Posted by: Talie Morrison | May 12, 2011

Crested Butte and Utah

It’s a lovely snowy day in Crested Butte  – hey, WAIT – it’s May 11th!   SNOWY ??? – Yup that’s May in Crested Butte!   🙂   And I’ve been so busy I haven’t had much of a chance to blog – it’s amazing that I have more time to blog when I am traveling than when I am at home!

The end of March, Craig came to CB along with Deb, Dakota and Roxanne (friend of the family).   We had a great week skiing together – and we had just about all the conditions imaginable:  Snowy, light powder, heavy powder, cloudy “flat light” days, and clear sunny days!   But the highlight of the week for me was when Craig, Dakota and I skied Teocalli Bowl (with our trusty guide: Roxy Lypps).   Pretty fun to have done double black diamonds with my son and grandson!   Life is awesome!

Three Generations at the Top!

After Crested Butte Mountain Resort closed for the season (April 4th), there was still great crust skiing in the backcountry.   Springtime in snow country doesn’t necessarily mean no more snow or no more skiing!   The beauty of “crust skiing” is that you can go anywhere and don’t need to stick to the trails … hum, does that sound like me or what?  Since I am an incurable “morning person”, crust skiing is just up my alley!   Pretty much you need to get out about 7 or 8 in the morning and you need to be off the snow by about 10 am.   After 10, the snow gets soft and you start punching through the top and it is not fun at all!    But the early mornings are beautiful – and when I am housesitting I always have a couple of dogs who love the exercise!

          Early morning refection of Whetstone Mountain

Some of my "early morning" companions

There's never a "crowd" at 7 am!

The end of April, I had two friends in Boulder, Colorado, who wanted me to take them out backpacking.   I have a favorite place near Boulder, Utah, that I hadn’t been to in a couple of years, so we decided to head out there.   The way the timing worked out, it was two separate weeks, but I didn’t mind driving back and forth since I was spending time in one of my favorite places in Utah!  So first, Mel Gonglach and I headed from Boulder, Colorado, to Boulder, Utah and spent a couple of days backpacking on the “slick rock”:

In the desert at the start of our backpacking trip

We had lots of differing conditions – it rained the night before we headed out, then it was sunny and warm – then that day the winds picked up – not a good thing in the desert environment!   Sand gets into everything!  Ears, eyes, teeth, food, drink, etc, etc, etc!   But then we had another nice day.   It rained  on our day out, but in the desert environment even that can be beautiful.

What lovely country it is and one of my favorite places in all of Utah!

Not only is the rock beautiful – and very clean for camping, but there are some interesting features.   One of which is the “iron like” rocks that emerge from the sandstone.   There are thousands of “iron balls” and miscellaneous rocky pieces that look like “car parts” – we call them “jurassic car parts”!  Very fun!

Jurassic Car parts (and check out those cool Dirty Girl Gaiters that Mel is wearing!

Hey ir's windy out here - and the sand hurts!

Out here, water is an important thing to find!

Lovely country!

Back to GrayJay after an awesome trip!

On our way back to Boulder (remember we are driving from Boulder to Boulder!), Mel and I stopped and played in the Goblin Valley and then stopped at Glenwood Springs for a soak in the Hot Springs!   Now that’s a great ending for a backpacking trip!

Goblin Valley is always fun to wander around in!

So then it was back to Boulder Colorado and Raven Wells and I drove tandem till we got to Grand Junction (where we left his car – it made the drive home easier for me not having to go all the way back to Boulder).    We had gotten a late start so we stopped and camped near Green River, Utah,  at the Crystal Geyser.   The Geyser didn’t go off when we were there (it used to be on a schedule of about every 18 hours –  I don’t know if that is still the case).   But the deposits from the geyser are fascinating – and it is beautifully located right next to the Green River.

Beautiful deposits next to the Green River

Camping in GrayJay at Crystal Geyser

Raven and I then drove the rest of the way to Boulder Utah, tossed on (? – right!) our packs and headed out onto the rocks.   It was another spectacular trip – every time I go out there, even though it is the same area, I alway see something new and interesting!

This was a bit of a "slot canyon"

The sandstone has worn away below this rock and left it balancing on these little pinnacles - that rock must weigh about 500 lbs!

Raven and I had 3 wonderful crystal clear mornings and I was lucky enough to wake up in time to climb out of the canyon onto the top of the rocks to greet the sun!   Another one of my favorite things to do!



Greeting the sun!

An Iron Ball emerging as the sandstone is wearing away

Those are all iron balls congregating in the cracks in the rock

Of course Raven and I had our fair share of weather too.   The wind wasn’t quite as intense as it was on Mel’s trip, but we did get some snow (or “gropple” as we call it – it is like little tiny snow balls from the sky)

Gropple on our tent

Raven hiding out from the snow and wind!

A blooming cactus!

After 3 nights on the rock,  Raven and I hiked out – driving to Grand Junction where he headed to Boulder (Colorado that is) while I headed to Crested Butte.   I did stop in Ridgeway (sort of on the way home) for a soak in Orvis Hot Springs there – Look out, Talie, this could get to be a habit!   🙂

And then, believe it or not – back to skiing the crust in Crested Butte!   This past Sunday, I was able to get up and ski the crust early, get to church at 9 am, and then by the afternoon I was riding my bike in shorts and shirt!   What an interesting springtime we are having!

Next week I am heading to Denver to help with a Landmark Education Forum, and then the week after I’m off to Germany for 3 weeks.   I will be seeing so many of my wonderful German friends over there – I am excited about that!   And then I’ll be back in time for Crested Butte summer!   Life IS good!



  1. Hi Talie!!! THANK YOU for an amazing trip and getting to spend so much time with you. I am so excited to be part of your blog this time! Can’t wait for our next adventure. Love you, Mel

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