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Tom Ross: Everyone has a fantasy life

I thought Cutthroat Trout was a great name for a fantasy football team. It sounds vicious and earth-friendly at the same time. Environmentalists can’t object, and no one calls a cutthroat a wussie. Imagine all of the team merchandise I could sell with a logo of an angry fish on it. The cutthroat headgear should sell dozens of units.

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Tom Ross: No chainsaw massacre on Meadow

There was a time when I thought gathering firewood was a grand adventure. I actually looked forward to stuffing a U.S. Forest Service permit in the glove box of Grateful Red and tossing a Homelite chainsaw, gas can, splitting maul, shovel and a gallon of water in the back of the pickup.

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Tom Ross: In tough times, Steamboat can feed your soul for free

What a strange year 2010 has turned out to be. All the trappings of a flourishing mountain resort town are in place in Steamboat Springs during the last summer of the first decade of the 21st century.

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Tom Ross: Show them the money

Jackie Sherrill’s $287,000 contract inspired outrage in 1982

As if there were ever any doubt, we learned this week that college football is all about the money. It's been 28 years since my father expressed public outrage about the salaries of college football coaches in a 1982.

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Tom Ross: Tubers need to show patience

As this Memorial Day weekend brought out the warm weather and as the Yampa River is on top of everyone's mind after another Yampa River Festival, it's important to remember that the river still can be very dangerous during this time of year.

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Tom Ross: Not just another snakebite story

New pictorial history of Hayden packed with anecdotes

Remember the good old days when Hayden had its own all-woman Ukulele Glee Club? No? During the 1920s, they used to ride around town in the back of an REO Eagle Beak touring car, entertaining the community.

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Tom Ross: Anyone for a game of Butt Darts?

Buchanan authors kid-friendly approach to outdoor adventure

Steamboat-based editor of Paddling Life magazine, Eugene Buchanan, and his wife, Denise, have been through it all with their two daughters. This month, Eugene came out with a book on the subject of introducing kids to a life in the outdoors: “Outdoor Parents, Outdoor Kids.”

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Tom Ross: I-70 almost rocked the ’Boat

If Colorado had its way, I-70 would have traced U.S. 40 to Provo

Have you ever contemplated how different life in Routt County would be today if Interstate 70 blazed its way through the Yampa Valley instead of following the Eagle and Colorado rivers to Grand Junction?

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Tom Ross: Trout fishing is red hot

Let’s make sure we do our best to keep it that way

I caught a sufficient number of trout Sunday to feed my little neighborhood. But we ate a standing rib roast for Easter dinner instead. Beef, it’s what’s for dinner. Trout from the Yampa? Not so much.

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Tom Ross: Who’s afraid of a big hoot owl?

I resurfaced from a half-dream state at about 11 p.m. Sunday night and realized my mind had been swirling with images from the amazing Discovery Channel documentary “Life,” which I’d been watching earlier in the evening. In my dream, an owl was calling every minute or so. And then I heard it again. “Whooo-doo. Who.”

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Tom Ross: Bracket busters bomb fans

If you awoke this morning with a vague recollection of a nightmare, the one where the cleaning crew stuffed your NCAA Tournament brackets in the diagonal shredder, fear not — a majority of college basketball fans shared the same bad dream Friday morning.

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Tom Ross: The Ragu factor and our resort economy

Here’s a question for you: How many suburban guys does it take to shop at a Steamboat grocery store and purchase the ingredients necessary to make a spaghetti dinner? The answer is five.

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Tom Ross: Exchanging banter with perfect strangers

“We could totally crash this wedding,” I exclaimed to my wife Saturday night. I had to raise my voice to be heard above the din of a happy hour cocktail party in the Hotel Monaco. And I may have spoken too loudly, because we immediately attracted the attention of three women in their 40s.

