by Dawne Belloise
The Feral Children at the End of the Road
Morgan (Osterling) Lavenue
Morgan works 80 hours in nine days, just so she can take off every other Friday in her job at ABSL, an aerospace company where she’s employed as a buyer. ABSL produces batteries that go on spacecraft for uses like powering air suits for space walks. “I buy everything from tiny screws to the equipment for battery testing,” she explains.
Currently, her company has a new project with Lockheed Martin called Launch Abort. “It’s a new design for a space capsule that allows the astronauts to leave the craft in an emergency. Our batteries power the escape pod, which is detached in the case of a mandatory abort.”
Another fascinating project she worked on was the James Webb telescope. “That was something I was super proud of. It was cool knowing I got to help in that. We generally get to watch our launches.”
Morgan was a 2013 CBCS graduate, born to Ellen and Kirk Osterling and raised in CB until she was 18 when she thought she’d try out life in Maine. She enrolled in a Marine Biology program at the University of New England, but after a year and a half she decided, “It wasn’t what I was looking for in a lifestyle. I didn’t like the ocean as much as I thought I would, and I really missed the mountains.”
Morgan and her parents lived in town when she was growing up. “We always had an open door policy for all my friends when I was a kid. We had a swimming hole through the willows in the middle of the river. We’d make faery houses for the willows and later for the Woods Walk.” She was also on the Gold Medal ski team with Aaron Blunck and the Wiggins twins.
Morgan met her hubby, Gunnar Lavenue at a Skrillex concert at Red Rocks in 2014. It was a long-distance relationship until they moved in with her mom in December 2014, where Morgan worked as a ski instructor alongside her mom.
The couple moved to the Front Range in August 2015, where she was taking Environmental studies at CU Boulder and Gunnar was enrolled at the School of Mines to become an electrical engineer. They married October 1, 2022. “Glo (Cunningham) married us, and she wore the same pink and purple muumuu that she married my parents in,” she laughs.
In April 2020, the couple bought a home in Jamestown, a small community in the foothills above Boulder. “There are open areas, ponds and a place to ride horses,” Morgan describes and adds the sweetness of having found a faery house in her backyard, left by an unknown child.
“I was in Boulder for four years and I really liked it but it was so crowded. I felt shoved into a box and it was so busy. You didn’t get to see any wildlife. Here, there were four moose hanging out in our backyard today. We have a ton of aspen trees around us. I love that it reminds me of home. The community has that small, tight knit feel. You know everyone, everyone says hi. It reminds me of the community I had when I was little.”
Morgan feels that Crested Butte has changed much. “It feels impersonal now. I don’t know anyone when I’m walking around. The businesses have changed, the owners have changed. The town feels like a stranger now.” She’s feeling quite at home in Jamestown. “Here, there’s a little boy who sells crystals in front of his house, everyone knows the names of all the dogs and where they live and it’s fine if they’re wandering around. Everyone rides their bikes wherever they can. It gives me the same feeling that CB used to.”