Tom Ross columns


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Tom Ross: Colorado's mountains beckon to hikers from across the Western Slope

Some might argue that there is no need to leave Northwest Colorado to enjoy some of the best hiking in Colorado. But I find that I rekindle my enthusiasm for familiar hikes closer to Steamboat by taking road trips throughout the American West.

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Tom Ross: What happens when you cross a fox with a sightless poodle?

Phyllis Latham was all but certain that Rosie the blind cowdoodle had gone to that great roundup in the sky last month when at last she heard a soft scratching at the door. It was Rosie.

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Tom Ross: Oregon man passes through Steamboat on journey of healing after his son's suicide

Joe Bell lay in bed for two weeks thinking suicidal thoughts of his own after his son's death. But his complex emotions coalesced, and he determined a course of action. He's walking from Oregon to New York City to talk with youths and adults about the tragedy that can result from bullying.

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Tom Ross: Pioneer life in Hell's Canyon along the Yampa River in Moffat County

The late Pat Mantle once said, “When I was a little boy, if my brothers and I told our daddy we were hungry, he would hand us a stick and say, ‘There’s a jackrabbit right over there.’”

Tom Ross: New Seattle jet flight to Steamboat scores with former ski patroller

Steamboat expat Gretl Galgon promised to feed Steamboat's ski and courtesy patrols fresh salmon when she arrives Dec. 18 on the first flight from Seattle.

Tom Ross: Elk Mountain Pilot newspaper began in Kebler Pass mining camp

The Elk Mountain Pilot put out its first issue in Gunnison County on June 16, 1880, about 5 years before James Hoyle founded the Steamboat Pilot in 1885.

Tom Ross: Square dancing paved the path for local boys to meet girls at Steamboat's Perry-Mansfield

Dorothy Wither recalled how husbands in Steamboat Springs forbade their wives to visit Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp for fear the curious young ladies at the camp might influence them.

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Tom Ross: Rural community turns out to preview new farm implements at Hayden's Carpenter Ranch

Even if you are not a fan of country music, you must be familiar with Kenny Chesney’s hit song, “She Thinks my Tractor’s Sexy.”

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Tom Ross: Snowy Range for Alpine terrain

There isn't a hike in either the Flat Tops or Mount Zirkel wilderness areas that can match the North Gap and Lost Lake trails in Wyoming’s Snowy Range for sheer Alpine beauty

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Tom Ross: Hunter Gansmann is destined to become an autopsy nurse

Hunter Gansmann heads to Colorado Mesa University this summer to become a licensed practical nurse. She already is a certified nursing assistant thanks to credits earned at Colorado Mountain College while in high school.

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Steamboat parade runs gamut from brainy beauty queen to Redneck Olympians

As it should, the parade will be led off by the American Legion and VFW color guard in recognition of those who have served to protect the nation’s independence.

Tom Ross: Consider leaving your Super Soaker Hydro Cannon at home until after Steamboat's July 4 parade

Shop for the Super Soaker Lightning Storm which holds up to 25 ounces of water. Or, get yourself the Nerf Super Soaker Arctic Shock and fill the attached ice drum to drench your victims with a freezing blast!

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Tom Ross: Steamboat's earliest 4th of July celebrations

If not for an agile Ute Indian boy, Steamboat’s first organized Independence Day celebration on July 4, 1876, would not have been as meaningful for its earliest Caucasian settlers.

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Tom Ross: Rowdy saloons and brothels helped fund early civic improvements in frontier towns like Steamboat Springs

Steamboat's early saloons — and along with them, its red light district — faded abruptly Jan. 1, 1916 when prohibition went into effect. But first they had a helluva New Year's Eve party in Brooklyn.

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Tom Ross: Exploring Carbon County, Wyoming's wide-open skies

Anyone looking for an inexpensive getaway from bustling Steamboat Springs would do well to consider the two-hour drive north to Carbon County, Wyo., where the Encampment River flows into the mighty North Platte. There, travelers will find wilderness and Western history to explore and at least one two-story outhouse.