Joann Palmer: Beware the Snowy Triangle |

Joann Palmer: Beware the Snowy Triangle

In 1989, Joanne Palmer left a publishing career in Manhattan and has missed her paycheck ever since. She is a mom, weekly columnist for the Steamboat Pilot & Today, and the owner of a property management company, The House Nanny. Her new book "Life in the 'Boat: How I fell on Warren Miller's skis, cheated on my hairdresser and fought off the Fat Fairy" is now available in local bookstores and online at or

Attention, all Steamboat Springs residents. Today, scientists announced the discovery of the Snowy Triangle. The Snowy Triangle is like the Bermuda Triangle where, poof, things vanish for no apparent reason. The Bermuda Triangle gobbles up aircraft and boats. The Snowy Triangle has swallowed up my sunglasses, car keys and First and Second streets. Where are they? Have you ever wondered why downtown Steamboat Springs starts on Third Street?

Historically, there was a Second Street, and according to local rancher and historian Jim Stanko, it was a very important street as it was the site of the Old Second Street Bridge. This bridge was the main route to Brooklyn. Where did the bridge go? If you're hiding it in your backyard, the city needs it back right now because they might be able to sell it on eBay. Or use it to alleviate some of the traffic congestion caused by the resurfacing of Lincoln Avenue.

While we're on the subject of Lincoln Avenue, why is it named Lincoln? Was there some sort of presidential theme thing going on? Could it have been named Taft? Coolidge? And why does Lincoln Avenue end at 13th Street? Isn't 13 an unlucky number? Some large office buildings and hotels don't have a 13th floor; they just skip from 12 to 14. Why is a tiny neighborhood of Steamboat Springs named after a borough of New York?

OK, OK. I made all of that up. I needed an explanation for where things in my house go, especially socks. I put two socks into the dryer, and only one comes out. Or I get all ready for a ski day and can only find ski passes between the years 1988 and 2002, but nothing from the current year. Or, I'm missing a glove. Now I can blame it all on the Snowy Triangle or Switzerland.

Yes, Switzerland.

Switzerland is excuse No. 2. Given the number of things I "misplace," one excuse is not enough. And not just anywhere in Switzerland, but Saas-Fee, our sister city. For readers who have a sister, you know the word "sister" is really just another name for "likes-to-borrow-your-things-without-telling-or-asking-you." The same is true with sister cities. But how do these misplaced items get to Switzerland?

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Remember the old water slide at the Old Town Hot Springs? I have to tell you, and please, be careful who else you mention this to as it's a little freaky, but that old water slide now functions as a tunnel, a wormhole spaceship-y thingy that transports all missing matter directly to our sister city of Saas-Fee.

Once in the tunnel, you are serenaded by the alpenhorn, the big horn musical instrument that is in all of the Ricola commercials.


Don't you feel better now? Isn't it nice to know that missing car keys, sunglasses and the Second Street bridge are now happily in Switzerland? Isn't it exciting to think that the next time you lose your house keys, your favorite fleece or your cell phone, all you need to do is buy a round-trip airline ticket to Switzerland?

However, you do have to remember the wormhole spaceship-y tunnel thing offers two-way transport. Therefore, those sneakers that you see strung over the power lines downtown? Those are Swiss sneakers. Any barefoot people walking around Steamboat in the summertime you can assume are Swiss. And the Sleeping Giant? He is Swiss. Grab some binoculars and take a close look — you'll see his tiny Swiss Army Knife and a Toblerone candy bar.

And late at night, if you listen closely, you may just hear him yodel.

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