Tag Archives: Colorado

Crested Butte: Wildflower Capital of Colorado…and Other Stuff

Welcome to Crested Butte, Colorado

So, we’ve finally arrived at our westernmost-destination, and it’s been great to stretch our legs and get out of the car for the past few days!

Sarah showed us the town boulder and one of the nearby parks when we arrived. The town boulder is an artificial boulder, created as a way for people to practice bouldering, one of the typical activities in this town. The goal is to make it around the whole thing without falling.

Sarah on the boulder.

The next day we took two walks, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, to check out the wildflowers. Crested Butte is the wildflower capital of Colorado, and it did not disappoint. I won’t bore you with too many flowers, but here are a couple of pictures.

Prairie Smoke

Blue flowers. Don't know what they're called.

Sarah and I on the morning walk. Crested Butte Mountain in the background.

We have been doing a bunch of things. Sarah wanted to take me rock climbing, but that didn’t happen, so instead we went horseback riding! It was an adventure, and made me miss riding very much, even if we were just trail riding western-style on auto-pilot horses.

Sarah and I on our horses, on top of Cougar *something*. I wasn't paying attention so I don't remember the whole name.

Sarah's horse navigating some rocks in the trail.

After riding I went to watch her play softball. They won, 18-9.

Sarah in uniform. Her team name: The Whetstoners.

One delay that I didn’t expect was a little traffic jam. What happened? An accident? nope. Moving the cattle to the high country. We got to drive right next to a whole herd of cattle.

Moooooove over, cows!

For dinner one night we went to the best restaurant in Crested Butte: Soupcon. Some of the best food I’ve ever had. I had filet mignon and pommes frites with a stuffed portabella. Sisterpants had elk, mom had veal, and Joanie (mom’s friend, she’s so popular) had halibut. We shared the crème brule for dessert. Yum yum!

Soupcon, fine dining in Crested Butte.

As for the license plate game, we’re starting from square one on our return trip. We managed to find every state, except for Rhode Island. Those sneaky drivers. Didn’t see Washington, D.C. either, but I’m not as concerned with that one. It’s not an autonomous state, after all. We found Alaska and Hawaii both in Kansas, at rest stops. Those were very exciting times.

Final day of the license plate game! Almost completed the map!

Now I’m sitting in my sister’s workplace (The Sunflower Deli), enjoying an amazing breakfast sandwich and getting ready to hit the road again. I’m excited to hit up some horse country in Kentucky, and am going to try to do some fossil hunting along the way as well (nerd alert). I’m definitely going to miss these views though!

Crested Butte and reflection in Peanut Lake

Can't beat the weather!

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We’re not in Kansas Anymore…We’re in Colorado!

Final destination is getting close!

We left a hot and steamy Kansas and continued our westward journey. We decided to wait for lunch until we got to Colorado, and ended up eating at the first town that looked like it had some restaurant potential (road food let us down, nothing in our vicinity). We pulled off the road in Burlington, Colorado, and it met all our expectations! Driving through town we were a little apprehensive, but I saw like 4 signs for the ‘Kit Carson Carousel‘. Figuring that if there is a sign on every corner, it must be worth a gander, I was determined to find it. No disappointment! It was  a really cool, old Philadelphia made carousel, and rides were only 25 cents! Although we didn’t ride on it…next time, I guess.

Pretty pony.

And they're neck and neck! And terrified!!

After showing Daphne some of the pictures she reminded me of the Improv Everywhere carousel horse race, which you should watch if you haven’t seen it.

There was also some kind of summer festival in Burlington, Colorado, and we saw tons of old-timey cars out and a country western band. We strolled along the street and checked them out, then headed over to the food trucks. Mom got tacos and I had a bierock. I got it because I wasn’t sure what it was. Basically, it’s a pastry with meat inside. I had sausage and onions, based on the opinion of the other guy waiting in line.

Food trucks in Burlington, Colorado.

My bierock. Looks like something you can get on a train or ferry. It was ok.

We continued on to Denver and hung out with Daphne for a little while. She took us to a Vietnamese restaurant (Pho on 6th) for our first taste of Pho, which was amazing. Next morning she took us to Snooze, an awesome breakfast joint. I had homemade corned beef hash (not from the can!) and a red velvet pancake. They were both delicious, and left me nice and overstuffed for our drive to Crested Butte. Mom had some variation on eggs benedict, and so did Daphne.

My red velvet pancake at Snooze in Denver, Colorado.

We hit the road after saying ta-ta to Daphne and Denver, and headed straight for Blackhawk and Central City, because my aunt and uncle used to live there, or near there. These areas have been taken over by casinos, so they are quite bustling. We worked hard to avoid the siren call of the slot machines and proceeded on our way.

