Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Crested Butte

The first time Bad Dad and I visited Crested Butte, we approached it from Marble via Schofield Park on our loaded mountain bikes in early August. The glacier-carved alpine meadow was carpeted with wildflowers--like the sleepy scene in The Wizard of Oz. We didn't think anything could be prettier than that.

When we carried our bicycles over the avalanche chute at Schofield pass, we saw the most jaw-droppingly beautiful scene. This doesn't even begin to describe the beauty. It's still early in the wildflower season.We introduced our daughter to mountain biking by riding up to Peanut Lake.
She was a real trooper. Not only did she ride off pavement for the first time, but she even rode the lower loop trail, which was still wet and muddy in sections. I worried about how she would handle the mud*. She plowed right through it, filling her mama's heart to bursting.
We turned around where the trail hit the water in the Slate River. Notice the mud on our backsides. That's why Crested Butte is nicknamed "Crusty Butt".

* The wagon trail between Marble and Crested Butte crosses the Crystal River in several places. It can be quite deep, even in August. I found out just how deep when I fell over during one crossing. I kept my panniers dry, but I was soaked. Amazingly, I didn't mind because it brought me eye level to the meadow and I noticed more flowers. But my butt was quite crusty when we made our way to the inn that evening.

We were so tired, we were passed by an old lady on a five-speed climbing out of the old mining town of Gothic, the last climb to Crested Butte. When I grow up, I want to be like her.

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3 comments:

  1. Beautiful. I used to love mountain biking. Someday.

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  2. This sounds wonderful!

    I think your daughter is a better mountain biker than I am. Hiking is more my speed....

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