Crested Butte, Colorado

“The more tranquil a man becomes, the greater is his success, his influence, his power
for good. Calmness of mind is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom.”

–James Allen
Crested Butte, Colorado has an elevation of 8,885 ft. and it’s just a scenic four-hour drive west from bustling Denver. Humidity hardly ever takes firm grasp on this small hippy town tucked in a cozy nook of the Rocky Mountains. It’s a vacation spot for many, a second home for some, and actual home for few. Known as the wildflower capital of Colorado. I have been visiting this hidden gem of a town since I was six years old; it has become my place of refuge and peace, an escape for the sweltering heat of Dallas, Texas, and the place where my soul rests.

The evening is the best time; the sun pulls up the covers and barely peaks over the mountains. Within minutes alpenglow appears at the top of Mt. Crested Butte. This is my brothers and my cue to grab our bikes and begin heading towards the airplane runway. We would speed up the winding roads so we could make it before sunset. The air is thin and leaves our Texas sea level lungs gasping for air. Making it hard to perform the simple task of a bike ride. After two weeks, we finally become acclimated and this activity becomes a breeze. The land is very dry, yet extremely lush. The valley is vast and seems vacant except for a few scattered houses. The mountains cradle the small town and make us feel contained. On the side of the mountains the Aspen tree’s and Pine trees intertwine sketching designs on the sides of the mountains. Unlike the moldy damp smell of the dirt in Texas, there is a smell of sweet soil and sage that fills our noses as we pedal against the mountain. Reaching the edge of this private runway a few miles away, we come to a huge field with paint drops of red, purple, blue, orange, and yellow flowers.

There is a small gap in the old wooden fence that we squeeze through with our bikes. The spongy turf of the single road extends for miles. The contrast of the onyx road to the bright green grass is shocking to the eyes. All the small aircraft are put away for the night and will zoom off the next day to unknown destinations. The sun barely shines through the peaks and its light sends off purples, blues, and reds. We have a quiet ride towards our favorite spot as tradition dictates. The spokes on our bikes tangle in the wind as we peddle making a soft sound.
As it gets darker we come to a small stream that divides the land. Its sound is a hollow deep rumble that fights over the rocks. We set our bikes down and lay in the sweet grass that is then high above our heads. It’s a deep tranquil silence that automatically brings peace to anyone. There is only an occasional whisper of noise that trails across in the wind. The whispers are bits of laughter or the sounds of dinner carried by the breeze to the edges of the valley. Being perfectly silent invites the foxes to come out. They have burnt orange coats and white faces stamped with menacing smirks that are quite a sight. This environment allows one to just rest and lose your self in the endless sky.


Crested Butte is more than a spot on the map; it’s a place of simple elegance. I treasure every moment spent there. Never getting enough of the cool breezes, and the crisp weather. Every winter and summer my family travels to this remote paradise. It’s the one place in the world where I am calm and at peace.





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politigal said...
Oct. 23, 2008 at 5:43 pm
You have reached my heart even though I'm not an outdoors person I want to go there. Actually I have been in a place like this and it was peaceful.
 
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