A Drive Through the Rocky Mountains: Kebler Pass & Crested Butte

07 October 2013

For day two of the trip we set out from Aspen. The tricky thing about mountain driving is that nothing is ever a straight line. To get to Crested Butte we had to drive north for a while so that we could loop around a mountain and then continue south. However, I didn't really mind the drive so much. The views were beautiful so why would I want to rush? I turned on the radio so we could listen to some relaxing classical music as we drove.

On our way into Crested Butte we went over Kebler Pass which was absolutely stunning. Like I mentioned before, we had timed it just right to see the amazing autumn colors. Something I didn't know before, though, was the fact that these aspen trees make up the largest biomass in the world. That is to say, almost all of these trees are in fact one organism!

After a long drive (mostly due to the fact that we were constantly stopping to take pictures) we finally arrived in Crested Butte. This town is known for it's choice skiing in the winter and amazing wild flowers in the summer. It's pretty small but it's got a great mountain town vibe. Over the years, however, more and more tourists have been coming here to take in the beauty and enjoy winter sports. Luckily, we arrived during off season so there were practically no tourists.

I was fortunate to have a family friend, Trish, who lives in Crested Butte so we met up with her for lunch. She showed us around the main street (which has no stop lights- in fact, there are none in the whole town!) for a bit before we ran into her friend Alfredo. What a characters! He originally moved to Crested Butte in the 60's when the town was nothing but a few houses among the mountains. He's now retired so his favorite pass time is bench hopping (instead of bar hopping). We grabbed some mini bottles of tequila and relaxed on one of his favorite benches which looks up at the Mt. Crested Butte.

After our drinks he lent us some bikes and gave us a personal tour of the city. Alfredo's tour was full of lots of adorable tidbits like his favorite spot to watch for elk or his favorite spot in the river to soak his feet. We toured around the town a bit before catching the free bus up the mountain to check out the ski resorts. From there we biked back down hill into the city for dinner.

The rest of our evening was spent chatting, relaxing, and just enjoying the company of friends. I had always loved the vibe of this town since I first visited when I was 11 years old and I was happy to see that, a decade later, things had not changed. I think I may have found my retirement town!

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