Saturday, August 6, 2011

Crested Butte

Crested Butte is one of those places you can't see just once. In the last three weeks we made two road trips to this gorgeous area about 30 miles north of Gunnison. Our first trek was a two Jeep tour with (from left) locals Nic and Nicki, and friends Joyce and Darren.

Today we enjoyed a return trip with Paul's sister Susan and her husband Doug who are came to Colorado to cool off a bit. (It's been scorching hot at their house.)

Our route took us north through the town of Crested Butte and its picturesque neighbor to the north, Mt. Crested Butte.

Just beyond Mt. Crested Butte, Gothic Road turned to dirt, which made the Jeeps very happy.

The mission for both journeys was the same: to capture the beauty of Colorado wildflowers in the Rockies. I was in search of the "perfect wildflower shot". This one was close, but there was simply no convincing these yellow beauties to face the camera.

With backdrops like this, we just had to pose for a picture or two.

With some of my attempts at the perfect wildflower shot, it was tough to find the wildflowers!

Rocky and Rubi (Joyce and Darren's Jeep) enjoyed the ride as much as we did.

Here's another wildflower shot without flowers. But, in a couple of weeks, these late bloomers should be stunning. (Timing is everything!)

Nic and Nicki posed in a spot that was so picturesque I had to move in for a closer look...

...and this was the result. No wildflowers here, but I love the shot.

And, somehow I knew Paul would capture me in the act. That water was cold!

Gothic Road leads to the town of Gothic. (Where else?) This former mining town has found new life as the home of the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory, one of the world's largest and oldest independent field stations. Every summer, approximately 150 students and scientists come to this remote spot to conduct high-altitude ecosystem research.

These well-researched wildflowers made a nice photo, though still not the shot I had in mind.

About 12 miles out of Mt. Crested Butte, Gothic Road was closed by snow and slides. We parked the Jeeps and hiked a bit up the road to see what there was to see. Joyce and Darren paused to enjoy the sight of snow in summer!

Nicki and the boys trekked across the snow to see what was on the other side.

The road continues on to Emerald Lake. But, there was no way we were going to get the Jeeps over that snow field.

While the snow hikers were busy, Joyce and I enjoyed the views. Three weeks ago there was plenty of snow on the slopes.

Here's how the same spot looked today. The snow melt has really greened things up!

Less snow means more wildflowers. But, this shot turned out to be mostly dandelions!

My quest for the perfect shot continued. Mountains, fields, cabins and a winding stream make a lovely photo, but it's not really about wildflowers. I kept looking...

Adding a few horses makes for another nice photo. That "perfect" wildflower shot remained elusive.

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em! It was definitely time to stop and enjoy the flowers.

Those Jeepers sure look like they enjoyed the trek up Gothic Road. So did we. Thanks, guys!

Today's trip with Susan and Doug included a stop in "town" for the Crested Butte Art Fair. It was a perfect day to take in art from all over the region. We can't imagine a more picturesque setting!

Living in 400 square feet, we don't have the space for wonderful works of art. These days, we snap a few photographs to appreciate the pieces we really enjoy.

Crested Butte is a former coal mining town that is now called "the last great Colorado ski town." Several quaint old homes around town are now historic landmarks and serve as summer homes and bed and breakfasts.

Crested Butte is a year-round haven for outdoor enthusiasts. One of its claims to fame is that mountain biking got its start here. Today, Crested Butte is home to the Mountain Biking Hall of Fame.

Skiers, hikers and bikers need refreshment, and Crested Butte offers several spots for a tasty meal or a cool drink. Eldo's seemed like our kind of place.

After perusing what seems like a billion of my Crested Butte wildflower shots, I landed on my favorite. What do you think?


Sue and Doug said...

what a great visit to Crested Butte..if only 'freeway' was along for the jeep day!!!

E Squared and Mui said...

What a wonderful place ... and you had such a gorgeous day, too ... I agree ... that last photo is it.

Chuck and Anneke's RV travels said...

We loved that place, still have the t shirt

meowmomma said...

I think you chose wisely!

I only just tonight realized you had this other blog...

YES, I am blonde...