In the arms of a lover

Trip Start Jun 01, 2011
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Flag of United States  , Colorado
Thursday, June 9, 2011

Wow.  I am no longer convinced that Disneyland is the happiest place on earth.

After wandering around town a bit last night, I drove out to sus out a camping spot in nearby National Forest land.  Just a couple miles in, the road was all but blocked by a snow bank.  Rather than risk getting stuck or sliding into a ditch, I decided to backtrack.  However, the road was hardly wider than my truck, and I was forced to reverse a good half mile before reaching a place to turn around.

Came back to town to check out some of the local watering holes and hunt down some music I had heard about earlier.  Made instant friends at the Wooden Nickel.  Round 10:30, I hopped across the street to the Eldo Brewpub.  It didn't take too long to start making new friends here, either.  Shortly thereafter, the band went on.  Ghost Town Blue Band - they'll "make ya dance like yo' grandpappy used to!"  Instantly they filled the room with enough energy that the entire dance floor was moving.  I hope my grandpappy danced better than I do, but it was still a hootin, hollerin good time.  They are playing a couple nights from now in Durango, presuming I don't get 'stuck' here, I may see them again.

Taking a break on the second level, outdoor patio overlooking the main street, I felt like I was back in the late 1800's.  Crested Butte has done such an amazing job keeping that heritage, maintaining the old-school ski town feel, and not selling out to big money and big chains.  For a town its size, I would normally expect the roads to be dead, the sidewalks empty, and the bars holding just a few RAMs (Raggedy Ass old Miners) drinking their old time ales.  But there are people always on the sidewalks, bikes teaming in the streets, music playing out of every fourth building...

Have you seen How the Grinch Stole Christmas?  The cartoon version, of course.  Recall the scene where the Grinch is up on his mountaintop looking down at Whoville, and the town is just glowing?  It sounds ridiculous and cheesy, but that's how this town feels.  Last night when I was driving back to get a campsite (at 1am), I swear the town was glowing.  Incandescent.  Haloed.  But not in the sense that it was just light pollution.

Walking back to my truck late last night, the streets and sidewalks were finally pretty empty.  Other times I have walked through a small (or large) town so empty, I felt lonely, scared, watched, and overall just uncomfortable, but it still all felt so welcoming and warm.  I've been walking around with a smile on my face, like a knew a secret.  It's like when you start talking to a stranger, and the next thing you know hours have passed by as you have just connected and gotten lost in conversation.  Dark desolate roads that felt like a kind embrace, like returning to the arms of a lover.  Falling asleep, all that I want right in my arms, when I'm holding nothing at all.
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