Day 11, Tuesday, September 29th
Gunnison to Crested Butte
Tom Hauburger, Seattle, WA
David Marmon, Williamsburg, VA
Ashley “Sunny” Cavalcanto, Seattle, CA
Kris Garcia, Riverside, CA
Going to bed last night, I honestly didn’t think that I was going to be able to continue the next day. My toe hurt so incredibly bad that I couldn’t put pressure on it. I was planning on starting the morning walking to Crested Butte in flip flops. Upon waking, I was pleasantly surprised to feel relief in my toe and enough so that when I started up the highway toward Crested Butte, as per the new norm, my toes went numb enough to tolerate the pain at about a ½ mile in.
With a mix of Michael Franti, Tom Petty, Citizen Cope and some more of my favorites, I jammed up the road. At mile 4, I got a burst of energy with a group of fishermen that were stationed at a turnout with Tory, clapping and cheering as I trotted by. With a smile on my face, I continued up the road winding around along the white line on my right. Being so close and personal to the road everyday, I notice things I never would. One being how reflective the white pain strip is. Sometimes I get mesmerized by its shimmer as it leads me through the mountains.
Crested Butte Mountain came into view on my right around mile 10ish and provided an amazing view the rest of the run to distract me of the pain that was starting to intensify in m feet and knees. It’s rocky face collided with the outpour of colorful aspens leading down into the sparsely dispersed cabins and barns beneath it. I found myself dreaming of living there with Marcus and our family, skiing in the winters and mountain biking in the summers. Who knows… maybe this will be where we land permanently. With about 1.5 miles left, Marcus came up on his bike and videoed me running through the quaint little town. We passed people sitting outside enjoying lunch at cafes, kids playing in the park, dogs retrieving frisbees… just people enjoying the amazing sunshine on this outstanding indian summer day.
As I hit the end of town with 21 miles clocked for the day, I saw a long hill in my future for the next morning and decided that I had done enough. I collapsed, immediately took my shoes off and felt instant relief as the cold mountain air breathed through my toes.
We then headed into Crested Butte, got our hotel set up and went to the local mountain store, Alpineer, to see if they could help us set our route that I was unsure of for the next two days. I had an idea, but never being in this part of the state, I wasn’t 100% sure and the maps we had didn’t quite give us a great understanding of what lied ahead. The men at the counter were so incredibly helpful. They pulled out the map and together we came up with the shortest route from Crested Butte to Copper Creek (just outside of Gothic) for the next day and the day following we decided on East Maroon Pass trail to get me up and over the mountains to Aspen. They also generously donated a pair of Colorado socks to protect my feet and gave us a great discount on the items we purchased… I literally could have bought the entire store, but managed to come out with a Colorado hat for Marcus, the necessary map, and an emergency blanket in case I got stranded on the trail.
After getting prepped and ready for the next couple days to come, we headed to the local’s favorite café, Camp 4, and grabbed some coffees and teas before heading to the local CrossFit Gym, Synergy Athlete where Carrie Jo and her crew kindly welcomed us. I’ve been to a lot of CF gyms and this one is adorable… it’s small but so well put together. They have an amazing mindset and really focus on what I believe crossfit to be… a tool to make us stronger and healthier to do the things we love. In a mountain community, the evening class was small because everyone was out doing just what they should be doing… enjoying the last of summer on the trails. However, I got to chat with Carrie Jo for awhile as her daughters monkeyed themselves around the rings and structure. I love the philosophy this woman has… seriously another reason that Crested Butte is on our list of places to move!
The day ended with an amazing home-cooked meal from a friend of Marcus’ and Crested Butte local, Wendy Fisher. Wendy and Marcus met in 2004 while filming to be in the Warren Miller film, Impact. I’ve heard for years about her and have watched her in films for extreme skiing. The girl is badass!!! She was a 7-year member of the womens US National Alpine Team and earned a spot to the 92 Olympics. Now a mom of two to Aksel and Devin, Wendy spends her time skiing with her boys and coaching private lessons at Crested Butte. I will write more about her in tomorrow’s blog.
With full bellies and warm hearts after spending an evening with Wendy and her amazing family, we headed back for some much needed shut eye.
Lesson Learned: You can’t predict how the next day will be the night before.