Being so far from a larger body of water, the river that runs through town, the Cache La Poudre, is a main source of recreation for us. There are a number of groups dedicated to maintaining the natural shape of the river, hoping to keep it safe for anglers fishing for wild trout (Forelle), and rafters and tubers, which you can see floating along the river on a drive up the Poudre Canyon into the Rocky Mountains. The conflict is one of water rights, a HUGE theme in the Western United States, as use for irrigation, drinking and industry can create unstable flow environments.
*Click on the photo for more information on the Cache La Poudre River at Wikipedia
The name has a story that goes with it: a party of trappers traveling through the area on to Wyoming, buried a cache of goods in a pit to lighten their load after a heavy snow storm impeded them. The stash was retrieved the later in the season, and because a large percentage of the stash was powder (I am assuming gunpowder), the river was called Cache La Poudre, French for “where the powder was hidden’. Before CLP, it was known as Pateros Creek, and even earlier as Piteux Creek, possibly because of a Frenchman left alone by an earlier party of trappers to guard a trap line. He didn’t fare well on his own, went a bit crazy and was in a ‘pitiful’ state when he later found. It is also said that members of the Ki-Ya-Ksa band of Sioux who lived in the area called it Minni Luzahan, meaning ‘swift current’. Today locals call it the Poudre, and Olivia’s high school was named for it as well. Go Poudre!