Steamboat Springs Families in Steamboat Springs, as well as visitors, have two upcoming opportunities to guard against one of their children becoming lost in the woods.
Yampatika, a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating people about the natural and cultural resources of the Yampa Valley, will host workshops Saturday and June 29. Both will be led by Dawn Alperti, a veteran of Routt County Search and Rescue. Alperti knows how hikers become separated from their groups and the factors that contribute to a happy outcome.
Yampatika has openings for a pair of naturalist-guided river raft trips. The first, which is Saturday, is a trip down the Colorado River with Bucking Rainbow Outfitters and naturalist John Spezia. Participants may have an opportunity to visit a little-known Native American historical site. The fee is $120 and includes lunch and transportation. The second trip, June 28, will take floaters down a wilderness stretch of the North Platte River near the Wyoming state line. It is better suited for athletic floaters. The fee is $105. Both trips will take place on oar rafts rowed by a river guide. The intent is to leave participants free to learn about the natural history of the rivers. Call 871-9151.
Yampatika's Karen Vail said she has a sense that incidents of children becoming lost in the Rocky Mountains are on the rise.
"It's frightening, the amount we've heard of this spring," she said. "Growing up here, we learned how to be in the outdoors. I think some children grow up in cities, and they know about sidewalks but not the woods."
The first workshop, on Satur--day morning, is intended for youths ages 10 to 15, who can attend without their parents, Vail said.
Students will meet at 9:30 a.m. at the Search and Rescue Barn at 10th and Oak streets.
Alperti will show a video, demonstrate how to pack for a wilderness trip and discuss steps to be taken when a hiker thinks he or she is lost.
Finally, the group will go outdoors for a demonstration hike on Howelsen Hill.
The fee is $15. Students should take snacks and water.
The second workshop -- "Are Your Kids Safe in the Woods?" -- is meant for children of all ages to attend with their parents. Families will learn principles to help them avoid becoming lost in the woods.
It will last from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Search and Rescue barn. The fee is $5 per person. Call 871-9151.
Vail said information about the workshops has been distributed to area lodging management companies to make visitors feel welcome.
-- To reach Tom Ross, call 871-4205
or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org