Day 12, Wednesday, September 30th
Crested Butte To Copper Creek Trail Head
Lynda Parker, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Stephanie McAulay, Dundas, Ontario
Maylee Superales, Germany
Lotte Lesage, Bussam Netherlands
We woke to the crisp morning air with excitement for a short day today. Only 8 miles!!! It’s seemed like marathon after marathon after marathon as of late, so a shorter day was just what the doctor ordered. And… I was going to have company on the run. Wendy Fisher is a Crested Butte local, snow ski legend, friend of Marcus and now I’m honored to say a friend of mine.
After dropping her boys off at school she met me at the Christiana, our hotel, and we drove to our starting point for the day. The first several miles were all uphill as we climbed up toward the Mount Crested Butte community, making our way to the small town of Gothic. Part way up the hill, mine and Wendy’s gabbing was pleasantly interrupted by a man working for a Pepsi delivery truck. He said, “Jenny LaBaw, you probably don’t remember me, but we went to high school together.” I was SO embarrassed that I didn’t recognize him, but I did remember his wife when he mentioned her name. He had read about Move Mountains and often delivers to CB, but thought he had missed me passing through the area. He said he couldn’t believe it as he saw us trudging up the hill. He generously donated a case of Dasani water, saying “you probably don’t drink anything else he had in the truck.” People are SO kind!
After a little reminiscing, we continued up the hill gabbing away and getting to know one another. She told me all about her days as a skier and how she started to lose her love for the sport with the pressure that came with it and the constant competition amongst her teammates. She said, “Those girls are hard core and I didn’t have that in me.” Then, in the next moment she pointed up to this cliff and nonchalantly said, “I’ve skied that line”. Are you joking me… that’s literally a wall of rock! Her humbleness and kind persona was so refreshing from someone that is such a high caliber athlete.
We finally hit the top of the hill and it was downhill all the way to Gothic from there. I thought the colors over Cinnamon Pass were breathtaking… but these greatly overpowered. The oranges and reds and yellows colored the hillside. As we continued sharing life stories and experiences and realizing we have a lot in common… we were surrounded by cattle. A few went bailing of the edge of the road as we startled them, some just curiously staring at us as we moved by and occasionally we got a little “moooooooo” that made us giggle like little girls.
Coming into the town of Gothic, Mount Gothic was towering over us on the left. The jagged rocks at the top make you envision gargoyles leering over each one. There were a handful of small barn wood covered homes that Wendy went to explain are only inhabited during the summer months and in the winter there is only one caretaker that watches over the town as it’s too cold and remote. No one plows and there are no snowmobiles allowed. In the warmer months the town is used for environmental research. We looked at the map at the visitor center one more time to make sure we were headed to the correct trail head to set us up for success tomorrow and in fact we were only 1 mile away.
We headed up the dirt road and ½ mile in hit a trail for another ½ mile to the entrance of Copper Creek Trail head. Day 12, so quickly complete with great company, amazing scenery and a short distance.
The rest of the day consisted of resting, eating and prepping for the only day without a support vehicle. When it was time to wind down for the night, Dave pulled out the guitar and we sat in the lobby of the hotel with good people, telling stories of world travel and listening to the relaxing tones of Dave’s music.
New friends are made when you least expect it.