Idaho: The Splurge!

We have officially crossed into Pacific Time!

Michael arrived at our destination, Couer d’Alene, in Idaho on Monday, September 15th. After reading about this city, we decided to stay here for two nights at the Shiloh Inn & Suites. This city is known for its resort-like feel and known for its beauty.  This city’s culture, based on our readings, relates more to the northern Washington state culture than its own capital city which is more south, based on its close proximity to Spokane.

Our first stop was the Visitor’s Center (or the Chamber of Commerce) where we explored some of the things we could do in town. We decided to simply explore the downtown area on our own. We walked around the area and got some lunch.

We happened to park right outside a camera shop, and we were looking to purchase a new lens with more zoom for the remainder of our trip. Based on our initial pre-departure budget, we had included the purchase of new camera equipment to prepare ourselves. Unfortunately we did not purchase the lens. After our time at the Badlands and at Yellowstone National Park, we really regretted not investing in a good lens. So we decided to check out what Camera Corral had to offer.

Mike had initially showed us some of our options, which fit nicely on our camera. He showed us two lenses that were both used, but worked nicely for a decent price. He then showed us a few of the newer options that Canon had along with another brand, called Tamron, which only produces lenses. We were really impressed with the Image Stabilizer feature of the Tamron lens along with the quality of the shots it took. But we were still really indecisive on the lens: we knew we wanted one, but we didn’t know which one to go with. It was nice Mike let us try everything first before we made our final decision. We wanted a good tripod along with a camera bag to store our equipment, so we looked on those too!

Michael had gone to the truck twice: once to get our camera and once to get my laptop. We wanted to test the bags out to see which one would be best suitable for our future travel. At that point, Dan, the owner, began to help us with our purchases.  We must have spent a few hours in that little camera store playing and testing out all of the pieces we wanted to buy. Our final purchases definitely exceeded our budget of a measly $200 for a lens, as we spent close to $800! But, it was a good investment:) Take a look at what we got:

canon lens hoodtamron lens hood

All really neat items to say the least. Initially we got a cheap tripod, but after testing it out we realized that we needed to get a more heavy duty one, so we went to this MeFOTO compact one, which is also fairly lightweight and very easy to set up. It also comes with a carrying case and has a built-in level!

tripod casetripod leveltripod









We began testing out our equipment almost immediately, and we were really pleased to discover the quality of shots. Now we were confident if we happen to see a grizzly bear or a moose in the distance when we go to Alaska or Yosemite National Park in California, we would be better prepared. We appreciated the help of Dan and his team’s insight into what types of camera equipment that was suitable for our needs. Maybe this is a step in the right direction for me: a possible freelancing photography career for me*wink wink*…way to kick-start this venture!

First photos with our nifty equipment:

Our next stops: brief stopover in Seattle for dinner…then off to Vancouver to catch our cruise to ALASKA!!! Just a quick reminder that we will be slowing down our online blog posts while we are cruising. They charge per minute for Wifi access…no thank you. We are turning off our devices and “unplugging” for a week. Look out for our next post about our Amazing Alaska Adventure towards the end of the month.

One thought on “Idaho: The Splurge!

  1. Avis Hallam September 17, 2014 / 7:53 pm

    Have a wonderful cruise (I know you will) Looking forward to your cruise photos. Miss you!

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