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Tom Ross: Demong praises Austrian coach

I had a pretty clear sense before Thursday’s Olympic gold-medal performance that Billy Demong was a class act. But I wasn’t prepared for the extemporaneous remarks Demong made to reporters in a news conference after the event. Demong talked about a camp more than a decade ago when he received some motivation from former US coach Bard Elden, of Norway.

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Tom Ross: A brief visit to the ladies’ restroom

I can’t be the only guy in the universe to ever accidentally walk into the women’s restroom at work. But I might be the only guy to escape the ladies’ facilities undetected and then write about it in the newspaper.

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Tom Ross: Sunday’s race was elation, frustration in flyover land

My stomach was in a knot, and I was shouting loudly at my computer screen Sunday afternoon as Johnny Spillane, Todd Lodwick and Billy Demong sprinted toward the finish line in Whistler, British Columbia. It was a strange mixture of elation and frustration that I experienced.

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Tom Ross: Super Brees, super ads, super Betty

As difficult as it was to get up from the couch Sunday to reheat a plate of nachos during a spectacular Super Bowl between New Orleans and Indianapolis, it was even more difficult to turn our backs on the flat panel during the commercial breaks.

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Tom Ross: The 1st cut is the deepest

I was sliced by a bread knife worthy of King Arthur

Within the span of 10 days, I’ve had run-ins with a giant bread knife and an exploding wine glass, both mishaps resulting in bloody wounds to the digits of my right hand. Have you ever noticed that when you get your first cut in a long time, similar wounds are sure to follow?

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Tom Ross: Ski just like Olympian Spillane

I skied just like Johnny Spillane on Saturday. Maybe a little slower. Spillane and his teammates Billy Demong and Todd Lodwick competed a 10-kilometer cross-country ski race to wrap up a World Cup Nordic Combined competition in Chaux-Neuve (pronounced Show-Nuff), France, on Saturday.

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Tom Ross: 1 of North Routt’s favorites heads south for winter

After more than 30 years of savoring and enduring winters from her ridge-top home overlooking Seedhouse Road, Christie Kinney, 89, has reluctantly surrendered her snow shovel. Kinney is going to spend the winter in Grand Junction.

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Tom Ross: No place like online for the holidays

We’ll do Skype for Christmas, you can count on us. There comes a time in the lives of empty-nesters when they find themselves huddled around the wassail bowl, slurping mugs of spiced punch and stuffing stockings for each other, but not for their offspring.

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Tom Ross: The tales stamps tell

I’m anything but a serious stamp collector. I’m no philatelist. But I rediscovered a glimpse of Winter Olympic history this week when I picked up my childhood stamp album and stumbled on a set of five Hungarian commemoratives.

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Tom Ross: Redefining ‘My Steamboat’

Author with local roots a new generational view of city

Dori Duckels DeCamillis, a 1981 Steamboat Springs High School graduate, has published “My Steamboat, a Ski Town Childhood,” which describes what her Steamboat was like on the social chart between ranch folk and town folk in the 1960s and ’70s.

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Tom Ross: Beware the karaoke machine

I tanked as an Elvis impersonator in front of 110 of my colleagues and their significant others Sunday, and I know people never will regard me in quite the same way again.

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Tom Ross: A place for book enthusiasts

Site helps you find reads like Stegner’s Powell biography

I haven’t logged any face time on Facebook yet, but I blog at least three times a week and I tweet like a neo-tropical songbird. Beginning today, I also read good. I now have a profile on a social networking site for bookworms called Goodreads.

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Tom Ross: The groomsmen wore coyote skin caps

Weddings of the rich and brilliant in the Sunday Times

Feeling a little full of yourself? Would it do you good to be knocked down a peg? I have the fix you seek. Never have I been so fascinated in the midst of suffering from a sudden onset of inferiority complex as when I settled in with the New York Times Wedding/Celebrations section during the weekend.

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Tom Ross: Book reveals Steamboat Springs you never knew

Northwest Colorado is blessed with a wealth of serious books about local history. And there is a brand-new volume that will quickly earn a place in your personal library. It will help you see Steamboat Springs the way the pioneers did. Literally.