Um, all my pictures of the casinos turned out bad. So here's the proof! We were there!

My poor little Yaris was not having fun on the Colorado roads. Lots of mountains and not so much horsepower makes for a sad car. I ended up driving most of this section of highway in 3rd gear, just so I wasn’t decelerating. For all you who don’t drive cars with a stick shift, that is pretty unusual for highway driving.

View from the scenic vista off route 70 a little south of Denver, Colorado.

We got off the highway and took smaller roads, which was really breathtaking. We stopped in Carbondale for lunch because that’s where my mom’s childhood friend went to high school. Amazing views of some of the red rocks, and one of the best diners I’ve ever eaten at too!

View from Carbondale, Colorado.

Townie (they're called that because you ride them around town), complete with wheelbarrow. Outside the diner in Carbondale, Colorado.

After Carbondale we drove for a while, looping around mountains, and headed for the Kebler Pass into Crested Butte. It cut off a hunk of our trip, and we got to test the Yaris on dirt mountain roads! It’s about as close to off-roading that car is going to get. Saw tons of Aspens, 2 deer, 3 sheep, and a bunch of horses and cows. All in all, a nice trip!

Aspens on the Kebler Pass into Crested Butte, Colorado.

Finally arrived to see sissypants in Crested Butte, and have been exercising our road food off for the past 3 days. I’ll write more about that next time. Now it’s time to hide my nose in some school books, before I head out on an afternoon hike.

Colorado Rocks and Snow

The backside of Crested Butte from town.

Right now I’m on SPRRRRRIIIINNNGGG BREAK! It’s really late in the spring semester at CUNY, and it’s a week and a half. I guess they give us the extra days to make up for scheduling it during Easter/Passover. Lucky me, I got to head up to Crested Butte to visit Sister Sarah during the off season!

Welcome to Crested Butte!

In the Spring off season it’s mud season. In Crested Butte that meant it snowed or rained every day, but got melty and muddy after a few hours. The town has two seasons, Winter for skiing, and Summer which is the super-on season, and people come for wildflowers and other activities. The town is pretty awesome, nice and grid-like with some amazing scenery. Everyone rides bikes around, and they call them townies because your ride them around town. Very clever. Sarah’s got taken out by a snowplow, so we just walked everywhere.

Free shuttle bus to the Mountain.

Or we took one of the free shuttles up to the mountain resort. One of my goals was to be physically active as much as possible, considering I’ve been super busy in the NYC and haven’t had much time for anything besides school. We went to the gym up at the mountain a few times, and went hot tubbing and swimming in the heated pool. It’s a pretty sweet set-up, like your own private spa.

Me and Sister snowshoeing

Me and Sarah and her friend Molly went snowshoeing which was pretty cool. The snow was really deep, but it was pretty heavy so we stayed on top most of the time. Despite Sarah’s desire for something physically challenging we went on a pretty flat walk so I could handle the altitude and exercise without dying.

Hartman Rocks Recreation Area

Sarah and Molly had a little spring fever, so we went to Hartman’s to do some bouldering. It’s a huge recreation area where people rock climb, boulder, mountain bike, dirt bike, camp, enjoy the great outdoors, etc. It was my first time bouldering, and it was awesome. Summer time is rock climbing time, so they were getting psyched up and showing me the climbs people go on. We drove around in Molly’s truck which has an altimeter and some dials that show the angle the truck is at, which was pretty cool, especially on the steeper roads. I took a ton of pictures, and did a lot of scrambling too. It’s easy getting up, but kind of intimidating to get back down.

Sarah climbing her way up a crevass

I also got to see where Sarah works, her favorite coffee place, and we went out to an amazing dinner, sponsored by the parentals. It was a great spring break, despite all my procrastinating. I had a big old binder with my schoolwork that only made its way out of my bag once. Good thing I’ve got two extra days to get on top of my work!

Here’s a bunch of other pictures that show all the awesome things we did/saw out in the Crested Butte/Gunnison area too! The only downside was having to check my bag and then having the airline lose it on my return to NYC. I’m hoping it will turn up soon. Despite this inconvenience, it was way nicer to fly into Gunnison than bus it up from Denver…and I got to hang out more with Sissy!

Tiger Rock (or wall?) There are a bunch of ways up, and they're all pretty hard, or so I heard.

Camp 4 Coffee. Good hot chocolate too.

Sunflower Deli, where Sarah works. Great sandwiches!

Twinxxxx! We painted her toenails pink. She is a part-time resident at Sarah's condo.

One of the mountains we saw while snow shoeing. I can't remember it's name, but I think it starts with an 'M'.