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Rugged Paradise

Rugged Paradise
Oil on linen
30” x 24”

Cresting a ridge in the Rocky Mountains, three Mountain Men of the fur trade era survey the landscape to ascertain what lies beyond.  They are part of a larger fur-trapping expedition that is camped in the valley below.  They travel light, without pack animals, but never without their rifles.  Large expeditions would send out men in parties of a least two, and usually more, to work the streams in pursuit of beaver.  Their efficiency in trapping almost made the beaver extinct in North America. Fortunately for the beaver, the silk hat became the fashion rage, and consequently, by 1840 the U. S. and Canadian fur trade collapsed.