Where: working our summer job at Three Rivers Resort in Almont, CO
The most tiring seasonal job we ever did was camphosting in Southern California. We cleaned huge bathroom complexes, wrangled trash, emptied firepits and hauled water when the campers left their sites with active fires. Pretty much every activity involved a lot of muscle, and we were absolutely beat at the end of every day. You might not think that housekeeping would be in the same ballpark, but it’s not all that far off. The last couple weeks have been particularly busy, and last Sunday was the biggest day so far: 39 turnarounds that had to be ready for checkin before 4pm. JJ and I cleaned 10 cabins in about 7 hours, and then collapsed in a heap for the rest of the day. Although the last week wasn’t quite so harried, we generally spend our work day moving so fast that we’re a bit out of breath. You can appreciate that we just haven’t felt like hiking on our days off, so we’ve searched out some more sedate entertainment options.
Last week was the Crested Butte Arts Festival, which I expected to be some rinky-dink operation, but turned out to feature some world class artists. We went with another workamper, (and also our neighbor) Carol. We felt so cosmopolitan to be strolling through the gorgeous paintings, sculptures, and jewellery.
Crested Butte is such a ski town, even the benches are made from skis:
We expected just a handful of vendors, but a quarter mile of road was closed off, with tents up each side:
Secret Stash Pizza is known for its colorful rickshaw that sits out front:
Mount Crested Butte stands guard over the business district:
Crested Butte is known for a very colorful main street:
The proprietor of these completely handmade books suggested I give a sniff, and I obliged, enjoying the warm scent of leather. She also recommended that I give one a pet to enjoy how soft they are. When I saw the $1800 price tag, I backed away before I could accidentally damage one!
We considered doing an ice cream crawl at the 3 places in town to get a sweet treat, but settled for one delicious stop at Third Bowl for “Caprese” Ice Cream: Strawberry, Goat Cheese and Basil:
On our weekend, we did a driving tour to an agricultural valley to the west of us, and visited Hotchkiss and Paonia.
The view from Hermit’s Rest Viewpoint over Morrow Point Reservoir highlights how lousy the air quality is around here. Between Colorado forest fires as well as those in California, it’s always hazy here right how:
I like JJ’s version, using the fence rails to block the smoky parts:
First stop was lunch at Zack’s Bar-B-Q. It was a funny little portal to the midwest, with lots of old folks in John Deere hats, but also very good food.
Should you ever find yourself in Hotchkiss, CO, may we recommend the brisket and the ribs?
Next stop was Ollie’s Ice Cream in Paonia. We had to eat fast, because it was 95 degrees:
The valley is hardly 30 miles away from us, but the geology was totally different:
Our main destination was Orchard Valley U-Pick outside Paonia, where we could choose our own peaches, raspberries, and blackberries.
Good thing we had practice from my mom’s berry patch, and we knew how to suss out the little hiding devils. The rows looked empty when we first arrived, but only because other customers had picked the easy ones. We squatted down and crab walked beside the bushes, and found oodles at ankle level.
We completed the circle home by driving across unpaved Kebler Pass, and finally saw some of the huge valleys known for enormous aspen groves. We’ll have to come back when the leaves change to see it all in technicolor!
Up next week: an end of the season ice cream eating contest and employee party. (End of the season for all the college students, but not for us!)