Mountain Mayhem: Crested Butte or bust (and back)
Last Friday, a flock of friends and I made the trek to Crested Butte, first hiking over West Maroon Pass then returning by trail two days later via East Maroon. From the onset, seeing as it’s peak wildflower season in the high country and the timing is ripe for nearby weekend getaways, it seemed likely we’d cross paths with a few familiar faces from our environs. Little did we know, we’d run into good friends and welcome acquaintances from the start to the end.
As we traipsed past Maroon and Crater lakes, walked alongside the alpine meadows on either side of the pass and even as we awaited the Dolly’s Shuttle at the trailhead on the C.B. side, we bumped into Aspenites at each aforementioned area.
When we checked into the budget-friendly Old Town Inn and newly renovated Crested Butte Hostel, we soon discovered that our neighbors next door and across the hall also hailed from Ute City.
Strolling down Main Street/Elk Avenue, we ran into a pair of former Aspen locals sporting C.B. hats. As we all bonded over our dogs, we heard a horn honk as a Snowmass friend passed by in a pick-up truck.
On the way home Sunday, on the less trodden trail of East Maroon Pass, we saw nary a hiker, so there were no local connections to report from this section. Once we reached the East Maroon Portal, however, a RFTA driver heading up to the lake slowed down, leaned out the window, and let us know he’d alert the next bus on its way back down to ensure it would stop to fetch us. “I know that guy,” said one of the girls in our group, referring to the perceptive and friendly driver. With a collective nod, each one of us acknowledged we did, too, as we all smiled, thinking of the endless Aspen connections all weekend.