Exploring the Poudre River Canyon – Tributary

posted in: Oil, Plein Air | 0
"Tributary", Oil on Canvas Panel, 16x12, © Nelia Harper
“Tributary”, Oil on Canvas Panel, 16×12, © Nelia Harper

This summer, I spent a little time exploring the Poudre River Canyon.  Formally named Cache la Poudre by the french trappers in the 1800s (where they stashed gunpowder in a raging blizzard), the Poudre (poo-der) as locals call it, begins in Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) and drops over 7000 feet and flows through Fort Collins before it merges with the South Platte River in Greeley.

The Poudre River is Colorado’s only nationally designated “Wild & Scenic” River, and even with such high status, the Poudre remains a bit of a hidden gem.  Which is fine with me.

Highway 14 follows the river for miles, and much of the land on either side is undeveloped, partly because of the steep canyon walls.  However, there are plenty of campsites, places to fish, whitewater rafting, rock climbing, and hiking along the river.  And, because the road leads to Walden, CO, northern access to RMNP, State Forest State Park and very little human habitation, most of the folks traveling Hwy 14 are there for recreation.

Fellow artist, Andrea Gabel and I spend two days and one night camped out along the river early this summer, exploring, painting and breathing in the fresh air.

I painted this 16×12 oil painting along a hidden tributary.  I have driven by this area countless times and never knew what  was hidden away.  We started the day at the break of dawn, drove a short distance from our campsite, and hiked out to see what we could see.

The sun was just coming up over the cliffs and began to filter through the trees.  Both Andrea and I fell in love with this picturesque spot.  We listened to the hum and throb of the water, watched the light shift and change, followed what we later learned were skunk tracks, and reveled in the beauty of the day.

Now available. $375 framed. Please contact me if you have any questions or would like to ad this to your collection.

What do you think?