|"Mount Evans Winter" Colored Pencil|
It's a cold, windy day on Upper Bear Creek. Mount Evans is buried under a blanket of fresh snow. The sturdy evergreens are built to withstand winter storms like this. Heavy snow clings to the blue spruce creating an interesting pattern of dark and light. The landscape is expressed with mostly cool blues and greens but there are some pinks and yellows woven into the foreground. Being outside on a morning like this can be uncomfortable, although the mountain scenery is a beautiful reward.
We've trampled all over the Mount Evans Wilderness Area exploring places like Chicago Lakes, Gray Wolf Mountain and the Sawtooth Ridge. The diversity of wildlife above tree line is amazing. We've seen coyotes, elk, bighorn sheep, marmots, pikas and my favorite, the white-tailed ptarmigan. The herd of Rocky Mountain goats that inhabit the summit are fascinating to watch. The goats tolerate human presence and seem to be curious and intelligent. The little ones are playful and buck around on the steep, cliff ledges.
The mountain was originally named Rosalie after the wife of German-American artist Albert Bierstadt. The romantic, landscape painter is credited with making the first ascent in 1863. Bierstadt explored the region creating numerous sketches and paintings that accurately depict the local scenery. The name was officially changed to Evans in 1895 in honor of Colorado's second governor John Evans. A nearby summit became Rosalie and next to it, an impressive peak is called Mount Bierstadt.