Yellowstone National Park, the landscapes and animals that dreams are made of! Love this place! Summer is in full swing here, the animals are out in forces as well as crazy people chasing them down for the perfect picture with their i-phone (not kidding, we really did see this!) I think people have forgotten that wild animals are WILD, unpredictable and dangerous. And, that most of those crazy close shots are not from an i-phone but from a telephoto lens!
I also think people have forgotten how to be kind and considerate as well; yes I am talking to you, the guy in the green shirt with the long grey pony tail who set up his shot DIRECTLY in front of me instead of beside me, where there was room, by the way (maybe I was invisible that day?). I do still find many people are so excited to see something wild and to share the experience with those around them that it reminds you why these wild places need to exist and need to be protected.
There is something about being in nature and experiencing a dramatic sunset, vast fields of alpine flowers, a howling wolf, watching bears look for grubs or swans glide silently along on a lake that is almost black in the fading light. Hiking in and seeing a Great Grey Owl Fledgling that blends in perfectly with the tree it is perched on and seeing the look of utter astonishment on his sweet little face that you are there (at a very respectful distance with my Tamron 150 - 600 mm lens fully extended). Getting to see three different wolf packs (2 from such a distance that we only got to experience them through a scope, but what a memory of the pups playing outside their den) and seeing wolves two different times on two different carcasses (one died from natural causes and the other the wolves brought down).
We spent four days in Yellowstone and stayed at the http://www.yellowstonebigrockinn.com/ in Gardiner, MT. It is comfortable, clean and quiet with an ample sized room so if you have a lot of gear with you, you are not tripping all over it. Gardiner is 5 minutes outside the north gate and is a really cute, little western town. We also spent one day with http://www.wolftracker.com/, our guide, Aaron was awesome and it was nice for us to not worry about driving and trying to scope out animal activity at the same time. I can't wait to go back!