Festive Butte Made More Festive With Deuter

Booher_FesBute_pic1-224x300I’m a little gun-shy about saying we’re out of the woods, but it just may be the case. Not only have we successfully fled moist, grey Seattle; Chris may actually be on the mend! 10 months in a painful limbo and a looming anniversary of his accident (read= threat to job security), and we think the infection, misery, nausea, pain and uncertainty are fading into memory. THANK GOD. Ok, shall we reboot? What better place to convalesce than Paradise...



5 year-old Jackson and I rolled into Crested Butte to meet Chris and Conrad after a 4-day drive from the PNW with 7 minutes to spare before the start of the notorious Mardi Gras parade. The Mountain framed in day’s last light overlooked the throng of the thousand or so boisterous mix of locals, tourists and interlopers, all jockeying for Mardi Gras beads and candy and glimpses of Red Lady’s, past and present. Dicky in drag is always a highlight, and though we miss the sight of former mayor Alan launching through the Irwin Lodge Hoop of Fire, we are appeased by the joy and smiles of those who celebrate on a continual basis in our beloved ski town.

Booher_FesBute_pic3-300x223A week ago it was hard to fathom this revelry, as well as the blazing blue skies and crisp white skyline of our 9,000-foot paradise. But driving East, slowly paralleling the Oregon Trail along I-84, passing Moroni (and a quick tribute to Utah’s quality snow at Brighton), and snaking along dinosaur skeletons buried deep in the Book Cliffs, we greeted Colorado with an exhale of homecoming. Despite our kids’ late night bronchial battles, riverine nasal drip and roller coaster fevers, we are glad to be sleeping and playing at altitude.

Two weeks seems like an eternal vacation for most, including us, but we still feel hard pressed to “get it all done” here. CB has so much to offer, and depending on the weather, there is a new sense of urgency with each shift in the jet stream.

To carry us through the fray of weather swings and the activity merry-go-round is our trusty gear, without which, we would be left whining, unprepared, and covetous. Our Deuter Packs have been at our beckon call all trip long. The Kid Comfort I and Kid Comfort II tote kids around town, up the sled run or up to the base of the ski lift (that hike in ski boots for a toddler or youngster are enough to drive us all directly to lodge hot cocoa, ne’er to see the slopes).

Booher_FesBute_pic5-300x225It’s amazing how much gear you can pack into, and lash on the outside of, those Kid Comforts. The Trans Alpine 25 is my favorite long haul mountain biking pack, but winter offers it the chance to be a glorified diaper and snack bag. While the designers may not have intended such banal use for a tech pack, I’m happy to say it’s perfectly suited to kid-support use as well as long days on the trail. The Cruise 26 SL continues to be my go-to pack for ski touring. It fits all the necessities handily, and I love the way it also carries all my un-necessities.



My only beef is with the hydration system is that while I use the Streamer 3.0 bladder during summer rides, I’ve interchanged it with the Streamer 2.0 for winter use. My favorite connection point at the base of the hose of the 3.0 allows the tube of the system to be removed without water draining out- a brilliantly easy way to refill the bladder without having to remove the whole setup from your pack. This is particularly an issue in a winter setup because the Streamer Tube Insulator gets in the way of easily removing the hose from the pack. Next thing you know, you’ve got the whole pack under the faucet and you’re risking soaking all the contents.

But alas, a fortnight has come and gone. In counting down the hours till our departure, I can say with a more relaxed confidence that we actually crammed a lot in, and managed to occasionally chill out. Victory! Until we (hopefully) do it all over again next year.

And now Jackson and I are preparing for the marathon drive home. He’s got a case full of DVD’s and stories on tape, and I’ve got Keith Richard’s autobiography. Likely, I’ll plug in once I hit the dark interstate heading past Boise, but till then I get to relish my amazing adventure in the Rockies. It never disappoints and always creates memories. And as we drive down valley, hopefully some wisdom will seep in through the high altitude dry cracks in my face and hands. Paradise will always be here; it’s what we put into it that we take away.

–Ellie Booher, (Family Ambassador).

Escape your daily grind with Deuter!

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