Alright, confession time. I am not as badass as I have lead you all to think. I did not actually walk the 27 miles from Paonia to Crested Butte. The night before the hike, I decided it would be better for my health to take the bus and nap (a lot). My half of the group arrived after an easy hour long bus ride and dove straight into setting up the hostel. Signs went up, bags were put in people’s rooms for them, and cookies were baked. We all chilled out and made great use of the insane stereo system and waited for our friends to arrive from their hike. We waited…and waited…and waited. Finally, around 1am, there was a knocking on the door, and 15 haggard hikers stumbled in.
Our first weekend here was nap filled, and we were handed a scavenger hunt to acquaint us with the town. At first glance, it was fairly easy: get a picture with the totem pole in town, meet the fire chief, get some coffee at Rumors Coffee and Teahouse. But as you went down the list, it got harder: get an internship for this Sunday or get a date with a local. I am definitely not one to shy away from a challenge, and managed to corner a poor kid and get him to go on a date with me. He was nice, and showed me around town, which was major appreciated. I even got to meet some of his friends that are professional skiers!
Don’t get me wrong, Crested Butte is definitely an adjustment after living in Paonia for 5 weeks. It hasn’t been a total walk in the park like I assumed. I imagined it as the easiest transition ever; going from outdoor solar showers to unlimited hot water. But it’s been difficult to get used to seeing so many people and living in such confined quarters with 30 strong personalities. Everyday I find myself sneaking away to go for a walk alone at the base of Mt. Crested Butte to try and get back the nature I am so used too living in. It can be a lot to handle, but we’re doing it! And beauty is all around us, no matter the population. I think this was hard for me to grasp when we first arrived, because even this little ski town felt overpopulated (it’s really not). But I experienced Colorado’s first snow of the year on Thursday, and witnessed my first fully arched rainbow on Monday. I had a day where I sat outside and heard people’s opinions on controversial topics, and get to engage in conversation about family and beauty with wonderful people in coffee shops. I am so excited to explore this new home for the next three weeks!