When we drive to Crested Butte, Co., we usually take the scenic route.
The drive over Cottonwood pass not only provides us with the spectacular views from the pass, it ends by plunking us down on the shore of Taylor Reservoir.
Although there weren't a lot of flowers at the pass, just some hardy dandelions growing right by the road, the woods on the way down to the Reservoir were carpeted with lupines.
The profusion of small flowers around the lake gave us an idea of what awaited in Crested Butte.
While the Wildflower Festival is an annual event, the flowers do not always coordinate their show with the Festival dates. Some years, the flowers bloom early, leaving only the larger blooms to show off for the Festival.
This year we had a late spring, and a dry, dry summer, suppressing most flowering everywhere. THEN, last week, it started raining. Ha. I knew it would be good.
I just didn't know how good.
There are so many flowers, of so many varieties, that it is nearly impossible to believe they are all growing wild. The "Bloom Locator" guide, available from the Crested Butte Visitor's Center, lists more than 80 varieties. They are everywhere, all mixed together, right by the roadside and along the dozen-plus trails. Trying to single out any individual blooms among the tumbling chaos of them is difficult. Making it harder is the fact that if you just look up, there are those amazing peaks towering over it all.
Plein Air Invitational paintings were on exhibit just off the main street. All the restaurants and shops were busy, the food was delicious. If you were thinking of going, this is the year to do it.