Tom Ross columns


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Tom Ross: Tread of Pioneers Museum in Steamboat displays the beauty of snow crystals

People visiting Steamboat Springs this winter have an opportunity to learn a little more about the science of snowflakes while admiring their beauty in a photo exhibit at the Tread of Pioneers Museum called "Snowflakes, Nature’s Dazzling Design."

Tom Ross: News of Intrawest’s IPO plans, and Crested Butte’s suitor closely timed

Triple Peaks LLC led by Tim and Diane Mueller entered into an agreement to purchase Steamboat Ski Area from a previous owner, American Skiing Company, in January 2002 for $91.4 million. It never came to pass.

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Tom Ross: Vivid memories from a grim November weekend 50 years ago never will fade

There are moments in human history that have such a personal impact that the details and emotions of the day stay with us even a half-century later. For me, it was the violent death of a president that triggered the loss of innocence that sets us all on the path to adulthood.

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Tom Ross: South Routt's Redmond family carries agriculture values forward

Routt County lost another member of an elder generation of ranchers Oct. 20 when James T. “Jack” Redmond died at his family’s historic ranch house at the edge of the Flat Tops on Bull Creek. Redmond was emblematic of a generation that grew up in the Great Depression and weathered the tumult and shortages of World War II to deliver their farms, ranches and families to more prosperous times.

Tom Ross: Pioneer storyteller recalled days when large grizzly bear roamed Steamboat's Storm Mountain

Bears are wonderful to observe from a distance, but when they let themselves into one’s automobile or kitchen, they aren’t nearly as charming. Things could be a lot dicier in Steamboat. We still could have grizzly bears roaming the fringes of the Park Range.

Part-time Steamboat resident 'Banana' George Blair died Oct. 17 at 98

"Banana" George Blair began water skiing at the age of 38 in 1955 and took up snow skiing in Colorado in the 1960s. He continued barefoot skiing with the help of a boom extended from the ski boat until he was 92.

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Tom Ross: The never-ending search for great buys on rare items resumes in Steamboat this weekend

This promises to be a good weekend for estate sales in Routt County despite the dicey weather. Auctions and estate sales are a great place to meet people and find out what makes them tick.

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Tom Ross: Georgia family pulled up stakes and moved to Steamboat Springs in 1919

Visitors come to Steamboat Springs to ski, bike and hike. And sometimes they gather here to rediscover their pasts. The five surviving grandchildren of William “W.O.” and Lucile Wright were in town for a reunion this week and to learn more about their grandparents who came to Steamboat in 1919.

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Tom Ross: Nonagenarian love birds one of Steamboat's oldest living couples

For a couple to be in love for eight decades, they must have met in their teens and both boy and girl must have survived into their mid-90s.

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Tom Ross: Large trove of Steamboat memorabilia auctioned to highest bidders at Tugboat Grill & Pub

Auctioneers liquidated the collection of Steamboat’s unofficial history museum Wednesday. And with the dissolution of the trove of memorabilia on The Tugboat Grill & Pub's storied walls, the legend of Ski Town USA was diminished.

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Tom Ross: Restoring a 1959 farm implement that broke new ground in Routt County's Elk River Valley

In an era when air-conditioned farm tractors with satellite radio have become the norm, there’s something to be said for reconditioning a venerable agricultural implement like the self-propelled Hay Cruiser that Bill Fetcher put to work this summer.

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Tom Ross: Olympian Paul Wegeman recalls moments when course of Steamboat ski history shifted forever

The success Paul and Keith Wegeman experienced in the 1950s later would serve as a foundation for the modern generation of Nordic combined skiers from Steamboat, including Todd Lodwick and Johnny Spillane, who have had Olympic medals draped around their necks.

Tom Ross: Bike Week in Steamboat created lasting memories in some unexpected ways

As the cyclists splashed across the creek on Buffalo Pass northeast of Steamboat Springs, I noticed that the right leg of the fourth man in line ended in a shiny stainless steel prosthetic device.

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Tom Ross: Ski Haus owner Rod Schrage's retail roots in Steamboat date to '60s

Ski Haus owner Rod Schrage arrived on the scene early enough to see Steamboat Ski Area in its early years, when the original Christie and Thunderhead chairlifts were the only lifts on the mountain.

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Tom Ross: Steamboat audience hears how a posse caught up with train robbers near Parachute in 1904

In the excitement of the chase, Roll Gardner carelessly allowed his gun to get wet, and that almost became a factor in the fate of outlaw Kid Curry.