Tuesday, June 8, 2021
What a view to wake up to in the morning!
Today our nephew, Chris, is able to take the day off of work and spend it showing us around Gunnison and Crested Butte! We started the day with breakfast at the Back Country Cafe in Gunnison and it was nice enough to sit outside. We all enjoyed our food and we were ready to explore the area.
Chris was our “tour director” for the day. He drove toward Crested Butte to show us where he used to live and the mountain and surrounding area.
The picture below was taken from the car as we drove on State Highway 135 on our way to Crested Butte. I know we’ll be saying this a lot but the views were incredible.
Gunnison National Forest is in Gunnison and other counties in Colorado. It is beautiful as we drove into Crested Butte. Chris drove us up the back side of the Mount Crested Butte as far as we could go. The top area is closed off because it isn’t the start of the high summer season. We noticed not all of the places were open.
Mount Crested Butte
Chris took us to a trail where we walked for awhile to look at the wildflowers along the mountainside. Some of the flowers still haven’t bloomed yet but it was still a lovely walk.
We drove from a paved road to a dirt road where the RMBL (Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory) Research station is located in the town of Gothic. The town is surrounded by the West Elk Mountains. Gothic was a silver boomtown in 1880 and by 1890 the prospectors moved on. In the early 1900s a biology professor at Western Colorado College, Dr. John Johnson, took his students on a field trip to Gothic. In 1928 he set up a field station in the ruins of the old mining town. Today, the RMBL has become internationally renowned for its scientific research on high-altitude ecosystems. We could see the old Town Hall built in 1880 and walk in a little museum that was also the General Store and Visitor Center. In the Visitor Center we met a girl who is spending the summer with her father at the research center. The rest of the year she lives in Washington. She told us she loves coming here every summer.
The temperature was in the 70s and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky! It was a perfect day for Chris to spend with us.
The Aspen trees were standing tall and swaying majestically in the wind as we drove through a grove of them.
We were surrounded by mountains and the views were breathtaking. Chris told us the name of all the ranges we were looking at. Don’t ask us now the names of all of them!
For lunch we drove into Crested Butte. First we walked around the town which didn’t take long. Again some of the shops and restaurants were closed. Chris recommended pizza at The Secret Stash. It was busy but our service was great and so was the pizza, including a gluten free pizza! We took leftovers with us, enough for another meal!
After lunch Chris headed back toward Gunnison on a different road and we went through the town of Almont surrounded by Gunnison National Forest.
We visited for a while when we got back to his home and played with his puppy and his roommate gave us a tour of her art studio. The owners before my nephew were collectors of art and did some sort of art themselves. The natural light coming in is perfect for her paintings. You should follow her on Instagram, heidi.annalise.art! After dinner, we watched a movie together and then headed to the RV next door! The sky is amazing and you can see the Milky Way over his home because he is out of town and up a hill. If you look closely at the picture below you can see the mountain in front of his home and many stars!
Tomorrow we say goodbye to Chris and head to Utah!