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Tom Ross: Who said anything about a grizz?

Alaskan hunter sights a 7-foot-tall bear in Zirkel Wilderness

Whether it was an unusually large black bear that approached the camp in the Mount Zirkel Wilderness or something more fearsome, it was enough to put the fear into a hunter from Alaska. You and I would be frightened, too, if we encountered a bear as tall as Shaquille O'Neal.

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Tom Ross: What we can learn from a post-tornado revival

What we can learn from a post-tornado revival

What would you do if Steamboat Springs was wiped out tomorrow by a rogue tornado? Would you bolt town for flatter ground, or would you stick around to build a new city from scratch on the big bend in the Yampa River?

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Tom Ross: Guitar Hero or Guitar Zero?

Just get yourself a guitar and learn to play real music

Welcome to the age of the "Guitar Zero." You may fool yourself into thinking you're playing "Stairway to Heaven" on your PlayStation 3, but it's only a half step above air guitar.

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Tom Ross: Steamboat's 1st building boom

News flash! Lincoln Avenue and Steamboat Springs undergo an unprecedented building boom. But it's not what you think. I'm talking about the building boom of 1909. That was the year the Moffat Railroad finally pulled into Steamboat.

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Tom Ross: A story in every sale

You get a curious feeling while touring the home of a former colleague and pawing through the family possessions looking for something to purchase. I walked away from the home Friday with a beautifully illustrated 19th-century book.

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Tom Ross: You have the right to dry

The sun finally made an appearance in the skies above the Yampa Valley on Friday, reminding Steamboaters that under Colorado law, they have the inalienable right to dry. Ever since House Bill 1270 went into effect Aug. 6, 2008, Coloradans have had the right to throw up a clothesline and conserve energy by hanging their tighty whities in the breeze.

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Tom Ross: Eating dinner with strangers

When I show up at a community picnic or a business luncheon, I typically push myself outside my comfort zone and sit down next to someone I don't recognize.

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Tom Ross: Veterans at rest overlook Steamboat

The stories of remarkable lives are waiting to be rediscovered

Editor's note: Tom Ross is off for the Memorial Day holiday. This column originally was published in May 2003.

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Tom Ross: Praise for local campground

Sunset magazine highlights Big Creek Lakes in Routt Forest

The word is out about a quiet corner of the Routt National Forest that many people have never set eyes on. The May issue of Sunset magazine touts Big Creek Lakes in the Routt National Forest as one of the best campgrounds in Colorado.

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Tom Ross: Vegas forecast: 80 degrees, pop art

I hit the couch within two minutes of returning home Saturday afternoon, my muscles protesting after the exertion of breaking trail into the secret telemark stash on Rabbit Ears Pass.

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Tom Ross: Born to be mild

Harley Davidson rejects the recession, why can't we?

Have you ever stopped to wonder how our approach to coping with the recession in Steamboat Springs might change if all our elected public officials rode Harleys?

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Tom Ross: Endorphins help relieve mud season blues

The key to mud season mental health management can be as simple as perfecting the manufacture of your own endorphins. I binged on crust skiing and cycling during the weekend, and the result was mild euphoria.

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Tom Ross: Don't dismiss Old Man Winter just yet

I'm not done with winter. Are you? The weather outside is sizzling, but I'm not done playing in the snow this season. Our sibling publication, the Craig Daily Press ran a bold front page headline Thursday (actually a quote) that read "Winter is gone now."

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Tom Ross: Women ski jumpers deserve Olympic shot

Can you distinguish between world champion skiers Lindsey Vonn and Lindsey Van? If you consider yourself a follower of the U.S. Ski Team, it's high time you got the two women sorted out.

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Tom Ross: Ultimate redemption

Todd Lodwick, the man whose resume tells us he is the greatest Steamboat skier of all time, finally got the abominable snowman off his back in Liberec, Czech Republic, on Friday.

