Steamboat Springs A clear, blue sky and bright sun provided the perfect backdrop for the first day of summer Wednesday.
In addition to being the official start date for summer, June 21 is the summer solstice and the longest day of the year. Official sunrise in Steamboat was at 5:37 a.m. and sunset was at 8:42 p.m.
Starting today, the days just get shorter minute by minute as the valley slides closer to winter. The winter counterpart to June 21 is Dec. 21, the shortest day of the year.
For yoga enthusiasts, the summer solstice is when classes begin focusing on outward expansion toward the sun.
"In the summer we shine, sparkle and open up like flowers," said Nina Darlington, a yoga teacher at the Bear River Center.
The first day of summer is when dark, cold conditions are left behind and the opening of a blossoming period begins, Darlington said. On Wednesday, she began teaching her class to expand outward toward the sun. Victoria Strohmeyer, also a yoga teacher at the Bear River Center, began focusing her Tuesday night yoga class on the solar aspect in lieu of the beginning of the solstice, which began around 9 p.m. local time on Tuesday.
Some outdoor enthusiasts in Steamboat tried to get the most out of the long day Wednesday, whether it was on evening bike rides or hiking trips.
"People around here are thrilled that it's the longest day," said Vicki Oyster, an employee at Ski Haus. "You definitely can go take a hike up behind your house at 9 p.m. if you want because it's still light out."
Yampatika offered various outdoor activities throughout the day for people to enjoy the sun and nature on the first day of summer. A pioneer promenade and an herb walk were held in the morning, while the Young Naturalist Club studied flowers in the early afternoon. Later in the afternoon, participants took advantage of the extra sunshine by going boating at Steamboat Lake.
Other people in the area, though, had a more lackadaisical approach to the summer solstice.
The day crept up on them, leaving them without plans on how to enjoy the extra daylight.
"Today I wrote a check and I knew that June 21 meant something, but I didn't realize it until later," said Linda Carlton, owner of Healthy Solutions.
To reach Larissa Keever call 871-4229 or e-mail email@example.com