Scenes from a fairytale are often what we are graced with living on the Western Slope of Colorado. Mid-summers usually bring afternoon rain, thunderstorms, and rainbows that make even the long time locals pause in wondrous awe. In the nearly 10 years I’ve been around this area, natures magnificence has never ceased to amaze me and I am certain that’s what has kept me here.
Nature has always been a vital ingredient to my well-being, a nurturer and constant guide through any and all times. I haven’t found words adequate enough to describe in whole my relationship with nature, the outdoors, and animals. Its something felt through the heart language. But because I receive many questions about why I would choose to live where I do I thought I would answer the most frequently asked questions below. ♥
Q: Do you ever feel lost living so remotely and far off from family?
A: I have definitely experienced moments where I wished my family were in closer distance (the majority of my family is 1,800 miles away) and times where I’ve felt far away from the ‘real world’. Crested Butte is often referred to as never, never land and can certainly feel worlds away from life outside of the 9 block town with no stop lights, and a speed limit of 15 mph (that’s just scratching the surface). However, in coming here (at the ripe age of 18) I had found myself and found my home. I had found a sense of belonging within myself as well as in the indescribable nature surrounding me. So I would say I was lost upon arrival but found my true north during the adventure.
Q: Why would you choose to live there knowing the extreme winter conditions?
A: To be honest this question always stumps me a little. Before moving here I would have told you I hated the cold, I was moving somewhere warm, and I despised winter. Let me tell you how glad I am that I did not allow those thoughts to keep me from experiencing life outside of what I knew. I gained a great appreciation for winter even started to enjoy it and get excited when the snow began to fall. The environment and lifestyle were so entirely different from where I was raised that I immersed myself in learning not only how to survive (ugg boots weren’t going to cut it) but learn about the weather conditions, patterns, potential dangers, and radical snow fun. It was like passing someone by in the school hallway whom you didn’t really care for then suddenly finding intrigue and eventually growing a bond with depth. And had I passed up winter I would have missed summer, fall and well, rainbow season! So I shovel, ski, and snowboard my way through winter to get me through to the wildflowers and rainbows.
Q: What do you like most about where you live?
A: Access to acreage by the millions of wide open space right outside our door. That’s always first to come to mind. And something that would be painful to give up If I had to. Also, the extreme lifestyle is something that has grown on me. I would have never climbed a mountain over 13,000 ft in Delaware or shoveled 300+ inches of snow from windows and roofs. Those happenings made me stronger, more capable, and forced me to recognize that I was both. I could say much more but something I just can’t leave out are the dirt roads. If we’ve been friends on Instagram for a while or even WordPress you may have picked up on my interest in photographing western Americana roads, particularly, the unpaved single tracks.
Q: Does the wildlife scare you? “Lions, tigers, & bears, Oh My!”
A: No, not so far at least. We’ve had a bear on our deck before, stumbled upon a huge white rocky mountain goat atop Gothic mountain, walked with foxes, crossed paths with Elk and big horn sheep and had coyotes come near our fire. I’ve never felt extreme fear just startled at first and a little nervous until I recollect my breath. I am sure I would feel more than a little nervous should I run into a moose, mama bear, or mountain lion face to-face. That may change things up but as we all or most of us know that would (or very likely could) make the situation turn sour rather quickly.
Q: Is there a mall close by?
A: Close by as in 4 hours? I believe that is how close by an actual shopping mall is to Crested Butte. That is completely shocking to some but I don’t really mind. Having been so removed from consumerism here (we have one street with stores, no franchises and most sell outdoorwear) made it so I often don’t enjoy shopping in stores should I have the chance. However, should I need or want something my go to online sites are Amazon and Revolve.
I hope you all enjoyed this series of photos as well as FAQ & A’s. I certainly enjoyed capturing the transformation of light, and sky as well as answering long-standing questions! Feel free to keep them coming!
As always, thank you for joining me here! I appreciate you all so much ♥