Steamboat’s Yule Log Hunt begins today |

Steamboat’s Yule Log Hunt begins today

1st clue released in the annual holiday season search

Zach Fridell

Randy Nelson discovered the Yule Log under the boardwalk at Rotary Park on Friday. This is the second time Nelson has found the log. In 1995, he found the log along with friend Randy Cochran. Cochran since has moved to Florida, but Nelson said he phoned the former Steamboat resident each day, and he helped solve the clues.

— Blanketed by a fresh coat of snow and obscured by the experienced cluemasters, the Steamboat Springs Yule Log is safely resting somewhere within city limits as the annual scavenger hunt begins in earnest today.

The three cluemasters from the Tread of Pioneers Museum have planted the Yule Log in a secret place, with 10 clues to be released one at a time, one per day, beginning today. The search starts from where Randy Nelson discovered the log last year — the Rotary Park boardwalk.

Emblazoned with big red letters spelling its name, the Yule Log is hidden each year by museum staff and board members.

The first clue this year is:

"Under Rotary Boardwalk in 2008, the fabled log laid in wait.

This year in a different place, follow each clue to find home base."

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Museum Executive Director Candice Bannister advised hunters to start early, but she said don't put too much stake in the first several clues.

"Clues bring you closer to the log," she said. "Some advice is to use the clues as you try to figure out where the log is hidden but not look at any one particular clue as the location."

The clues, written by Bannister, museum board member Jayne Hill and curator Katie Adams, will lead searchers to the final location, but not necessarily in a straight line.

Hill said knowledge of Steamboat's history always helps hunters.

"Think creatively," she said. "Review some history … because we do put some historic clues in there, but they're not so demanding you couldn't find it without it."

The Yule Log has been a Steamboat tradition for at least the past 30 years, Hill said, but the hunt's complete history still is a mystery.

"It happened before that, but nobody knows the history, and it was put away for a long time," she said.

The rules of the hunt include that the log will not be on private property, in a building or any place that requires a fee to enter. It will be within Steamboat Springs city limits, and the cluemasters will make sure at least part of the log is visible.

Bannister urged anybody who finds the log to call the museum right away so other searchers aren't tromping around in the snow with no log to find.

The winner will get a $150 Steamboat Chamber gift certificate from the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association and a framed piece of historical artwork with a "Yule Log Winner 2009" plaque.

2009 Yule Log Hunt Clue No. 1

Under Rotary Boardwalk in 2008, the fabled log laid in wait.

This year in a different place, follow each clue to find home base.

Look for each day’s clue on the Happenings page in the Steamboat Today.

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