I have been a little bummed with the laptop and all that but my friends in Ottawa (you know who you are) have been very helpful.
And KE, you were right! It was a troll! I went out this morning to take photos and when I opened the hatch to the truck, there were my two GoPro batteries and my SD cards! The empty bag must have fallen out at some point. And by “fallen out” I mean stolen by a troll. Oh well, one less camera bag.
FYI after I contacted the Apple Store in Rek I decided to try one last thing in order to avoid the 6 hour round trip. I thought that since I had recently upgraded my OSX that this might be the issue rather than my initial assumption of a corrupt hard drive. I was able to download the OSX last night to a USB and then rebooted. I am now able to import my photos!!!!!
// edit – The hard drive is definitely corrupt but I can still load everything with my USB key 🙂