In the summer, I took a road trip with my dad from Reno, NV to San Francisco, CA. We took a few stops on the way (how could you not?!). One of them was Mammoth Lakes, CA.
While eating dinner at a nearby restaurant, we overheard the family next to us talking about a bear they saw while fishing at the lakes earlier in the day. After asking where they saw this bear, we set out to find a few. We don't get too many bears out in Chicago, so we were really hoping to see one :)
We drove around Lake Mary (the purdy one in the photo XD) and a few of the other lakes. We didn't come across any bears, but we did see a coyote :D
Once it got dark, we drove into a small clearing, which is more
commonly referred to as a parking lot to see the stars.
There are very few places where you can see the stars like that, none of which include places in the Chicago area.
It was amazing... there were stars absolutely everywhere, spanding from the treetops on one side to the mountains on the other. We even saw more shooting stars than we could count. In Chicago, you only see shooting stars in Rainforest Cafe! Even in the middle of a cornfield in Indiana, we've never seen a shooting star. Nowadays, you have to get pretty far out there to even discern several major constellations.
Mammoth Lakes is pretty darn far out there, but pwns just about any Midwest cornfield!