (and painting, in the case of Travis) and general sight-seeing. The drive out was particularly beautiful – the Big Horn Mountains looming closer, the terrain seeming to change constantly. We only stayed in Ten Sleep long enough for Travis to buy a milkshake at Dirty Sally’s, and turned aorund to find a hiking trail with a good view. We settled on Saltlick Trail, maybe 10 minutes outside of Ten Sleep. After a quick lunch, Travis set up his easel, and Stephanie and I hiked off into the wilderness. It was a good 2 hour hike, and we got nearly to the top of the mountain before deciding that to go any further would leave us far too exhausted to make it back.

Much of the trail was incredibly narrow, and bordered a steep dropoff that was more than a little vertigo-inducing at times. Walking uphill, although tiring, was never much of a problem; but walking downhill, because of the sandiness of the trail, and the many loose rocks, proved to be a bit nerve-wracking on occasion. The sun was what made the whole thing so tiring (in the best of all possible ways) – the trees were generally sparse, so the sun beat down on us all day. Afterward, we were forced to cool off in Ten Sleep Creek, which was absolutely frigid, but also absolutely refreshing.

The only thing that wasn’t compltely fantastic about the day was the fact that my camera decided to make life difficult for me. The lens cover, which opens and retracts automatically, suddenly stopped opening all the way, so I was forced to help it open every time I turned it on or I took it out of power save mode. Consequently, if I forgot to open the cover, photos turned out like this:

Friday was the weekly town run, and once again I was the only person to go. This time, my main necessity was a new camera. The Kodak EasyShare Z730 was no longer worthwhile with its poor battery life, semi-broken function wheel, and barely-working lens cover. I spent Thursday evening and some of Friday morning looking up new cameras (ok, admittedly, I’d been looking for days already, but this brought things to a head), and had narrowed my choices down to a few good point-and-shoots. The clincher would be whatever was available at the Sheridan Wal-Mart (*shudder*).

I spent about 40 minutes staring at the few available cameras that were on my list: a couple of Canons and a Nikon or two. The Nikons were eliminated from the running based on the lack of viewfinder – the best way for me to steady the camera is to hold it to my face, and the Nikons didn’t allow for that. My other options were the Canon PowerShot A1100 IS or the SD1200 Digital ELPH. The former seemed to be the better camera, and was the ideal price. But it was pink. Pink! No thank you. I did some asking around, and I could get a non-pink camera to the store in 2-4 business days if I paid extra, but I was given the runaround on where to make such a thing happen, so I gave up. I never like giving my money to Wal-Mart anyway, so I had that little consolation.

Fortunately, Kate knew of a photo shop just down the street, so we tried there. I was in luck! They had the A1100 in silver (exactly what I wanted) at the same price as Wal-Mart! Plus, they had better service, and it was a local business, to boot. Win!

So, now I’m the proud owner of a Canon PowerShot A1100 IS (silver). So far so good, though I should have picked up more rechargable batteries (I left all of my AAs at home, though I have an overabundance of AAAs for my BodyBugg), because the pair of alkalines that came with it are already nearly dead.

Stay tuned for photos from the hike, and from the new camera!