Tom Ross: Welcome home, Steamboat pilgrims |

Tom Ross: Welcome home, Steamboat pilgrims

To all of you who escaped to warmer weather, say hello to mud season

Tom Ross

— Welcome home all of you spring break pilgrims who returned home over Rabbit Ears Pass on Sunday night wearing your tacky beach shorts and river sandals. We missed you.

Fortunately, you brightened our snowy days with photo galleries of tro­­p­­ical des­tinations post­­ed on Facebook.

Yes, while you were away frolicking in the surf, here in the Yampa Valley the streets of Steamboat were desolate. Robins were building their nests in spruce trees, and a few timid glacier lilies stuck their heads out of the ground on south-facing slopes while we watched boulders the size of studio condos tumble onto River Road.

Yes, the weather in Steamboat was just plain ridonculous while you were away. When it wasn't snowing, it was raining. And when it was doing either, it was doing both at the same time.

So, your Facebook postings made it bittersweet — like April snowshowers that promise to bring flowers sometime in August. We all regret that you had to come back to this crud with sand still clinging to your sunburned scalps.

Jeff Ruff celebrated his birthday on the bonefish flats of Pesca Maya last week with Steamboaters Michael Turner and Thomas Whiddon. It was so sunny on the Yucatan Peninsula that those poor fellers had to wear long-sleeved shirts, broad-brimmed hats and, in some cases, gloves to guard against sunburn. They deserved a good vacation after being chased away from the fish by a hurricane last fall. That's one of those occasions when travel insurance paid off big time.

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Julie Green and Sharon Beaupre posted from the beaches of Panama (it's safer than Mexico, right?). The smiles on their faces said it all.

Jon Wade and family were living the good life in the British Virgin Islands and slurping oysters while Kathy Weiland Thayer and her gang of gal pals jumped into a swimming pool wearing tropical skirts just because they could.

The list of pale snow refugees from Steamboat who found some sand to dig their toes into last week goes on and on.

Well, you all missed out on a mud season of historic proportions, and it ain't over yet.

Golfing at Haymaker? I hesitate to guess.

Mountain biking on Emerald Mountain? Sometime in June.

Ice-off at Catamount? Soon­­­er than you think — the strength of early runoff on the Yampa River at the inlet already has pushed the ice around and there's a good deal of open water.

Leaves on aspen trees? Three weeks away. Maybe.

Hiking on Buffalo Pass? No later than Aug. 1, I promise.

So dig your Tele boots out of the closet again and get over it already.

— To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205 or email

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