Heather Slade | The Top 5 Reasons to Love Crested Butte (Besides cowboys)
October 10, 2017
DANCE WITH ME is the
second book in the Cowboys
of Crested Butte series. It tells the story of Billy Patterson and Renie
Fairchild, who we met in FALL FOR ME, the series'
first book. If I had to pick my favorite character in all the books I've
written, Billy is in the top two or three.
Billy has that swagger that only a world champion saddle bronc rider, and all
around hot, hunky, handsome cowboys possesses. Renie Fairchild is not only his
best friend, she's the girl next door, and Billy can't decide whether he wants
to wring her neck or kiss her senseless.
Crested Butte, Colorado is one of my favorite places on earth, and why I set
this series in the mountain town. Here is a list of the top five best things to
do in Crested Butte.
The mountain resort is ranked in the top fifteen places to ski in the United
States, and a couple years ago won BEST SKI TOWN in North America. Whether
you're into downhill skiing, extreme skiing or Nordic skiing, Crested Butte has
it all in spades.
Wild Flower Festival
This weeklong festival, started in 1986, takes place the second week of July.
There are walks and hikes, guided and self-guided, art workshops, photography
classes, garden tours, and Jeep tours. The downtown district's shops and
restaurants always have special sales, events and menu offerings for the week. I
also happen to know that the bookstore in town hosts book signings too (I speak
Autumn Leaf Peeping
The largest Aspen grove in the world is located over Kebler Pass. Start in
Carbondale, outside of Aspen. On the way, stop for lunch at the historic
Redstone Inn, and then take your time enjoying the breathtaking views as you
drive into downtown Crested Butte. Once you're in Crested Butte, there are
several other fall drives that start either in CB or Gunnison.
Hiking and Biking
Crested Butte lies close to the heart of the Elk Mountain Range in the Rockies.
Its location acts as a perfect hub for some of the best hiking in the
country.Towering peaks, lush valleys, awe-inspiring vistas, cliff-side trails,
and hillsides saturated with the bright colors of naturecan all be experienced
on these day hikes. Be sure to charge your camera for the ridiculous number of
photo opportunities. One of my favorites trails is along the Brush Creek area
(aka Flying R Ranch). The bike culture in Crested Butte is evident if you walk
along Elk Avenue, or anywhere else in town. There are full bike racks every few
feet, and people pedaling everywhere you look. It isn't a surprise that it is
one of the founding homes of mountain biking, with over 700 miles of mountain
biking trails in and around Crested Butte.
Dining, Drinking and Shopping
Elk Avenue in downtown Crested Butte is lined with historic wooden buildings,
home to some of the best restaurants I've every dined in, and some of the best
shopping in all of Colorado. My top five restaurants are the Sunflower (farm to
table), Soupcon (pronounced soup's on and features prix fix French cuisine), the
Secret Stash (which happens to be Billy and Renie's favorite place for pizza),
Django's (a wine bar that serves mouthwatering small plates), and McGills for
Wherever he was, Billy owned the air. It belonged to him, and he took it.
Last year saddle bronc rider Billy Patterson reached the pinnacle of success
in his sport and had the championship buckle to prove it. He needed that flashy
reminder this year, because now nothing seemed to be going right in his world.
He couldn't manage an eight-second ride to save his life; the girl he's
wanted forever, his best friend Renie, is oblivious to how he feels about her;
and her mother sold him a ranch that he was incapable of taking care of alone.
But the worst of it was, with no anchor at the ranch other than her horse in his
boarding stable, Renie was probably leaving too, if he couldn't convince her to
That becomes the least of Billy's worries, however, when he suddenly becomes
a single parent to a child he didn't even know about. That complicates
everything, but he can't regret having the daughter he quickly falls in love
with. The question was, did that mean the end of his chances with Renie?
At her age, asking her to become an instant mother would be selfish, even if
she would entertain that absurd idea after her own mother was tied down around
the same age. As much as Billy knew letting Renie go was the right thing to do,
he also realized letting her go would mean allowing her to run right back into
the arms of a man she didn't belong with, and he didn't think he could do that.
My books are filled with things that bring me joy: music, wine, skiing,
families, artists, and cowboys. Not always in that order. I'm an Amazon
best-selling author, and a PAN member of Romance Writers of America. I speak,
teach, blog, am an executive sommelier, and all-around entrepreneur. I grew up
an east coast girl, and then spent half my life on the west coast. Now my
husband, our two boys, and I happily call Colorado home.