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CAMELBAK Spring 12'

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The Four Seasons of Creede

Welcome all to our first posting on our new website! I thought since my wife and I have now lived in Creede for just over a year (15 months) that it would be appropriate to offer a perspective on each of the four unique seasons that us “Creedites” experience. Bare in mind, this perspective comes through the lenses of two young shop owners, which as above stated, have only lived here 15 months. Therefore this perspective is certainly stated in humbled fashion.

So you take the long voyage from the big cities, suburbs, cow towns, beach towns, or where ever it is that you journey from, thinking this sure is a tiresome trip. Until finally you hit the intersection of 160 and 149, to make the slight right turn headed up to Creede. Just 22 more miles! By the way, isn’t this such a pleasant drive from SF to Creede? The butterflies begin their flapping, as you think of each memory of adventure, exploration, or possibly relaxation that this area has provided you. Alas, no more traffic lights, no more truck stops, no more fast food chains, you have arrived.

When you look out of the window to observe your surroundings, you might notice small crowds, little traffic on main street, and a few quaint restaurants. While this does describe Creede in quite a general sense, you may also be in town for the winter season. Check one more time, if there is snow piled up on the sidewalks and your car temperature gauge is reading somewhere from 30 to -30 degrees then you can be confident that it is winter time in Creede. As an outsider looking in, the snow-capped mountains, the relaxed “turn off the clock” feel, and the main street that makes you feel as if you went back in time to a forgotten place in America, becomes such a pleasant feeling. I can say now, that as a local these same feelings remain pleasant, but are only amplified by a deeper respect for what Creede actually is to the world. Yeah, as a business owner there is less business to be had this time of year. The bank account slowly creeps lower and lower. Still, winter remains one of our favorite seasons here in Creede. Fifty+ days downhill skiing (the majority of these days at Wolf Creek), cross-country skiing right out of the back yard, pond hockey, evenings at the bar enjoying friends and a good drink, and mornings spent sipping coffee while reading whatever it is you read. These positives of winter trump any negatives that might exist by far.

When pulling in to town, if you noticed melting snow fields, mud everywhere, slight wind, and the feeling of “the calm before the storm,” you have probably arrived in spring. The calm before the storm is referring to the quietness of town just a month or two before the hustle and bustle of the summer in the Rockies. Everyone is gearing up to accommodate the crowds that will soon walk the streets (or street). If you are not home getting ready for summer, chances are that you are squeezing in one last trip before you have to buckle down. Spring, brings the spring breakers in as well. The Texans and Okies (I can say that because I am an Okie) usually come in to town off the “mountain” or because they want a break from bustin’ their you know whats on the “mountain.” From observing this spring break thus far, it seams as if most are confused as to why the town is still somewhat shut down. The easy answer to the confusion is a mix of us “locals” wanting to chill just a bit longer before summer and the fact that with the little amount of people in town it is still difficult to break even during these months. Spring in Creede is mud season, which means, ready or not, summer is coming!

Okay, chances are if you stroll into Creede anytime between the dates of June 15-August 15 then you know exactly what is going on. What a wonderful mountain town. Families, outdoor enthusiasts, patrons of the arts, actors, theater folks, ranch hands, and many many more people walking main street, perusing the shops and eating good food. Everyone escaping the smoldering heat of their homes, to enjoy the 70 degree summer weather. Maybe you like to test yourself against the extreme elements of the high mountains. Or maybe your style is more of a relaxing day at the spa, lunch on the river, and finishing the evening attending your favorite CRT show. Or perhaps both would suit your taste. Creede really does have it going on in the summer. The area offers countless numbers of activities, which truly provide something for everyone. It is amazing how many people come into our shop, expressing their dreams and visions of dropping everything in their busy lives to settle in Creede permanently. While this certainly can happen, Creede does have a funny way of keeping only the people who truly want to be here.

From a visitor’s point of view, Creede is an ideal vacation spot for the summer. As mentioned above, the views, the activities, and the weather truly bring people in and back for generations. However from a shop owners’ perspective, the summer is when we come alive. Our senses are no longer on easy street, as people come to fill the shop. It is up early, leave late, eighty hours a week, hustle n bustle. The hikers come in with stories of their adventures, looking for that specific piece that will make their outing that much more exciting. It is our job to provide them with these needs. Yes, it is bittersweet. There is energy bouncing from wall to wall and our sales are easily 5 times that of winter, however we are planted in the shop, not the tent. Don’t get me wrong, we do get out and have some fun as well, just not the fifty+ days that we get during the winter. About the time everyone in town is ready to slow it back down, the weather cools, the leaves turn, and the crowds leave. With a reloaded bank account and the satisfaction of hard work and accomplishment, we prepare for the “chill,” literally and figuratively speaking. What more can I say? Creede is an incredible summer spot.

Last but certainly not least, we have the fall. Fall is wonderful. If you have never experienced thousands of aspen trees changing their colors in the national forests, then I feel for you. Hunters flock to get their prized bull(elk). We in Creede begin our relaxed state. The weather cools a bit, until finally we get our first few snows in the high country. For Amy and I the anticipation of another ski season upon us is almost unbearable. Will we have an epic year? One thing is for certain, we will be skiing powder!

Hope you enjoyed this lengthy perspective from a 15 month old shop owner in Creede. Of course there is much more to our thoughts about our lovely town, but you gots to cut it off somewhere.

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