Feb 3, 2012–A Painting a Day Project

Day 3 Painting a dayDay 3 Painting—Feb 3, 2012

Painting three—inspired by an easy hike along the Colorado River.  This is one of the beautiful views that can be seen while hiking the Coyote Trail in the Kawuneeche Valley.  I actually set up my easel and painted on location a little further down from this area.  2011 was the first time my husband and I was able to hike this trail because the parking area only allows for vehicles that are a max. of 18 feet long.  Previously, we drove our 4-door Chevy out there…..too long to get to the trailhead!  I’m glad I didn’t know what we were missing this whole time or we might have had to ditch the truck and hike to the trailhead, just to hike the trail….my hub would’ve loved that!

If you’re ever in RMNP, I definitely recommend this hike.  It is just about a mile loop with under a 100 feet elevation gain.  It parallels the Colorado River for most of the hike and has several benches to stop and enjoy the views as well as interpretive signs to tell about the valley and the Arapaho Indians that used to call the valley home.  The valley received it’s name, Kawuneeche from the Arapaho.  The name means “valley of the coyotes”.  Many of the plants the Arapaho used for food and medicine can still be found in this valley, and so can the lodge pole pines they used for teepee poles.  There’s a lot of wildlife to be seen as well; among them, the coyotes, hawks, owls, and elk to the trout in the river.  You can also see views of the “Grand Ditch” as you walk.  In the 1880s, work began on the creation of a channel to divert water from the Grand River (later renamed the Colorado River) on the west side of the Continental Divide, and to thirsty farms east of the mountains.  You can read more about the Grand Ditch at:  http://www.frommers.com/destinations/rockymountainnationalpark/1460028608.html

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