Tom Ross: Summer tourism events I'd like to see happen

First mountain bike fox roundup and neutering spectacular -- and other things to think about

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I was glancing at the calendar of resort events for June this weekend and noticed that there are three full days during which no events have been planned for the amusement of visitors to our fair town. This concerns me to no end, and I'd like to propose forming a task force to correct this deplorable situation.

The first item on the agenda of our first meeting, which hasn't been scheduled yet, will be to round up some seed money for a little event I've named, "The First Mountain Bike Fox Roundup and Neutering Team Roping Spectacular."

It is based on a very real problem in our community -- an overabundance of foxes living under porches and culverts among the many vacant luxury townhomes at the base of the ski area. This single event will bring a diverse tourism demographic to town while reducing the population of foxes. Don't worry, we aren't going to kill any foxes -- we're just going to make it highly unlikely that they will bring any more cute kits into the world.

The Mountain Bike Fox Roundup will comprise teams of three including a professional mountain biker, a team roper and a big city veterinarian all riding bikes supplied by our signature sponsor.

Team members will roam between the townhomes and condos on their bicycles in an effort to see how many foxes they can rope and sterilize within three hours. Personally, I think this has potential to catch on as a reality TV show.

Just in case it isn't added to the programming calendar at Fox this fall, I have other ideas. Next up is the "Continental Divide Backcountry Golf Challenge," bringing members of the LPGA to Steamboat Springs to play a rugged course within the boundaries of the Mount Zirkel Wilderness Area (of course we'll need to get Forest Service Approval for this one). Instead of putting out on traditional golf greens, the golfers will be required to drop a shot into 18 pristine wilderness lakes in succession. Players will be provided with llamas and llama wranglers instead of carrying their bags the full length of the Continental Divide Trail. Every player who successfully completes the course will be awarded an "I Teed off at Gilpin Lake" T-shirt.

This event has great potential on either the Outdoor Life Network or on Women's Entertainment Network.

Next on the calendar is the "Things in the Mountains Festival." Have you ever noticed all of the things that people drop from the chairlift while skiing in winter? Well, one of my favorite pastimes is hiking up the lift lines every June as the snow recedes, looking for a treasure trove of sunglasses, barely used lip balm, antique wine skins and right-handed gloves without mates. Stumbling onto a money clip is not unheard of.

Event organizers will assign point values to the various "Things in the Mountains" and award prizes to the contestants who amass the highest totals.

After a long day of picking up things, all the contestants and their families will be treated to an outdoor, all-night film festival at the base of Headwall.

It will either be called "Things Cinema in the Mountains" or "Cinema Things in the Mountains."

Already, the lineup for this year's festival has been finalized. We'll start out with a flick for the kiddies, Maurice Sendak's "Where the Wild Things Are." Then, once the chilluns are asleep in their sleeping bags, we'll move right into the racier fare. Films to be screened will include "Dirty Pretty Things," starring that really cute French actress Audrey Tatou, followed by "Wild Things," starring Andy Garcia and Denise what's her face. Next up will be "Very Bad Things," starring Cameron Diaz, followed after a brief intermission by Heath Ledger in "Ten Things I Hate About You." Just before dawn, we'll cue up Cheech and Chong on the DVD player and show their 1982 classic, "Things are Tough All Over."

Well, I can't think of one more "thing" to write about, so I'm going to leave you with some-"thing" to think about.

The very first June I experienced in Steamboat was in 1976, and I distinctly recall a beautiful morning when I woke up to six inches of fresh snow at the base of the ski area.

Summers are short and sweet in the 'Boat, and I'm wondering, was that the final snow of the winter of 1975-76? Or was it the first snow of the winter of 1976-77?

If you think you know the answer, e-mail me.

Tom Ross is a longtime Steamboat resident. His column is published every Monday in Steamboat Today.

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