Being in the nation’s capital for a wedding, I missed the 40-Year Crested Butte Reunion that took place last weekend. I was on the edge of that group of early Crested Butte residents who came to the end of the road, found dirt streets, old miners and not a whole lot else. It was cheap, easy, good living by all accounts. A friend described the Saturday event as speed dating on speed with a bunch of old friends. Catching up, trying to remember how deep your relationship went with a particular person, and trying to hear conversations over the band in 10-minute snippets. These were not 20-year-olds on Tinder. These were old friends. No offense.
It sounds like more than a thousand people converged to reminisce with like-minded souls. And from what I have been told, the weekend was full of love: love of the place; love of the people; love of what they experienced and what Crested Butte left in their soul.
There is nothing wrong with love. (How is that for a bold editorial statement?)
There is a lot to love here at the end of the road and it seems more than a few people are forgetting that as they focus on bad drivers, worse parkers and the difficult ability to buy a place and actually live here. Those are not inconsequential things but there are things to love here…
Here’s a small sample…
I love the sweet spot that starts to re-emerge now that July is behind us. July has gotten over-the-top the last several years and after this busy arts-filled weekend, the tide really begins to go out and the valley dries out to the buzz most of us enjoy. It is busy enough to have a buzz but not so busy that the beauty is buried beneath sheer numbers. That sweet spot lasts longer here than in most other mountain resorts.
I love that last Monday’s Alpenglow didn’t get rained on and as a result it drew probably 1,200 people to listen to a good band beneath some wild clouds.
I love that the guy who left some cookies in his car and ended up with a bear inside absolutely destroying the vehicle is smiling with a thumbs-up on the front of last week’s paper.
I love the cooling mornings and evenings. The creeping darkness is not necessarily welcome but the first few chilly snaps are always good for the heart.
I love that Bill Murray likes it here (and is here this week) and keeps coming back to Crested Butte to hang and drink and enjoy. But he doesn’t exploit the place. He just enjoys it. Love that. Meanwhile, I’ll exploit that he’s here because I don’t have a lot else to write about.
I love that some guy is conducting a texting poll on the Brush Creek and other potential sites for affordable housing in the valley even though his CB sites are in an avalanche zone, high quality wetlands and the primary snow storage spot. At least he’s out there.
I love that members of the Mt. CB town council didn’t just blindly support a proposed comedy festival for the valley but did so with solid discussion and reasonable conditions.
I love the RuMBLer of the week column where scientists talk about things like the challenge of getting blood samples from birds while surrounded by black flies, describing the fun of marmot mating rituals and the impact of longer, warmer summers on everything from plants to butterflies to hummingbirds.
I love that the test fires for Vinotok will begin soon.
I love that the family that owns the Gronk property loves the Gronk. I love that there is a weird concrete structure named the Gronk and most everyone knows what it is. Gronk.
I love the ability to bike or hike or ski or wander into the great wild so easily from the house or the office. There are not many places where people who know where they are can find nature so close to the urban. Backcountry recreation is literally a step or a pedal away. You can walk from the center of town to designated wilderness in a few minutes.
I love the things that have come to the town as it has grown. The library is great, the radio station interesting. Sam Robards has what should be a funny play opening at the Mountain Theatre this week. The restaurant selection is huge for a town this size. Movies are shown here instead of 30 miles down the road. The school is the best, the cultural opportunities amazing. There’s the music, the lectures, the art galleries. And the Arts Festival here this weekend that brings a different look of art.
The scale is still small town. The values are still compassionate. The vibe is still mountain town. Do not lose sight that there is a lot to love… and there is nothing wrong with love.