Tom Ross columns

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Tom Ross: Author Preethi Burkholder to speak at Steamboat's Tread of Pioneers Museum

Author Preethi Burkholder will tell stories about St. Elmo, nearby Tin Cup and other ghost towns at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Tread of Pioneers Museum during a talk about her new book, “Ghost Towns of the Rockies.”

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Tom Ross: The Yampa River tribe

On last week's trip down Yampa Canyon in Moffat County, we quickly slipped into the routine sharing of chores, honored our leaders and our shaman, and paid heed to our most-skilled rowers.

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Tom Ross: Yampa River has peaked in Steamboat, twin bare spots on Storm Peak have yet to merge

There is historic precedent for farmers and ranchers keeping an eye on the changes in prominent snow fields shimmering in the June heat in order to gauge how much longer they would have snowmelt to irrigate with.

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Tom Ross: Finalist for Colorado Book Award due in Steamboat to talk about future of water in the West

Of all the research author Stephen Grace did for his book "Dam Nation," the information that concerns him most is the revelation that we have been living in an era of relative water abundance in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

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Tom Ross: When a pocket dialer might have been preferable

In the case of this early morning phone call, the caller’s dog had experienced a close encounter with erethizon dorsatum — a porcupine.

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Tom Ross: Steamboat and Ouray have hot springs in common

I’ve always urged that it’s important to visit other mountain towns to gain new insights into the quirky, little burgh we happen to inhabit.

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Tom Ross: Steamboat Lake sheds its winter mantle of ice

Senior Steamboat Lake State Park ranger Brent Lounsbury said the campgrounds are muddy and there are many chores to do, including turning the electricity on, but the snow is going fast.

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Tom Ross: "Storage Wars" fails to materialize at west Steamboat auctions

Thirsting for adventure this week, I cruised over to a couple of storage unit auctions. I learned that while there isn’t an antique in every locker, there definitely can be some pleasant surprises.

Tom Ross: The best things in life are free, or so sang a famous musician

I can’t find a record of it, but I believe it was also 1994 when Sheryl Crow understandably canceled her free show in Steamboat because David Letterman’s staff had called to offer her an appearance on “Late Night.”

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Tom Ross: College professor's new all-electric car the 1st Nissan Leaf in Routt County

Jeff Troeger's Nissan Leaf has a backup beeper that sounds like space bells, and when the driver is keeping it below 20 mph, the Leaf assumes that it is in a parking lot and makes a gentle whooshing sound to alert pedestrians.

Tom Ross: Barry Fey's many concerts attracted Steamboat residents to Red Rocks Amphitheater

Barry Fey’s greatest contribution to Denver and the region may have helping to establish Red Rocks as one of the most sought-after concert venues by the artists themselves.

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Tom Ross: Former Steamboat resident Steve Smallwood publishes his poetry

When he lived in Steamboat in the 1990s, poet Steve Smallwood worked behind the desk of the old Harbor Hotel at the corner of Lincoln Avenue and Seventh Street. He would bring his poems into the newspaper office, and we often would publish them as letters to the editor.

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Tom Ross: With plastic trash threatening turtles, South Padre residents take action

Rehabilitating injured turtles is a major part of the mission at Sea Turtle Inc. Turtles arrive there after stranding themselves on the beaches due to injuries caused by boat props, fishing lines, shark attacks and ingesting pieces of plastic.

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Tom Ross: Pioneer Mesa County safecracker had his nose replaced by his left pinky finger

Earlier in his criminal career, John Homutoff lost his nose while trying to blow a safe with nitroglycerine. It was the same crime that landed him in San Quentin.

Tom Ross: Steamboat's growing 2012-13 snow total puts last 15 ski seasons in perspective

When skiers look at the snowfall of the last five winters, you realize that the overall average has been profoundly influenced by three extra super-duty winters that went over 400 inches.