|"Gore Range Thunderstorm" Colored Pencil|
A slow moving thunderstorm passes over the jagged Gore Range. The dark mountains seem small compared to the huge, dramatic clouds. A thin slice of Green Mountain Reservoir sparkles in the distance and the foreground shimmers with broken tones of green and violet. It's a beautiful scene. The colors are toned down but the rain makes them clean and fresh. The edges are soft, they become lost in some places and reappear in others. The low key values express a somber mood but I'm happy trying to depict nature's weather effects.
We experienced that storm this summer on our way back home from Steamboat. During our approach to Silverthorne, that's the scene we beheld. Because Sunday afternoon traffic on I-70 out of the mountains is a nightmare, we detoured off the main highway. Our first stop was at the Green Mountain Dam, we went out in the rain and explored the interesting structure. Slowly, we made our way down the remote pathway that's situated along the western edge of the lake. We took some photos of deer, horses and an enormous raven. Next, we drove through the town of Heeney, which is really just a cluster of vacation homes and private residences. Shortly after that, we came upon a large black bear casually strolling down the road and, before we knew it, we were back to the main highway.
Despite our stall tactics, we still got stuck in traffic. It took us forever to get home. I guess that was alright because the time spent in the car allowed me to contemplate the images I'd seen that afternoon. I learned that if you're willing to get off of the beaten path and explore the unknown, you're often rewarded for taking the risk. It was a drive I'll never forget. Sometimes the side-trip proves to be more fascinating than the main one.