End of the road?

Trip Start Jun 01, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , Colorado
Wednesday, June 8, 2011

I've had a few friends tell me in the past that if I ever went to Crested Butte I might never leave.

Well, I got into town about 20 minutes ago....

...and I might not leave.  :)

After some finnicky wireless in Hotchkiss and a pleasant cruise along the rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, I found myself having some tasty beers and honey-chili sweet potato fries at the Gunnison Brewery.  Gunnison, the ice box of Colorado.  Perhaps of the nation!  Any time in the winter while watching the weather channel (how was that for some alliteration?), I always shudder and offer up a prayer and solace for the people of Gunnison.  However, lovely summers close to abundant hiking, fishing, boating, and camping.  As long as your skin is made of down-filled Goretex.

Driving north from Gunni leads you to Crested Butte.  The Elk Mountain Range taunts you on the drive up, gradually getting closer and growing taller, peaking from behind smaller foothills.  A massive island of rock and stone capped with a touch of snow backdropped with the Elks, still fully blanketed in winter, let you know that you are there.

Walking up main street, I was greeted by almost every person with a "hey", "howdy", "how are ya?", or at the very minimal, the nod.  Bikes, bikes, bikes everywhere!  And not one of them locked up.  After talking to a local, he confirmed that that's just the way it is here.  "Kind of how it was a couple generations ago while people were still decent?"

The end of main street led me to Secret Stash - a wonderful pizza/espresso/hippie bar with rooms and walls and staircases that rival some of the trickiest locales I have ever seen.  Free internet, great staff, conversation that flows like honey in a microwave, and the 'po boy special' - a ginormous slice of gourmet pizza, bottle of PBR, and a shot of Hornitos.  For seven bucks.  HA!!!

When I first arrived at the bar, I ordered an iced latte and began a game of Clacker (clacker??).  Winner!  Got down to the 2 and one, reduced to one die, and rolled the perfect 3.  I'll take that as a sign that this place is amazing (as if I needed any more coercing...)

For now, time to eat some pizza, chat up some locals, maybe find an open mic, and fall a little more in love with this place.

P.S.  Did I mention that the actual bar here is made from stones and sequins and there are pirates, skeletons, and Buddhas scattered around?  And a great quote in the bathroom: "Success is not the key to happiness.  Happiness is the key to success.  If you love what you are doing, you will be successful."

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