Crested Butte

The foothills surrounding Crested Butte are dotted with million dollar homes and multi-million dollar 'ranches'.  Then there is Crested Butte Mountain, an enclave of high rise ski condominiums, a shopping village and the ski area.  In between the two lies the charming town of Crested Butte which has lost none of its historic, hippie charm.

Crested Butte

Just getting to Crested Butte required a number of stops.

 This winding river is so characteristic of many we have seen.  I suspect it has the advantage of slowing the river down, keeping any flooding damage down. 

This winding river is so characteristic of many we have seen.  I suspect it has the advantage of slowing the river down, keeping any flooding damage down. 

This was taken in the little town of Gothic, now used predominantly by Rocky Mountain Biological Research.  Most of the buildings are used for classrooms and dormitories.  Some areas are restricted. 

Gothic

Ah, but they were closed!

I was interested in the microscope shown in the window.  Not sure where I would put in in Mellie.  Maybe a good thing they were closed!

This is the parking lot for the trail to Judd Falls.  At first I thought it was Judd Falls!  Nope.  Our goal was a mile hike away. 

The trail start off rather steep but clear.  We were told by a returning hiker that it 'was dry'!  What?  A waterfall that was dry?  No, the path!  Had never considered that a dry path was important.  Actually, it was not completely dry. 

The path had some 'natural' barriers.  Here, a little creek is actually running right down the path.

No complaints (well, just a few) about the climb when you can look up from the rocky path and see this!

From here the path definitely gets more challenging.  Since I know that falling could mean breaking something more than my camera (which would be bad enough!) I keep my eyes on the ground.  If I want to see the scenery I stop walking.  I stopped a lot!

Not too much further, we hope.

It is more than an altitude factor that is taking my breath away.  I think God lives here.

When we arrived at Judd Falls I had to re-adjust any expectations I had about this waterfall.  First, it is more of a cascade down a steep rocky canyon.  It sort of twists just like the switchbacks we are getting used to.  Second, it is not readily accessible for photography.  If you are feeling foolishly adventurous you can move out over some rocky ledges . . . . Tom said "NO!"

Just as we were leaving another couple told us about a better view just down the path.  It even had a bench!  Yes, a better view.

This may not have been what I expected, it was very powerful and rapid.

On the way back I felt I was at the top of the world!

A much smaller cascading waterfall near the beginning of the hike.  We did not stop on the way up.  I needed to catch my breath on the way down.  Lovely, peaceful sound.

Headed to the parking lot!  Darn, is in really almost over.

Tom chasing shadows and light.

We have gotten into the habit of chacking with the Visitor Center when we arrive in a new location.  Judd Falls was their first recommendation for photographers.  Check, done!  The second recommendation was a road out of town that had a nice 'valley' view and an old barn.

I really worked for this image.  The polarizing filter helped the sky but left the barn very dark.  So, I added a 0.6 graduated ND filter to the polarizing filter.  After numerous attempts I got this one.  Needed no post processing.

Tom gets really excited with views like this.  Taken from the car.

I walked left.  My view.

Tom walked right.  His view.

In just a moment the light can change.

Do you suppose anyone still lives here?

We had lunch in Crested Butte both days we were there.  I would recommend both places.  The first was Pitas in Paradise.  The second was Teocalli Tamale.  Both offered some interesting variations on what you might think of as Greek or Mexican food.  After lunch on the second day I dropped Tom off to cruise down main street while I went to get gas and a coffee percolator at the True Value in town.

A three person three wheeler!  Wild!

School administration and Library.

Crested Butte claims to be the wildflower capital of the world.  They host a huge wildflower festival in July.  We are a bit too early to see all of what is to come.  There was some excitement that the lupine were finally blooming along the lower road to Kebler Summit.

Thriving in a garden next to Teocalli Tamale.

Another garden dweller.

Along the road.

On the way to Kebler Summit.

Tom and I hope you enjoyed our trip to Crested Butte.