The Steamboat Marathon rewards runners with gorgeous views of the scenery outside Steamboat Springs.

The Steamboat Marathon rewards runners with gorgeous views of the scenery outside Steamboat Springs.

Best bets: Events from April to July 2008

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The 20th annual Rocky Mountain Ford Mustang Roundup takes place from June 12 to 15.

April 19: Real agricultural, real close up. Get your boots dirty at the Northwestern Colorado Bull (and heifer) Sale from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Routt County Fairgrounds in Hayden. Moooo.

April 22-23 and 29-30: Witness the lusty mating dance of the sage grouse in nearby North Park (just over Rabbit Ears Pass). Call the North Park Chamber of Commerce at (970) 723-4600. The only catch? You have to get out of bed at 4 a.m.

May 8: They play for free. The Steamboat String Quartet rehearses weekly from 12:30 to 2 p.m. Thursdays at the Steamboat Art Museum, 807 Lincoln Ave. The rehearsals are open and free to the public.

May 31: Get your vroom on! Blue Dog Events Touch-A-Truck, where kids of all ages can get up close and personal with some monster machines, is from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the Howelsen Hill parking lot.

June 1: Twenty-seventh annual Steamboat Marathon, Half-marathon and 10K

June 7-8: King of the wild frontier. Grab your coyote cap and experience an authentic 1840s mountain man rendezvous at the Wyman Museum on U.S. Highway 40 two miles east of Craig. Hosted by the American Frontiersmen and Frontier Women, and open to the public Saturday and Sunday. Demonstrations of frontier skills including flintlock shooting, fur trade trapping, hide tanning and flint knapping. Educational for children. Admission is $3 daily, plus $3 for the evening campfire session Saturday.

June 12-15: Pony car envy. The 20th annual Rocky Mountain Ford Mustang Roundup, with classic muscle cars lining Lincoln Avenue in downtown Steamboat Springs.

June 13-14: Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo Series kicks off at Brent Romick Rodeo Arena at Howelsen Hill.

June 14-15: Chips will fly on Father's Day, just across the Routt County line during the 48th annual Woodchoppers Jamboree and Rodeo in historic Encampment, Wyo. Loggers bring their axes and saws from all over the U.S. Best of all, from Steamboat you drive through Whiskey Park to get there. Call (307) 326-8855 to confirm details.

June 28: Strings in the Mountains Music Festival opens its new performing arts pavilion with four outstanding pianists, Alpin Hong and Cary Lewis among them. For ticket information, call (970) 879-5056 or visit www.stringsinthemountains.com

June 29: What goes up, eventually runs downhill. Marvel at some of the hardiest mountain runners in the nation. The Steamboat Springs Running Series hosts the USA Track & Field 10K Trail Championships at Mount Werner.

June 29: Folk icon Ritchie Havens performs at Strings in the Mountains. For ticket information, call (970) 879-5056 or visit www.stringsinthemountains.com

July 3: The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band takes you to "a meadow of columbine, on the edge of the snow line," in a performance at the Strings Pavilion. For ticket information, call (970) 879-5056 or visit www.stringsinthemountains.com

July 4: Eight seconds or bust. Rodeo cowboys migrate to the Brent Romick Rodeo Arena in downtown Steamboat Springs for the 105th Cowboys Roundup Days and Fourth of July Celebration.

July 5: Todd Phillips, concertmaster of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, leads a chamber orchestra performing "Mostly Mozart: at Strings in the Mountains." For ticket information, call (970) 879-5056 or visit www.stringsinthemountains.com

July 3, 10, 17: Cow Town Ranch Tours. Escorted tours of working Routt County ranches with local historians, 1 to 4:30 p.m. Fee of $50 for adults and $10 for children 7-12 includes transportation by Alpine Taxi and "Routt beer floats" for everyone. Reserve in advance by calling (800) 922-2722 or (970) 879-0740.

July 12: In 2007, they had four concerts at Carnegie Hall. Tonight, the Takacs Quartet performs at Strings in the Mountains. For ticket information, call (970) 879-5056 or visit www.stringsinthemountains.com

July 12: Look, up in the sky! Brightly colored air bags! Art in the Park in West Lincoln Park and the 28th annual Hot Air Balloon Rodeo. For ticket information, call (970) 879-5056 or visit www.stringsinthemountains.com

Mid-July: The annual North Park Barn and Outhouse Tour to benefit the Walden Public Library. For $10, you will get a close look at some of the finest outdoor plumbing in the Rockies. Call (970) 723-4602 for dates and details. Bring your own TP.

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