My dad’s family is from Crested Butte. Yes, I said FROM Crested Butte. I know it is always a bit of a novelty when I tell people that I’m a 5th Generation Colorado native. But then I throw in something like my dad grew up in the iconic little town in the middle of the state. We (my parents, kids, sister and her family) go every year in the summer. I am always a bit amazed at the fact that even though there are some things that we seem to do EVERY summer – that somehow there is always a new story from my dad about growing up there, some new trail to explore or some other thing to see.
We stay at a family friend’s house just across from the golf course. It is a beautiful house – like one of those you see in a magazine and think that maybe they really only set it up to look like that in a photo. The house is just down the street from a small lake that is stocked with fish and has a great trail around it (it is a fairly short walk that my almost 70 year old dad can do with me).
It was a short but fun weekend! Friday, upon arrival, we headed downtown to shop. Also, we made a bet on the Grammy Awards in February – my dad lost so his payment was to buy everyone ice cream. We went to the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory right in the center of town. My kids were really excited because they could order whatever they wanted (double scoop and all) and I couldn’t say no. Then we shopped at my favorite boutique, Milky Way. We go there every year. Almost every year my dad ends up buying my sister a pair of jeans there. Since Heidi was not in town this year, I decided that maybe my dad should buy me the jeans. The first pair I tried on were a great fit. And I talked him into buying me them! Then we went down the street a bit to Pooh’s Corner (toy store) and Pfisters. We shopped but didn’t buy anything else. We did go down to the gallery at the end of the street – across from Kochevar’s (my Aunt’s family owns Kochevar’s). We talked to the lady there (they are always the artists – they take turns “manning the store”) about what we would have to do to get my mom’s photography in the store. It is apparently just a simple form. I think my mom should do it.
The next day was hiking/four-wheel day. We decided to go up toward Lost Lake. My mom loves to do what she calls trail breakfasts. This means she gets to feel like she’s camping a bit (cook on the camp stove) but then go home to the nice house/condo to sleep. Best of both worlds really. So she cooked us a hearty breakfast of Eggs Benedict (yes, she really had the holandaise sauce too). Then my daughter and I set off to hike to the Lake while my mom, dad and son decided to hang out at the picnic/camp site. The lake was beautiful and easy hike to get to. I am certain that if my dad had wanted to go he could easily get there. We saw people of all ages there – kids and elderly alike.
There are a few places we frequent each year, one of which is Slogar’s – which is a restaurant in town. They have the most amazing fried chicken with a bunch of starters/sides. Each year we usually go to the restaurant and eat there. This year however, we decided to order take-out. This was the best. The portions were so big! We only ordered three full meals and there was even left overs (from the five of us eating). They have the best cole-slaw, creamed corn, pickled pears, and pickles that come with the meal. I would assume that you could probably have fed 2 more people with these meals!
Sunday, we were going to leave after dinner. We decided to do a drive up toward Spring Creek. Once again we found a great campground to have a breakfast. My mom packed everything but the eggs – so my dad and I had to to to Harmel’s shop to get some. There isn’t much at Harmel’s but the basics and a six-pack of eggs was $2). Then we went fishing (we didn’t catch anything) and played target practice with my dad’s gun (fun to shoot holes in a soda can).
The awe and beauty of all that is around Crested Butte keeps us coming back year after year. My mom always has to stop to take photos of our state flower, the columbine, among other wild flowers. In fact, Crested Butte is well knows for the wildflowers in the area and has a wildflower festival. While Crested Butte is well known as a ski destination, I believe I like it better in the summer!