Staggeringly beautiful place

Canon 1D MK111, 16-35mm f2.8L lens (at 16mm), ISO 400, f11, 1/200, polarising filter

I am totally blown away by how beautiful it is out here in Montana - it is all I can do to stop drooling like a loon at the view. Nick Hart and I had a very cool day wandering around a load of different fly fishing shops in and around Bozeman and Livingston, before arriving at Yellowstone Valley Ranch. The two of us could also not resist going shopping for some clothes for our respective kids - you should have seen it, Nick and I going all soppy over adorable outfits for our children.

The photo above is of Nick and our hire car on the road out of Livingston. Just look at those snow capped peaks and vast blue skies and you will understand I am sure why I am walking around with my jaw on the floor in sheer amazement. Our world is a beautiful place. There is too much to see and to little time to do it. Once again, I am blown away that I can legitimately call this my work.

It was really warm here today, like a really good UK summer's day. I am typing this blog just as the sun is going down on the banks of the Yellowstone river where we are staying, in this beautiful wide valley surrounded by white-capped mountains. I can now see just why this part of the world is known as Big Sky Country. Montana is the "Big Sky State" in fact. The skies go on for ever......

How on earth am I going to be able to sleep tonight ? I am far too excited about finally getting the chance to photograph this world class fly fishing, surrounded by about the most outrageous scenery you could hope to see. Some of the rivers are blown out because of the late snow-melt, but it does not matter one bit - there are so many options out here that it is possible to find decent fly fishing in virtually any conditions. We have got some awesome plans laid down for the week ahead. Nick and I are like a couple of kids.

Canon 1D MK111, 300mm f4L IS lens, ISO 200, f8, 1/200

I grant you that the photo above is hardly going to win any awards, but this was the first time I have ever seen a grizzly bear, so I had to get a few snaps. Nick and I passed a place outside of Bozeman that looks after a few grizzly bears that have been mistreated and can not go back into the wild. Yes, the light was far too harsh to shoot this kind of photo, but I can't go home and not be able to show my daughters that their dad has seen a grizzly bear. OK, so I hardly stalked it down like a real man out in the wilds, but seeing them up this close was awe inspiring. There is actually a very healthy population of wild bears out here in Montana, so no doubt at some point this week I will be legging it across some meadow when I hear a rustling in the bushes......stand and face it like a man ? Yeah, right.

Anyway, I had better get my gear sorted for tomorrow. Cameras, lenses, waders, suncream, sunglasses etc., everything needs to be checked and re-checked. And what an exciting end to the US Open golf - I caught the last few holes over lunch. Words can not describe how good Tiger Woods is.