Tour to show working ranches

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Before Steamboat Springs became "Ski Town USA," it was a ranching community.

People will have a chance to experience that community Thursday during a tour of two working ranches.

What: Tour of two working ranches

When: 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Thursday

Where: Meet at the Gondola parking lot condominium shuttle turnaround

How much: $40 per person. Call Central Reservations at 879-6111, ext. 5, to reserve a spot.

Remember: To wear a warm coat and shoes or boots that are appropriate for mud and snow.

The tour was organized by Routt County's Colorado State University Cooperative Extension and the Community Agriculture Alliance, along with Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp.

The tour is part of an effort to promote cultural heritage tourism. Cultural heritage tourism celebrates and provides education on cultural and historical resources.

Officials initially focused on summer tours but decided to give a springtime tour a try, said C.J. Mucklow, director of the county's extension office.

Mucklow will act as the tour guide on the shuttle bus, which will take riders to two ranches. The first is the Sand Mountain Cattle Co. near Clark, the ranch of Doug and Adele Carlson. The bus will stop by the store in Clark on its way to Greg Brown's sheep ranch. Bus riders will get off the bus, see livestock and talk to the ranchers, who will discuss the issues, challenges and fun aspects of ranching, Mucklow said. The tour will end at Blue Sky Pottery, a store that offers locally made products including blankets and pottery.

Mucklow said he hopes people who come to the tour learn about modern-day ranching and have fun in the process. It will be a special experience that isn't offered in most ski towns, he said.

"This is one of the few places that is a resort that has that kind of opportunity," Mucklow said. "You can't get a vacation like this at any ski resort you go to."

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