3. My perfect place…Crested Butte 7.2011

I set up camp along Gothic Road...where the views are mind-blowing.  I built a fire, ate my leftovers & just enjoyed being in this spot

it rained overnight, but the next morning on my way into town, I was greeted by this beautiful mountain rainbow

I had a low elevation hike in mind, but before I hit the trail, I contacted Laura...one of the sisters that picked me while I was hitch hiking to a sweet trail a couple of years ago. We’ve been in contact ever since, & this summer, we both ended up here at the same time...lucky for me.  She joined me on my short hike & we enjoyed a good workout, some really nice views, pretty wildflowers, a good lunch & great conversation after the skies went from blue to gray & then to lighter gray, Laura showed me a really cool waterfall  along Cement Creek Road...the water along the road was amazing

It had been a super nice day...fun to hike with someone else & Laura knows so much about the hiking here (she lives here parts of the year).  I dropped her off at her fantastic cabin (with mind-blowing views...what a lucky girl) & headed out towards my campsite.  I was on my way to check out a river crossing for tomorrow’s hike....it was raging.  The road I’ve been driving up & down to get to camp, gets worse with every rain...& it’s taking forever to go back & forth.  I decided since I wasn’t going to do any hikes off this road tomorrow & probably the next day, I should move my tent.  So, while waiting for the next storm to blow in, & while my tent was currently dry, I broke camp as quickly as possible, shoved it all in the car & just made it down the road before the storm hit

so...where to sleep tonight?  I drove down Slate River road, another place with amazing views & found a great parking spot to car-camp.  Here’s what I know about solo-camping...I like sleeping in my car better than my tent....because of the windows....I can lay fully in my car (one good thing about being short), but still see out the windows....& I like waking up in the morning, sitting up & having an instant wonderful view...so that’s what I did

went to sleep with a nearly full moon...lovely

Tuesday...6.12  Slept good last night...loved waking up this morning to the views.  Skies were really overcast; hard to tell what the morning would bring.  I drove into town, “cleaned up” in the visitors center bathroom & had breakfast at McGills.  Then I went to the local gear store, the Alpineer, to check out all the latest & coolest outdoor gear.  I bought a new guide book...this one particularly interesting...because I’m in it.  Two years ago, the Rose women were here visiting me during my summer stay & we were hiking Rustlers Gulch.  We ran into some other hikers..that were writing a guide book.  They asked if they could take our photo...& so we’ve been published! (I’m in front, then the Roses...Sherri, Kindle & Caitlin.) The best part is, that it’s a really good guide book for this area...it’s given me some new trails to explore

after breakfast, I took some photos of this wonderful little Colorado town

Momo’s is a small outdoor Nepalese cafe...super yummy food.  Since last summer, they’ve opened a little cafe...Laura told me about it & we had a super-fine lunch there

the Last Steep...truthfully, where I eat MOST of my meals (sooo much better than camp food).  The guys that own it are from KC & the food is so wonderful, delicious, & unique....Sean & Sarah are so friendly...it’s just Crested Butte perfect.  I brought them a six pack of FreeState Beer...the best thing Kansas makes!  (my opinion only)

Camp 4--the go-to place for coffee & hot chocolate

& dogs everywhere...this is a dog-loving town

So, with overcast-who-know-what-the-weather-will-do, I took off to an easy out & back hike...thinking the wildflowers would be good...& they were great

the trail...partially washed away by the huge amounts of snowmelt & rain

one little cloud tucked in between the mountains

after my hike, I drove back to town & unloaded my bike.  Not to far into my “town-ride” I heard thunder...no going out to the mountain bike trails now...I headed back to the car as the next storm approached

I stayed in my car, working on my website & replenishing the battery power to a bunch of stuff while the storm worked its way through CB....about an hour later, the sun popped out.  I headed for Washington Gulch road...a 4WD road that sits between Slate River road & Gothic Road.  I knew one end was still closed, but anxious to see what was open & drivable.  I made it to the top....to spectacular views!

I stood in one spot & took all three photos (above)...so incredible!

The drive takes you to 11,000’....normally I would have hiked this high by now, but this seems to be one of the few ways to high elevation

it was getting too late in the afternoon to hike this high, but doesn’t this trail look inviting?...I think you could skirt around the snow...it looked like it was about 8’ high

I hiked up the trail for just a short time...skies were once again turning dark, but oh.... what views

a timer-shot...looks like I guessed right

there was an old mine shaft at the top

you can see down to Meridan or Long lake from here.  On my way back to town I scoped out my camp site for the night, ate my 1st dinner at the Last Steep (Crab Cake wrap & the potent Crested Butte Crush), delivered the beer & am sitting at Rumor’s coffee house drinking tea, while plugged in both to power & the internet

sweet dreams....I know mine will be

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