Friday, September 27, 2013
Day 102b - ...and realizing the wonder of Creede
We were offered a few rides on the way down, but turned them down in the interest of maintaining our continuous footpath from Canada to Mexico. Just two miles from Creede, a pick-up rolled down the window. Al and Jeannie saw us walking down from the Divide, and invited us to lunch at their place, Far Dog.
Lunch was simply a revelation. Everything was fantastic--fresh decor, concise but ample menu, noticeably ingredients. Plus the care taken on all of the little details, like the perfectly curated beverages, like the ginger beer, and quality coffee bean. This has to be the best meal we've had on the trail. Big city sophistication, attentive service, in the small town of Creede. I had the shrimp and grits, which were legit. (As a sort of Southerner (Virginia is for Lovers!), I like to think I know grits). Gangles declared the coconut creme pie to be the best she had ever tasted. Plus the latte was awesome. Thanks to Al, Jeannie, Jess and Erin for the great meal and better hospitality.
After lunch, we went over to chat with the incredibly helpful and friendly ranger. She warned us that snow was coming, maybe tomorrow night. She told us that we were smart to come off the Divide, and that we should be cautious in the San Juans. She had been a backcountry ranger for 10+ years, and warned us that this section was especially unpredictable with the sudden weather changes, dead and falling trees, and exposure. We got a map which plotted our path out of Creede, and back to the CDT, in the South San Juans. I was happy to see that we would still hike ~90mi of the San Juans, just not all of it.
Then off to the post office, where four French people were outside, puzzling over a package they were sending. Near them, someone had dropped off a box of complimentary gourds with a charming hand-written note. I really do love Creede. The Postmaster Sam was also incredibly friendly and hospitable--she gave us the scoop on town and where to stay and eat.
We checked in at the Snowshoe Inn run by Ruth and Stan. Ruth was wonderful, getting us started on laundry, and into a room ASAP. Plus her baked goods are legendary. Seems like everyone in town was talking about her breakfasts.
Even though I was at peace with the idea of the Creede Cut-Off, our unexpected stop here, and the subsequent superlative experience here has reinforced the rightness of the decision. To a person, everyone in Creede has been wonderfully hospitable.
Many thanks to everyone in Creede for making this impromptu visit a wonderful visit.
p.s. Special thanks to Amy Jo at Ravens Rest in Lake City for sending on my mail after the last minute stop in Creede