Have you ever wanted to sell everything you own and just "take off?" Travel the country's back roads, paddle down a meandering stream, experience breath-taking mountain views, walk among 100-year old trees, and just marvel at America's beauty? That is the dream that my partner, Betsy, and I decided to make a reality. This blog describes our adventure. The food we eat, people we meet, sights we see, and the enjoyment we find in traveling.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Crested Beautiful

We parked the motorhome along the Gunnison River in Gunnison, Colorado for a few days so I could continue wading in the trout-laden river with my fly rod, we could marvel at the golden aspens and make a sojourn to the much-hyped-about town of Crested Butte.

Crested Butte came highly recommended by friends and strangers and the consensus was that we must visit this mountain town.  We followed their advice, and undeniably, we were not disappointed.  On our way up, we decided to take the long way by traversing Ohio Creek Road (since we are not ones pressed for time).  The seasonal, unpaved road took us past sprawling ranches peppered with cattle and through stands of golden aspen that framed a memorable Fall picture.  But it wasn’t enough to just enjoy the views from the car, we had to get out and hike with Spirit to truly enjoy the grandeur of the mountain Fall.  The millions of acres of National Forest and Wilderness provided ample opportunity for outdoor enjoyment.  I heard so many "oohs" and "wows" from Betsy and I don't think we have ever hiked anywhere that had more color.  The aspens were neon gold in the sun.  We even went back the next day!  

Perfect weather on a Fall Sunday in Crested Butte brings everybody out.  The farmer’s market was abuzz with people looking for fresh produce and locals just out to enjoy chatting with friends in the cleansing fresh air.  Not ones to miss a unique museum, we hit the Crested Butte Mountain Heritage Museum and the Mountain Biking Museum to learn more about this little towns history.  They claim they were the first to start the mountain biking craze - although California disputes this.

 Crested Butte was once the summer home to the nomadic Ute Indians.  But it was the discovery of silver in the late 1860’s that brought permanent residents and economic boom.  As the silver and coal dried up, so did the town and in the 1950’s the railroad stopped coming and mining was over.  Ranching remained the common denominator that held people in the area.  The town became popular with skiers in the 1970’s and the people flocked to the area but Crested Butte maintained its Victorian charm and uniqueness.  People here love the outdoors but are diversified with an appreciation for creative arts and free thinking.

After a leisurely lunch under the warm sun we headed for home along the West Elk Loop Scenic Byway.  The road provides stunning scenery as you transition from the high elevation back down to the desert and sagebrush plains.  Too bad we didn’t have time to drop my fishing line in the gold medal trout streams that line the road and attract eager anglers.  A trip to Crested Butte is well worth the drive especially in the Spring or Fall when the wildflowers and Fall colors are in their glory. 

1 comment:

  1. Those are some beautiful pictures. Looking at those makes me crave some Colorado time.


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