Dog days in Crested Butte


Originally uploaded by Suffering the Benz

I went to the land of the Mountain Hippie last week and learned the ZenDog ways of Crested Butte.
During a cold, early morning hike on a trail in the shadow of Mt. Crested Butte, I saw some sort of cattle-dog cross maniacally yapping and circling a mountain biker while the dog’s owner tried in vain to recall the mutt. The cyclist calmly dismounted, putting the bike between him and the frenetic canine until it drew tired of the game and ran back to its owner of its own volition.
As I approached the cyclist, I fully expected a rant on idiots who let their dogs run loose and don’t control them. It’s what I was thinking. But he calmly looked at me while he fiddled with the earbuds of his iPod and beamed “Good morning.”
“Without a doubt,” I replied.
“Do you go far up the mountain.”
“Only about 45 minutes walk. I’m still getting acclimated to this 9,000 foot stuff.”
“Where are you from?”
It continued like that for a few more minutes and I was on my way. In a short encounter, I’d learned the way of the Mountain Hippie and the effect the incredible beauty of Crested Butte has on everyone touched by it.
And any town this nuts about dogs has to be OK. Witness Gunther (pictured), the coolest dog in Crested Butte. In this photo, he’s frolicking in a stream at Oh Be Joyful Campground just outside of town. Gunther is known to sleep in the street in front of his house. He’s so well known and people are so dog friendly, they just slowly steer around him …