Clouds wrap around the mountains at the top of Rocky Mountain National Park earlier this month.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Clouds wrap around the mountains at the top of Rocky Mountain National Park earlier this month.

Joel Reichenberger: Inspiration is the goal with weekly adventures

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— My first regular assignment when I arrived in Steamboat Springs 6 1/2 years ago was the Outdoors page, and for most of my time working at the newspaper, it was as plum an assignment as a reporter could ask for.

Joel Reichenberger

Steamboat Pilot & Today sports reporter and photographer Joel Reichenberger can be reached at 871-4253 or jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com.

Find more columns by Joel here.

I went rafting and wakeboarding, skiing and bike riding. I got private lessons from some of Steamboat’s best instructors and got long, sit-down interviews with many of this adventure-focused town’s most epic adventurers.

The Outdoors page disappeared about a year ago, however.

In some ways, that was a load off my shoulders. It’s a great weekly assignment to have when Eric Meyer is back from the Himalayas and just a phone call away. It’s a tough weekly assignment to have the week after the ski area has closed, every source is out of town and it’s rainy, cold and miserable outside.

We said we’d compensate for ending the Outdoors page by running more outdoors stories in the sports section, and we started by renaming it “Sports and Outdoors.”

And we’ve done that in some ways. We don’t lack for outdoors coverage and still spill plenty of ink writing about skiing, hiking, kayaking and all the things Steamboaters love to do.

There are some things that, without a weekly mandate, do slip through the cracks, though. My favorite Outdoors stories were always things people could pick up and go do, like a hike or a trip.

At its best, Outdoors wasn’t just an avenue to tell you the great stories of Steamboat. It was also a way to get you, ahem, outdoors to create your own story. Without the weekly requirement hanging over our heads, we’ve gotten away some from that.

So that’s why we’re debuting the Adventure of the Week feature in Friday's paper.

The idea harkens back to those Outdoors stories, where we want it to be something you can “grab and go.” It will publish Friday mornings, just in time to inspire you for a weekend adventure. The only requirement is that it be something people can do.

Steamboat can be an intimidating place to suggest “outdoors” ideas to people. Many of our readers tend to scale a mountain without our prompting, and sometimes, it can feel a little silly suggesting such an idea to them.

But I’ve always done well to remember not everyone here is superhuman. I certainly am not, and suggestions, even for trips I’m aware of, often do me well. This week, I write about a trip to Rocky Mountain National Park, a place that’s obviously no secret. Maybe you’ve already been, or maybe you just needed the idea floated in front of you.

Also, not everything we write about will be epically difficult because not everyone in town gets a kick out of beating the sun to the top of Emerald Mountain on an early Saturday morning.

The idea is just to throw out fun ideas, some very local, some not so much. They may be hikes. They may be camping trips. They may be ski adventures, photo excursions or even just road trips, because I know as well as anyone that there’s so much to do in Steamboat, it can be difficult to find the time to swing over even to the next county, let alone a different part of the state.

The feature likely will be seasonal, and maybe every week won’t inspire you — but we hope some do. Please don’t hesitate to suggest ideas for trips and adventures.

I’ve always felt I had one of the best jobs in town. This is why.

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @JReich9

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