Yule log found

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Yule log found

The Watterson and Herfurtner families talk about their history with the Yule Log Hunt and how they found the yule log this year.

The Watterson and Herfurtner families talk about their history with the Yule Log Hunt and how they found the yule log this year.

— If yule log hunting were a sport, the Watterson and Farrell families would be a dynasty.

Brian Watterson brought an official end to the 28th annual Yule Log Hunt when he spotted the 50-pound hunk of wood in Rita Valentine Park in Steamboat Springs on Monday.

Watterson and his wife, Shaunna, found the yule log during Shaunna's lunch break. Shaunna said the log was near the Rita Valentine Park sign.

"I was in my short boots, so I made him trounce through the snow," she laughed.

Prizes for finding the log include a $150 gift certificate from the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association and a framed historical photograph from Tread of Pioneers Museum.

"We have a lot of fun," Shaunna Watterson said. "It's been a family tradition. We've been hunting for the log since John Bower was writing the clues."

The Watterson, Farrell and Selch families have found the log an estimated 13 times since the tradition began 28 years ago. The families are related and often collaborate together. This year, Shaunna said she and her husband were helped by her sister, Tammy Herfurtner.

Alan Selch and Glen Farrell found the log in 2005. Last year, Steamboat residents Tom Whiddon and Scott Schaffer found the log in Memorial Park near Steamboat Springs High School.

It was clue No. 6 that pushed the Wattersons over the hump:

"Square or bowed, take your pick,

Left or right - one does the trick.

Down where the big run takes the fill,

Or up where the smaller comes downhill?"

"It says 'square or bowed, take your pick' - that sounded like knots to us," Shaunna said. "So we were thinking Boy Scouts, sailors, fishermen:so we looked on the map and found Anglers Drive.

"'Left or right - one does the trick' - so we went left (on U.S. Highway 40 onto Anglers Drive)," she said.

Tread of Pioneers Museum board member Jayne Hill, a retired librarian, chooses the yule log's hiding place and writes the clues. She's been doing it more than a decade. Her commitment to the Yule Log Hunt often means she has to trudge out to the log's hiding place at all hours of the night to brush off newly fallen snow. Hill said the log always is hidden in a place that's easily accessible, and the log itself is always at least partially visible.

As for the Wattersons, they'll spend their winnings like they always do.

"We'll got out to dinner after the holidays," Shaunna Watterson said.

Comments

Matthew Stoddard 7 years ago

Congrats. So what about the first clue gave away Rita Valentine? Nothing I can figure, that's for sure.

Even when it was at the cemetary a couple years ago, I tried putting in Google "under cloak of night" just as they said they'd done. They came up with cemetaries. All I got was RPG references to Dungeons & Dragons, Everquest, World of Warcraft, etc., for a Cloak of Night.

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Brian Watterson 7 years ago

Matthew

Thanks! We actually did not get a good idea on the first clue this year but had to wait until the 6th clue to have a pretty good idea of where we were headed. Looking back at the first clue in the very first line Jayne put in Memorial Park. Rita Valentine Park is a "memorial park" to Rita. Overlooking the obvious?? Who's to know but Jayne, but that is how we think about the clues. We got hung up on the phrase "have a merry chase" and we had some pretty wild ideas with that one. We checked out Casey's Pond can you figure out why??

Good Luck next year and Happy Holidays!!

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