There’s a long tradition of what’s called plein aire art in the West. That’s when an artist paints right there in the great outdoors. But for 40 years, one Laramie artist has taken this technique to new heights…literally. You could almost call his work thin air painting. Joe Arnold has painted from the tops of some of the world’s most majestic mountains. Wyoming Public Radio’s Melodie Edwards decided to scale a Wyoming mountain with Arnold to see it through his eyes.
Former Wyoming Public Radio reporter and host Willow Belden left her job this spring to hike the Colorado Trail. That’s a 500-mile path through the Rockies, from Denver to Durango. She did the journey alone.
The Colorado Trail crosses eight mountain ranges, and climbs nearly three times the height of Mount Everest. It’s mostly above 10,000 feet, so the air is thin, there’s significant danger of lightning strikes, and it often freezes at night. About 400 people attempt the trail each year, but only 150 make it to Durango.