Aug 17 2011

Alaska to Arkansas at 37,000 mph

I recently moved from Anchorage, AK to Pine Bluff, AR. During the trip I had a Canon A590is mounted on a small tripod taped to my dashboard, running CHDK and a timelapse script shooting one frame every 30 seconds. You’ll see the changes in brightness where I adjusted camera settings, but because I was primarily driving I wasn’t able to continuously monitor them. In fact, at the end the available light goes almost completely away.

Anyway, here it is:



I shot the pictures at 640×480 because of storage space concerns (I probably could have gone bigger). As a result full screen is not really recommended.

** Edit: Actually, I’m a little disappointed, I shot 640×480 but YouTube converted to 425×349. It really does look much better at 640×480. If anyone knows a (free) video hosting service which will allow a 640×480 upload, please let me know in the comments.

The camera took approximately 10,300 pictures. With Windows Movie Maker (really) I turned these into a slideshow running at 25 frames per second and added the soundtrack and subtitles. I had also taken approximately 100 photos with my iPod which I had intended to inset into the film. However I was disappointed with the iPod picture quality when I finally got to see them on my computer, so I decided to let the film stand by itself. Those pictures are available here.  I’ll link to the individual timelapse frames once they finish uploading. (Sometime Thursday is my best guess) The individual pictures which make up the timelapse video can be seen here.

I had additionally considered adding commentary with the subtitles, such as “Only Rude People in Canada” for Yorkton, SK or “Saskatoon Shines!” for Saskatoon, SK (the visitor center lady there gave me a pin which says that) but eventually decided against. Not every area of interest is subtitled.

By complete happen chance, the video runs to the same length as the combined length of three of my favorite instrumental pieces. Soundtrack used under CC 3.0-BY-NC-SA, all music was composed by HalcyonicFalconX
“The Trek”
“Traverse the Woods”
“Following your Star”

Here’s a graph which more or less speaks for itself:

By my odometer, the trip was 4196 miles long. I used 121.9 gallons of gas. (34.4 mpg) The mean price per gallon was US$4.50, the highest priced gas I bought was at Toad River Lodge, BC (US$6.06) and the least expensive was Clarksville, AR (US$3.36) although it’s actually US$3.31 down the street from my new apartment. (Assuming US$1.02 = CAN$1, which I think is correct for the trip time frame)

I actually took about 20 pages of notes during the trip, but I can’t seem to find a coherent narrative in them. If I do, I’ll post a longer text article about the drive.


  • By Ann, August 18, 2011 @ 4:28 am

    Very cool!! Was traffic light all the way? Little Rock looks like a metropolis by comparison to the rest of the places. great job! rained a lot in AK

  • By Tony, August 18, 2011 @ 6:59 am

    I think Little Rock looks bigger because I went through it slower than other towns- it was dark and I was off the interstate arriving there. Plus the interstate had routed me around rather than straight through most of the US cities. And where I-29 goes through a city, the city tends to get obscured by walls, guard barriers, etc. There was a short detour into Sioux City due to flooding, but it’s about 3 frames long.

    Traffic was only heavy going through Edmonton.

    From AK-AR Individual Frames 6/11
  • By Ann, August 18, 2011 @ 5:39 pm

    I just checked out the single pictures associated with the video—they are great, too and the captions are funny. I almost planted that tall ornamental grass in the border of my garden. Love the signpost forest. The bison were awesome. The sign for the problem bear was scary! thanks!

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