“Crossing the Yellowstone” – acrylic on hardboard.
by Gale F. Trapp, 2012
Inspired by the adventures, trials and freedom of the Mountain Men, “Crossing the Yellowstone” represents both the vastness of the Rockies and the companionship that Free Trappers needed. It also symbolizes the trapper’s unfettered freedom to go and do as he pleased.
Being a century out of step is no fun. After reading Crittenden’s “History of the Fur Trade”, also known as the “bible” on the fur trade, I knew I had been born a hundred and fifty years too late. His narrative stirred within me a desire to see the elephant, as the Mountain Men called going out to the “Shining Mountains.” Those Rocky Mountains held a wealth of furs more valuable than precious metals or black gold. They also held one more thing – adventure, the kind of adventure that tests a man’s character, a man’s strength and a man’s courage. Their vastness allowed a man to go in any direction unhampered by the rules of men. A man was truly free. That’s what I wanted and could not have.
Thru my art I try and tell the story of the men and women that were… their lives, their adventures and the beauty of this land.