Crested Butte 2011
We’ve just returned home from our annual trip to Crested Butte, Colorado. Every year we find our way there – we used to go in the Fall as the leaves changed – now we go in the summer as the last of the wild flowers fade. We are able to head out for a nice long stretch and get back just in time for school to begin.
Crested Butte has come to mean so much to us, and that goes far beyond the beauty of the town and the surrounding terrain. We have come to love quite a few people there just like they are part of our group of friends here at home. It’s amazing how you can meet someone and see them only a few times over the span of two weeks a year and somehow still feel so deeply connected.
The Mr. and I find ourselves looking forward to this trip months in advance with a bit of giddy excitement similar to the kids’ before our other annual trip to visit the cousins and go to Disneyland! While The Mr. spends the weeks before reminding himself of all the trails and planning the routes he wants to cover on his bike, I spend time (honestly!) thinking about wild flowers, coffee and food.
Seriously, the coffee and food in this town are worth the trip alone – people in CB are serious about both, but mostly the coffee. While the main street is lined with some pretty wonderful restaurants and really any kind of food you could possibly want, it’s the two coffee spots in town that truly draw you in. Coffee is a ritual here - I love that! It reminds me of growing up in the City, being in high school and college, getting a latte and sitting down for a real conversation and losing track of time. Something I rarely do these days!
When we are in CB, we find ourselves walking over to the main street in the morning and getting coffee and actually lingering over it, enjoying a little people watching. We get the kids donuts, find them a dog to pet or some raspberries to pick and then we have more than a few precious moments to savor nearly every sip of the brew. The Mr. gets his usual strong latte (extra shots involved!) and I enjoy an Americano with lots of cream (there doesn’t seem to be any drip in this town and that’s OK!). This year I even found myself adding a little raw sugar, making the whole cup pleasantly tangy and the last few sips truly sweet.
And the wild flowers? Well, they are off the hook in CB. Really! It’s the wild flower capital of Colorado, in fact, with a wild flower festival in July. This year in particular I knew we would be in for a treat because of the late winter. It seems no matter where we were – rivers, lakes, trails, dry land, wet land – there were flowers. And not just flowers, but crazy beautiful flowers. Flowers in colors that can only be found in nature. Fields of delicate Sunflowers standing at attention facing the Sun as he moves across the afternoon sky. Sprays of Columbine and Larkspur jutting out between the rocks. Blue Flax and white Flox sprinkled along the edges of a trail. Wispy stalks of Penstemon waving in the mountain breeze and Yarrow growing higher than it will ever get in my own backyard. All of this and more still thriving amongst slightly melancholy bunches of already spent, but still sadly beautiful Black-Eyed Susans. All so truly breathtaking!
Leaving CB is always bittersweet. Losing all of that unscheduled time, time to roam and be both active and a bit lazy. Knowing that we will soon be back in the land of work and school and driving everywhere. And most of all, saying goodbye to friends we won’t see for another year. However, we always leave refreshed by more time in nature, adding to that we get at home. We reach our limit on restaurant dinners and trips to the adventure park on the mountain. The kids want to get back to their toys and friends their own age. I find myself newly inspired to get back to my sewing machine and my own kitchen. The Mr. starts getting nervous about time away from work and antsy being away from his man-cave (a.k.a. our garage). And the dog I’m sure yearns to follow the sun beams around his own familiar backyard.
So much can be said for having a different adventure in a new place every time you leave home. But the same is true of having a place you can go again and again to get a refill on all those things that make life new and fresh once more.