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Distant View of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains

This very distant view is from the Bluff Overlook in the Alamosa National Wildlife Refuge, just south of Alamosa, Colorado.

Sangre de Cristo Mtns from Alamosa National Wildlife Refuge; Michael Liebhaber, Digital Drawing, 2019.
Sangre de Cristo Mtns from Alamosa National Wildlife Refuge; Michael Liebhaber, Digital Drawing, 2019. [© Michael Liebhaber, 2019]

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White River at Keeps Mill

Apparently, Keeps Mill was a stop on an alternative route around Mt. Hood on the Oregon trail. If that’s true, how people got wagons in and out of here, I do not know. The hillsides rise quite quickly from both sides of the river. The White River flows from the White Glacier on Mt Hood. Keeps Mill is a primitive, secluded campground at the end of Forest Road 2120 (note to self: Watch for speed bump at end of pavement). The last mile is down a rocky, narrow, steep, exposed hillside. Did I mention a really tight switchback and talus fields?

Oil painting of White River in a forest
White River at Keeps Mill, Michael Liebhaber, 2019, Oil on panel, 40 x 30 inches
[© Michael Liebhaber, 2019]
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A drawing for Sarah

For Sarah

 

This drawing was one of two that I did during the December plein air event in Scappoose, Painting to Save the Trees. Sarah Lamberson was the pioneer wife who moved here with her husband in the 1830s. They were among, if not the first, non-Native Americans to occupy this land. They came via the Oregon Trail. The Scappoose Historical Society is compiling a history of the Lamberson family. They had quite a life. Sarah died at age 48 and is buried on the property alongside two infant sons. Their grave markers are barely visible among the four oak trees in the distant right of my drawing.

Black and white drawing of trees near Scappoose, OR
For Sarah (Michael, Liebhaber, Pastel drawing, 8x10inches, 2018)

The purpose for the painting event was to draw attention to the old trees. The land went through many ownership changes and is now for sale. If and when that happens, the trees could be lost to development. The land is also quite historic as it is the last large tract of land in the area that was used by native peoples as a gathering and trading site. According to records (2nd hand info to me), the Scappoose area, prior to White settlement, had the largest concentration of Native Americans (several tribes) in the entire Americas.