Looking for Next Destination

Old Oct 4th, 2014, 10:16 AM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 2,304
<I wish I could get her interested in landscape scenery. She's very much taken with wildlife.>

Gretchen mentioned introducing her to light and composition at Mesa Verde....same goes for wildlife photography. Slowly introduce her to the idea that generally the best wildlife photos incorporate great light or an interesting composition (which often involves great scenery. It sounds like she is mostly interested in getting as close as possible right now and zooming in with the telephoto - it will take time but gradually show her great photos where the animal is simply a part of the overall scene. I just saw a small exhibit of Thomas Mangelsen's photos, he has some great photos to illustrate that.

Also, you mentioned that you would be happy with an Arches trip if you could see enough wildlife. Just remember wildlife comes in all sizes. I am fascinated by the variety of lizards in the desert parks I've been to. They are generally fairly abundant and range from little finger-sized guys to big chuckwallas and Gila monsters and everything in between. The little guys are usually easy to spot along the trails on sunny days and it can be fun to 'stalk' them to get a good photo. And then there are birds....they are my go-to animal in the desert because I know I will see them even when everything else is hiding. And her penchant for telephoto lenses is perfect for birds because you really can't get close to them usually. Just like lizards, there is a huge variety of birds once you start looking at them. I used to think birds were boring until I was out in the desert with nothing else to look at. Over time I've come to appreciate their diversity. And you will find birds in every park that's been listed, so introducing her to bird photography and see where that goes would be a good idea.
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Old Oct 4th, 2014, 03:28 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 700
Why not a mix of california NP and Spark : Yosemite, Sequoia/Kings +/- Death valley and Crater.
Scenery(death Valley, Crater, Yosemite), Hikes(Yosemite, Sequioa), wildlife- bears, coyote, elks, fox in Yosemite/Séquoia and Kings.
Plus some of the nicest and oldest vegetals on earth : the Sequioa..
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Old Oct 5th, 2014, 10:25 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,145
We live in South Florida so birds are plentiful. I'm having trouble gaining an appreciation for birds but I'm trying.

We have a wetlands park about an hour north of here. Wakodahatchee. I've gone several times. I'd like to avoid going on a weekend because the parking is limited.

I may take her after school one day.
= = =
While I've been to Glacier in MT twice, I don't tire seeing scenery and wildlife. I'm considering that. The good thing is that I know my way around there.

I think I can somehow turn the Iceberg Lake and Hidden Lake hikes into challenges. She needs a challenge to be interested in hikes.

I may plan a trip to the Smokies to check it out. I'll see how that plan goes.

My daughter sometimes gives her photographic projects to do. Those are good. For instance "circles", etc.

Thanks so far for the ideas. Now I have to go back and read them all again.
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Old Oct 12th, 2014, 09:12 PM
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 251
very wrong about the wildlife in Rocky Mountain National Park. want to see easiest places to see wildlife in my opinion. It is especially easy to elk there, particularly around Estes Park. Moose and many black bear also.
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Old Oct 12th, 2014, 09:13 PM
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 251
I meant one of the easiest
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Old Oct 23rd, 2014, 11:39 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,145
spiro & Sapphire and others,

Shenandoah has piqued my interest. Would appreciate any comments.
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Old Oct 23rd, 2014, 12:43 PM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 2,304
I really liked Shenandoah although I didn't think I would. I visited last August for a few days.

It gets really busy on the weekends so take that into account.

Skyline Drive is the main road through the park and runs mostly along a ridgeline, so you'll have a lot of views from up there. The park itself is best described as long and narrow, in some cases I'm guessing it's just a couple miles wide (or at least it looks like it). Because of the narrowness and being up on a ridge, a lot of times the view you're looking at isn't part of the park.

The northern third was my least favorite part, mostly because of those views. It seemed like I was mostly looking at farmland or little villages from the viewpoints and that wasn't what I was there to see. The middle third was great, that's where you'll find the Big Meadows area which seems to be the heart of the park. I think the views improved south of Big Meadows until I got closer to the southern end, where it opened up again to seeing villages and farmland.

You'll see deer a lot, good chance of seeing black bears and wild turkeys. There are some more difficult hikes but overall I'd say the hiking is easier than out west because the elevation gain/loss just isn't comparable. You can hike the Appalachian Trail as well, I found there to be few people on any section of that compared to the regular park trails that went to specific destinations.

Skyline drive is a little over 100 miles and you can enter the park at a few different places along the drive. You can stay outside the park if you want but I'd stay inside just so you're there and can avoid driving so much (especially early and late in the day).
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