Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Into Crusted Butt

July 3

A few hours of limping took me to Crested Butte, the first real town since Leadville.  There I met John Hess, the regional coordinator for the ADT in central west Colorado.  He and friend Maureen took me to lunch at the Paradise Cafe, gave me an excellent map of the next week's route (40 Latitude), and offered a spot on his floor for the holiday.
Yes tomorrow will be a zero day.  The mere thought of spending the 4th alone in the woods made me massively depressed.  I had vowed to stay here even if it meant sleeping in a dumpster.
Eau de garbage might have improved my smell, but apparently it also attracts bears, who have been doing some dumpster diving of their own in the Butte.  There is a five hundred dollar fine for leaving a receptacle unlocked.
Fortunately I did not have to share my home with Smoky's smorgasboard so I was free to take a shower and run some errands.   Once done with the necessities I took to the streets in pursuit of information.
Crested Butte was a hard scrabble mining town in the early days.  Immigrants from Slovenia, Croatia, and Italy came here with the intent to strike it rich and return home. Most earned a meager existence in the coal mines and ended up staying.  The 1920s were especially difficult.  A resurgence of the KKK brought anti-immigrant and anti-Catholic prejudices into the open.  The governor of Colorado was even a member of the hateful organization.
Crested Butte survived this threat, but the modern age has swept away the old.  The facelift happened with the influx of outdoor activities.  Fly fishing, hiking, biking, skiing, rafting, and rock-climbing are all readily available to the visitor and these interlopers have come in increasing droves over the years.
Eventually the hordes overran the local population.  I traveled the streets and met a number of tourists and recent transplants, but virtually no one was homegrown.  For once my transiency is the norm.

7 miles/2760 total miles

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