Did You Know?
To prove that the Yampa River is navigable, Backdoor Sports owner Peter Van De Carr once spent 10 days kayaking from the river’s headwaters 250 miles to Jensen, Utah, while carrying a package of Hostess Twinkies. After arriving, he pulled the delicacies out and sold them to an outfitter for a quarter. “I wanted to show that you can use the river to conduct interstate commerce,” he says. “That means it’s navigable and landowners can’t block passage.”
At this spring’s Cody’s Challenge Randonee race, one racer was shorter than most competitors’ poles. Tackling the short course at age 7, local Bridger Carlton skinned, climbed and schussed with the best of them, all in the name of raising funds for the Cody St. John Foundation, which benefits local ski patrols. “He liked my high-speed crash at the bottom of the chute,” says his dad, Will, who also competed in the March 17 event. Bridger plans to be back again next season, a year older and wiser. “It was hard at first but then it started to be really fun,” the rugrat Randonee racer says. “It was cool to be the only kid there. Everyone was really nice to me.”
Steamboat Ranked Top Mountain Town
We all know what a great mountain town we have. Now the rest of the country knows it, as well. In May, Men’s Journal magazine ran a full-page photo of our little hamlet showing the Yampa River in front of a snow-topped Mount Werner in fall headlining a story about the Best Mountain Towns in the High Country. The write-up below called the town’s local orthopedic surgeon a bull rider, heaped praise on F.M. Light & Sons, said athletes “soak sore quads” at Strawberry Park Hot Springs, and mentioned that your local fly-fishing guide might be an Olympian.
Moots Named Colorado Company to Watch
While its employees might be spinning their wheels at lunchtime, local titanium bike manufacturer Moots is doing anything but in the business world. This spring, Moots was named a 2011 Colorado Company to Watch out of 400 nominees by the state Office of Economic Development. “It recognizes growing companies that fuel the economic fire of the state,” the group’s Sam Bailey says. Moots is riding the accolades with such new bike models as the MX Divide and Psychlo X RSL. “It’s a nice recognition of our team’s work,” Moots President Rob Mitchell says. “Moots is a child of the Yampa Valley and its values. This award is just as much a recognition of our community and the other outdoor businesses based here.”
The SUP Stops Here
Peter Hall, the harmonica player for Missed the Boat, is making boards as well as bluegrass music. Hall recently returned from China with prototypes for his new Hala inflatable stand-up paddleboards and paddles. Made out of 5 1/2-inch drop stitch material rather than the conventional 4-inch, the boards are uber-stable, making them perfect for the likes of the Yampa River. “Their stability is through the roof,” says Hall, who can be seen regularly testing them on the Yampa. “I think you’ll start seeing more people taking up the sport here and beyond.” Info: www.halagear.com.
Steamboat might well be swimming with Olympians, but the town’s latest athlete to compete on the world stage will do so in the water instead of the winter. This spring, local Blake Worsley qualified to represent Canada in swimming in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. While Worsley was raised in Steamboat — earning his swimming stripes, often in below-zero temperatures, at the Old Town Hot Springs lap pool — he has dual citizenship in Canada, and will represent our neighbor to the north in the games. “I’m excited to be qualified for the Olympics,” he says. “I appreciate all the love and good luck and congratulations everyone in Steamboat has given me.”
Locals Build Buff Ski
Like the Colorado Buffs? Now you can show your support on your skis, thanks to two local entrepreneurs smitten with the black and gold. Locals Luke Dudley and Don McLean recently launched a University of Colorado-themed ski as a benefit for CU’s athletic department and ski team. The ski features inlaid wood designs of the Flatirons and the CU athletic logo. “The idea evolved after attending the CU Ski Ball last fall,” says McLean, adding that longtime local and CU alum Scott Wither bought the first pair. “It’s the perfect all-mountain ski for Steamboat. With my daughter on the CU Ski Team, it just all fit together.”
Mumm’s the Word
People dig Dig This. The Steamboat-based company, which lets people run heavy excavating machinery, recently was named a Top 25 Newsmaker by McGraw-Hill Construction’s Engineering News-Record. “It was quite the day, with an awards luncheon, cocktail reception and black tie dinner,” says owner Ed Mumm, who attended the awards ceremony in New York City. “It was humbling to be in the presence of the other 24 Newsmakers.”