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Wednesday, Sept. 15

We drove up Gothic Road and saw the vintage Colorado Grand cars coming down from the ski village at Mount Crested Butte.

The Colorado Grand is an annual rally of sports
and racing cars built before 1961.

The owners drive the cars from town to town
for a week, escorted by state police on motorcycles. The route changes each year.
We ran into the Colorado Grand
in Ridgway on our 2006 bike trip.
.Schofield Pass Road was a white-knuckle drive.

Here's a pullout on the shelf road, in case you need to let an oncoming vehicle get by. As for the ruts and bumps and holes ...

We were too scared on the drive up to be taking pictures, but Rick managed not to tear anything off the bottom of the car, and we got this snap of the worst bit on the way down, after the hike.
A few flowers were still in bloom, punctuating the fall color palette.

The last switchback ...
... before the top

Looking back
the way we came
Heading back down

Back in town, we rented mountain bikes
at the Alpineer for the next day.

 To get used to them, we took a short ride
on the recreational path to the ski village
at Mount Crested Butte and back.

West Maroon Pass (12,490 feet).
We did not continue down the trail seen behind us,
which goes to Aspen.
There's more about the hike below,
plus a scenic bike path -- but first, the vintage cars.

Our own wheels: a rented Kia Spectra -- two-wheel drive and not much clearance. But the innkeeper assured us that this time of year, it would get us over Schofield Pass to the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness Area trailhead, some 14 miles north of Crested Butte.

Sharing the road

The trail starts in the
woods, along the East
Fork of the Crystal
River, and soon
emerges into
hillsides full
of wildflowers.

We saw some
real estate
 in our
price range.

Steeper and steeper

West Maroon Pass
still had a patch
of snow
on the Aspen side.

We got out of the wind to eat our lunch.

We drove back down
past Emerald Lake
and colorful aspens.

We ate dinner at Sherpa Cafe,
new to Crested Butte this year.

Then it was time for bed ... and breakfast again.
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