Photo by John F. Russell
Steamboat Springs resident Shannon Ford and her daughter Ava used the extra hour of sunlight Monday to enjoy the spring-like weather. The family's pet, Elliemae, also seemed to enjoy the longer day and the warmer weather.
Tom Ross' column appears Tuesdays and Saturdays in Steamboat Today. Contact him at 970-871-4205 or tross@SteamboatToday.com.
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Here comes the sun!
Profuse gratitude goes out to whomever it was who decided it would be a good idea to advance the arrival of daylight-saving time by roughly a month. Yes, I did curse them when my wife's alarm sounded at what felt like 4:15 a.m. Monday morning. But I've since gotten over it.
Despite the obvious disadvantage of moving the clock forward Saturday night, there are some huge pluses. I've figured out that even if I work a little late some nights this week, I'll still have time to hop over to Howelsen Hill for some daylight Nordic skate skiing. The Rodeo Loop will be in shade by 6 p.m., but I'm counting on a little late sunlight on the Bluffs Loop overlooking the Yampa River. I expect it to be uplifting.
For the record, the U.S. Naval Observatory promises we'll enjoy 11 hours and 45 minutes of daylight today. The sun will set two minutes later Wednesday. As the luck of the Irish would have it, we'll surpass 12 hours of daylight for the first time this year on March 17. The sun won't go down until 7:10 p.m. on St. Patrick's Day. Celll e bration time come on!
Not only have we shifted our clock forward 60 minutes, we are gaining daylight at an escalating rate of more than four minutes a day.
The question is, what else could you do with an additional hour of daylight after work this week? Personally, I know I should be renewing my efforts to fix my dang garage door opener. However, I'd rather go fishing.
Here are some suggestions about what you could be doing after work this month.
- Become a street musician. I don't enjoy panhandlers, but I never object to flipping a buck into an open guitar case. Street musicians seem to avoid this town. Does anyone out there know the chords to "I Love This Bar" by Toby Keith?
- Sear some flesh. I'm declaring the official opening of barbecuing season. You might toss a skirt steak into a plastic Ziploc bag along with 2 ounces of cheap tequila and some onions and peppers before you leave for work tomorrow morning. Fajitas - they're what's for dinner. You even have my permission to blend up some margaritas.
- Men and women in tights. It might be a month too late to begin training for the Steamboat Marathon, but if you start pounding the pavement after work, you should be able to pull it together for the half-marathon.
- Hunt for river otters. March is prime time for hiking the Yampa River Core Trail and looking for signs of the frisky mustelids that are making a comeback in the Green and Yampa river basins. Even if you don't see an otter, you might spot one of the snow slides they use for rapid river entries.
- Work on your master's degree in sociology. You could spend several late afternoons on the deck at Slopeside Grill or Bear River Bar & Grill, researching a sociology thesis titled: "Courtship Behavior Among the Upwardly Mobile in an AprÃs Ski Environment Above 6,500 Feet."
- Tie on a golden stonefly. If you haven't stopped by a sporting goods store to fill out your 2008 license, you're missing some of the best and least-crowded trout fishing the Yampa River offers all year. Remember the catch and release regs on the Yampa, and kiss your rainbow on the lips before you return it to the water.
- Hack the sack. How many months do you figure it will be before actor Will Ferrell stars in a movie about the early days of the World Footbag Association? Start brushing up on your skills in your favorite parking lot and maybe you'll get an audition for another lame-O film.