Citywide Yule log hunt begins Monday

Search is Steamboat Springs holiday tradition

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For more information about the 2006 Yule Log Hunt, contact the Tread of Pioneers Museum, 800 Oak St., at 879-2214.

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Alan Selch, left, and Glen Farrell uncovered the Yule Log last year in front of the Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs. The annual Yule Log hunt begins anew Monday. The Steamboat Today will print the clues daily until the Yule Log is found.

— Let the hunt begin.

The 27th annual Yule Log Hunt, sponsored by the Tread of Pioneers Museum and the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association, begins Monday. The citywide search for the three-foot-long, 50-pound log is a long-standing holiday tradition in Steamboat.

This year, the winner will be rewarded with not only a $100 gift certificate from the Chamber, but also a framed historical photograph adorned with a "Yule Log Winner 2006" plaque.

The 10 clues to the log's location will air on local radio stations and will be printed daily in Steamboat Today. A new clue will be released each weekday, with the final clue on Friday, Dec. 22.

Jayne Hill of the museum's Board of Directors has written the clues for at least the past seven years. Hill said clues often refer to community history or past events, and each clue will bring searchers closer to the log's location.

"Usually, it's progressive, but there may be hidden clues (about the final goal) along the way," Hill said. "But we've got some really smart people in this community, so you can't tell them too much too early."

The red, distinctively marked log will be hidden within the Steamboat Springs city limits, in an outdoor, public location. At least a portion of the log will be visible from its hiding place. When the log is found, it must be physically presented to a Tread of Pioneers Museum staff person to claim the prize.

Hill, a retired Steamboat Springs High School librarian, said she planned this year's hiding spot months ago.

"I've known since summer," she said.

The 2006 hunt will start at the site of last year's hiding place, near the Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs on Pine Grove Road.

Last year, stepbrothers Alan Selch and Glen Farrell were the first to shine flashlights on the log's pine tree location in an early-morning hunt, marking the second time the pair found the log together and the 12th time the men or family members prevailed in the search.

Hill said she writes the clues by "saying common things in uncommon ways," and is always excited to create the lighthearted local tradition.

"I just hope people follow along, have fun and get some exercise outdoors while they're looking," Hill said.

- To reach Mike Lawrence, call 871-4203

or e-mail mlawrence@steamboatpilot.com

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