Crested Butte, CO {and a few other things}

IMG_5783Before I get to the goods of our time in Crested Butte, here’s a few pictures from Mike, Dan and Sam’s little overnight backpack.  It was awesome!  A little rain on the way out, but otherwise they said it was so fun.  THE best.

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I just LOVE this picture.  I hope he remembers just how awesome Grandpa Mike is.

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A big, huge hot chocolate at Silver Fork to top their little trip off.  He drank pretty much all of it!  Thank you, times a million to Grandpa Mike for coming to stay with and watch Sam.  I hope you know just how much we appreciate you. Sam had THE BEST time ever 😉

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Dan and I just returned from Crested Butte where we celebrated our 10 year anniversary! (a little over a month early)

The view from our awesome little condo was just a little bit pretty… Mt. Crested Butte.

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Got there later Tuesday afternoon and explored the resort a bit.  Lots of hotels, condos and cabins up there.  SO pretty though.

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Did some napping.

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Lucked our on this place.  Under $100 a night, garage for our muddy bikes and close to everything!

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The Secret Stash for dinner.  This is on Elk Avenue, where most all the eating and shopping is.

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Geeking out on the map so we know where our adventures will take us.

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First ride, 401.  A classic for anyone who rides there.  It’s a must.  It’s similar to those coming to UT to bike who just have to experience the Wasatch Crest.  Man, the scenery and mountains there are just big and pedaling at that elevation is no joke!  I was gasping for air the first hour or so on this one.

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It had been raining for many days right before we got there.  Things were damp, wet and muddy.   Pretty much anywhere you go, you’ll climb a service road to get to the single track.

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At least the scenery was amazing inbetween gasping for air that first part 😉  We jumped on the single track, which was some of the steepest I’ve ridden yet and muddy to boot!

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Getting closer to the top to start the descent off Scoffield Pass.

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We were lucky to ride with our long time friend Phil, who we haven’t seen for a long time.

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A little more climbing.

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Time to go down!

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A few little water crossings.

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Gah, SO pretty!

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Looking down towards town.

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Thank you Phil for this most awesome picture.  I was smiling HUGE on the way down!

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We climbed a little more than we thought we’d have to, going through more mud.  Totally worth it though, so satisfied!

13.5 miles, climbed 2387 feet, 2.5 hrs

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We were hungry, hungry afterwards.  Teocalli Tamale for lunch, then Ginger Cafe with good friend Pip for dinner that night.  Dan went for another short ride while Phil and I hung out at the condo and caught up on life.  Tried to get some good sleep since we wanted to do a longer and more adventurous ride the next day.

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And boy did we. We planned to do a shuttle ride, but Phil ended up leaving so we only had one car.  This was the start of Doctors Park, after we had ridden a dirt road for 8 miles to get there.  Little did I know what awaited my legs AND lungs!

Crossed the river in bare feet.  That’s key to keeping your feet in good shape for the massive amounts of hike-a-biking to come.

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We decided to take the long, steep and scenic way to another classic trail, Doctor Park.  And when I say steep, I mean it!

Some old cabins along the way.

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More steep riding on this dirt road led us to an opening.  Checking the map just to make sure we knew where we were.  I had only complained a time or two by this point.  We kept saying, “Embrace the hike a bike, Embrace the hike a bike!”  Just when I thought it couldn’t get any steeper, it did.  After this flat part, it went to an insanely steep hill followed by the same steep up.  More hiking…

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Getting closer.  I was dirty and SO sweaty already, despite how nice and cool it was. We both needed food again.  Onward…more hike a biking…so steep.  Are we there yet? But, it is beautiful and I’m so glad we’re out here 😉

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And then it kept getting steeper and higher and steeper.  I haven’t  really hiked in my (newish) bike shoes so by this time, I could feel the blisters starting on my heels.  NO!!  Oh, and about 30 mins before this I was starting to hit a wall, a big wall.  We’d been pedaling and hiking our bikes uphill for almost three hours at this point.  I doubted myself a few times and complained some more, but Dan make sure to keep his cool with me, slow down and just cheer me on.  I mean, it’s not like I was going to stop and turn around but this was really out of my comfort zone physically AND mentally at this point.  I just wanted this part to be over.  AndI know I’ve said this before, but I just love this man SO much.  He makes a good sufferfest bearable and doable with how encouraging and calm he is.

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Almost there.  The flowers…oh man they were awesome!

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After a little more up  and we finally topped out!  HOLY COW people, it was so awesome up there.  The views for miles and miles!  Oh, and did I mention we didn’t see a single person for four hours?  Yeah, we were off the beaten path for sure.

