An Artist’s Summer Vacation – H2o

Colorado River at Laughlin, Nv.

Heading West, I-40 makes a gradual descent from the cool timbered forests of Flagstaff and one can literally watch the mercury rise as the altimeter drops. We arrived in Bullhead City, Arizona as the late afternoon sun brought the mercury to a blazing 117 degrees Fahrenheit and I wandered how and why anyone would live here in the summer. It seems as though all of the riddles of the Southwest can be solved with one simple substance, Water.
Sand beaches and abundant crops line the banks of the Colorado River as it threads it’s way between Laughlin Nevada and Bullhead City and it is bizarre to see jet skis and pleasure boats zipping around in the middle of the desert on a river that flows from the Continental Divide in Rocky Mountain National Park. Indeed it is impossible to imagine what the Southwest United States would be like without the Colorado River. Natural wonders like the Canyon Lands and the Grand Canyon would simply be a vast rolling wasteland. Recreational Jewels like Lake Powell and Lake Mead and the cities of Phoenix and Las Vegas would not exist at all.
I guess I feel a certain sense of pride and admiration for the powerful Colorado River. I am compelled to paint creeks and rivers because of the time that I have spent on and around the creeks and rivers of Colorado. The Gore Creek and the Eagle River, the Blue and the Roaring Fork, the Yampa and the Gunnison, all of them tributaries to this river that brings life to the Desert.

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