Washington Gulch Road

After a much-needed break near Mt. Baldy, we start the second half of our scenic loop drive.  We return to Crested Butte via Washington Gulch Road.  This part of our loop offers its own challenges.  The road is equally as narrow as Slate River Road but drop offs are fortunately not as severe.  However….

Washington Gulch Road

we did need to cross two small streams.  With the aid of 4 wheel drive, we cross with ease, although my knockles turned white from gripping the steering wheel so tightly.  Really, like that somehow would help!  We also encounter more wildflowers along this stretch.  The waitress this morning, at McGills, said this isn’t a very good wildflower season.  It’s been way too hot and dry.  She was practically apologetic and encouraged us to return another year.

Al and I don’t feel badly about the “poor” display of wildflowers.  The gorgeous scenery, perfect weather, and great coffee have put Al and me in a wonderful mood.  How could it not?  Yes, life is good!

We return to the town of Crested Butte at about  1:30 in the afternoon.  We check the gas gauge on the truck…nearly full.  Hmmm, we just drove about three hours and barely burned any fuel?  Ahhhh, 10-20 miles per hour with more stops than one can count sums it up pretty well.  Mileage wise, we figure we traveled less than 50 miles.

We have a cooler with food but decide to try out another restaurant.  We so enjoyed breakfast this morning that we’re eager to try out a new place for a late lunch.

Wildflower Festival

Ah, that infamous itch has once again returned.  That itch that can’t be relieved by Calamine lotion.  That itch produced by the Travel Bug.  We’ve been home a little over a month and Al and I are ready to pack up and head out on another trip.  Another trip?  Oh, where shall we go?

Al and I pull out the Colorado map.  Colorado has been on fire….figuratively and literally.  We note the locations of wildfires.  Nope, don’t want to head in those directions.  We note the unusual high temperatures Colorado has been experiencing.  Therefore, up in elevation we must go to find relief from the heat.

Crested Butte, Colorado, is a scenic three-hour drive for us and sits at about 8,885 feet in elevation.  Crested Butte is a former coal mining town turned outdoor recreation destination, most notably for skiing.  The large amount of extreme skiing terrain has attracted the U.S. Extreme Skiing Championship, as well as the X Games.

This historic town is also a great summer destination.  Crested Butte is well known as one of the locations where mountain biking is claimed to have originated.  Other popular activities include; hiking, backpacking, rock climbing, rafting, four-wheeling, fishing, and camping.

Some lavender colored wildflowers growing near...
Some lavender colored wildflowers growing near the trail. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Crested Butte is designated as the wildflower capital of Colorado by the Colorado General Assembly and hosts a number of unique festivals and parades throughout the year.

July 9th – 15th is this years Wildflower Festival.  I think this just might be what we need to scratch that itch.  Crested Butte here we come 🙂