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Perfect temps, perfect weather, perfect riding partner.

I was feeling better by this time.  Tired, but better.

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Happy 10 years!

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Started to go down for a while.  He shredded it!

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Climbed some more then finally got to the main descent!

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Some people say it’s one of the best downhills out there.  I think I was too tired by this time to agree.  I just wanted to make sure I got down unscathed.

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Down and down!  I didn’t have the energy to take any pictures of the entire way down, but it was much more technical and  than we both thought it would be.  Fun, but you really had to pay attention and be on top of your game, as to not crash hard.  I was beyond tired at the end, but oh so happy I did it!

Spring Creek-550-Doctors Park Spur-Doctors bonus-Doctors Park

23.9 miles, climbed 4,408 feet, 5.5 hours.  Whew!

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Funky little place to eat on the way back to the condo.  This was in the little town of Almont.  I earned that burger, fries and root beer.  Dan had ribs and sides to boot!

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Yep, that was steep.

We cooked in the condo and just rested.  My legs and knee were SO worked.  Thank goodness I can pedal and hike uphill without big pain.

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Next morning we decided to ride another classic, Teocalli.  We woke to pretty cloudy skies, but wanted to get this ride in before the rain, which was supposed to move in after 2pm.

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IMG_5929Another dirt road climb, creek crossing then onto some really steep but crazy scenic single track.  It was SO pretty up there. This was about it for pictures.  As soon as we got almost to the top, the rain caught us.  We knew the downhill was going to be awesome, but we just couldn’t go as fast as we wanted.  Rain jackets went on and we just made it down.  It was pretty slippery and wet.  We’ll have to go back another time and ride that again when it’s dry.  It would be an epic descent in the sun off that ridge!

Teocalli

11 miles, climbed 2,347 feet, 2 hrs 22 mins

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We quickly got into the car in the pouring rain and headed to the condo for warm showers then off to eat and drink warm tea.

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Paradise Cafe.  It was delish.  Ate there twice.  At this point, the valley was socked in and we were pretty sure it would stay that way til night.

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And then at sunset, this happened right outside our window.  I mean, really!

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Saturday morning came and the sun was shining.  After those three rides, my knee was toast and my blisters couldn’t handle wearing shoes.  Also, my body was just tired.  Dan met up with a friend and went out for another awesome adventure while I stayed and rested, walked around town and just enjoyed being there.  Hung out at the resort for a bit, too.

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Dan’s ride that day…

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18.8 miles, climbed 4,072 feet, 3.3 hrs

renodanrenodan2It was pretty muddy and wet after 8 hours of rain.  Still way fun though.

IMG_5966Another warm shower, nap and a drive out a dirt road.  Cool little spot along the Slate River.  Of course he had to go in.

IMG_5973More totally awesome views.

IMG_5975Pretty much everyone told us to go to the Sunflower at some point.  Reservation 8pm on Saturday night.  That’s late for us 😉

IMG_5976Roasted beets, corn and pine nuts for me…

IMG_5977Octopus for Dan.

IMG_5988Main dish for me was this amazingly tender and delicious pork chop with farro and kale.  I ate the entire thing like it was no big deal.

IMG_5990Sirloin, new potatoes, carrots and arugula for Dan.  All of this is right from the farmers that morning, the meat was still alive two days ago 🙂

IMG_5979This place is a pretty small house with a few tables inside in the front and some tables on the back patio.  Perfect night and atmosphere to splurge on really good food.

IMG_5992Dessert was amazing.  I had a mini warm lemon meringue pie.  Dan had the flourless Chocolate Torte.  Oh man, seriously good!

IMG_5986He’s the love of my life.  We had THE best time away, being alone together and doing the things we love most.  Time flies when you’re having fun…and parenting a 5.5 year old!

IMG_5998We both agreed on Friday night that we were starting to really miss him.  Always good to be back into our routine and we couldn’t wait to hug and kiss him!

And of course I have to mention, since we’re and he is so proud of himself…

We’ve been talking a lot about going off of the diving board at the pool all by himself.  The main challenge here is that they don’t allow goggles on the board and he’s so used to wearing them all.the.time  But, he was so brave one day with Ali and girls.  Thanks sister for getting this moment on video for us!

IMG_5957IMG_5948IMG_5974Yep, he had a great time while we were away.  Thanks again Ali and Grandpa Mike!

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One thought on “Crested Butte, CO {and a few other things}

  1. Liz and Dan,

    What an amazing trip and a very fun blog post. Can’t wait to hear more about it!

    Mom

    Sent from my iPad

    >

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