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Tom Ross: Try Denver's cultural offerings

Haven't left Steamboat since October? Time to get out of Dodge

You know you've spent too many consecutive days in the 'Boat when you find yourself walking down Sherman Street in downtown Denver and craning your neck upward to gawk at the really, really tall bank buildings.

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Tom Ross: Leave the chevre and Chenin Blanc at home

Steelers, Cardinals play before, after Springsteen concert

I'm really looking forward to Sunday's nationally televised Bruce Springsteen concert. I might even catch a little of the football scrimmage that's being played before and after the performance.

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Tom Ross: Dr. King's thirst for freedom no laughing matter

The unfamiliar figure appeared at my left shoulder Friday while I was sitting at my desk in the newsroom and contemplating the fact that I never, ever experience writer's block.

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Tom Ross: A brief presidential partying history

When newly sworn-in President Barack Obama greets guests at his various inaugural balls beginning this weekend and continuing through Tuesday night, he shouldn't have to suffer the embarrassment President Ulysses S. Grant did at his inauguration March 4, 1873. That was the inaugural gala when the canaries froze in their cages.

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Tom Ross: Vegas mob museum unworthy of stimulus package

Why couldn't Steamboat Springs have a mayor like Oscar B. Goodman, of Las Vegas?

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Tom Ross: Skins in the game

Howelsen, Rabbit Ears offer alternatives

I don't know how you spent Saturday afternoon, but I was pretty busy shedding my skins. And then putting them right back on again.

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Tom Ross: Santa drove an Alpine taxi

Holiday trip from Maine to Steamboat stretches over 81 hours

Santa arrived at our front door at 1:10 a.m. Dec. 25, and he looked a lot like Randy Hurley. Come to think of it, Santa Hurley's sleigh looked a lot like a big Alpine taxi.

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Tom Ross: A lion in winter

Cougar alarms telemark skier on Sitz

If I get my wish this Christmas, Santa will leave a pair of climbing skins for my telemark skis under the tree. However, I've already promised Mrs. Claus that I won't play with mountain lions when I go out skinning.

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Tom Ross: Steamboat's roving Santa

Walt Webber family took Christmas door to door

As Steamboat kicks off a new holiday tradition tonight with Merry Mainstreet and the good folks in Hayden look forward to the tradition of the Roving Christmas Tree, it's good to be reminded that in a more innocent time, Steamboat youngsters looked forward every Christmas Eve to the popcorn balls that Santa Claus delivered to their doors.

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Tom Ross: Beware the karaoke machine

Here's wishing a blue Christmas to ye and all your kin

I tanked as an Elvis impersonator in front of 110 of my colleagues and their significant others Sunday, and I know that people will never regard me in quite the same way again.

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On the market for Dec. 7

Steamboat Springs saw just one building permit issued for a single-family home in October, but permits for alterations and additions hit double digits.

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Tom Ross: Pass the porcupine stew

Early settlers used skis for work, rarely for play

Winter appears to have settled in for good, and some of you who are new to the Yampa Valley may be wondering what you have gotten yourselves into.

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Tom Ross: Don't quit 'grousing around'

Steamboat artist captures special powder moment

Steamboat artist Tinker Tiffany and I have never met. However, she just helped me reconnect with an amazing wildlife encounter that took place almost 30 years ago.

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Tom Ross: Overalls a snaux pas at Backcountry Ball

I accomplished the impossible Saturday night and dressed inappropriately for the 10th annual Backcountry Ball.

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Tom Ross: Occidentally overlooking rivalries

President-elect Barack Obama and I are on opposite sides of the stadium when it comes to Division I football playoffs.

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Tom Ross: Good riddance to Yankee Stadium, the house money built

The house that Ruth built is an abandoned relic. Boo hoo. Someone pass me a hankie.

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Tom Ross: Pinedale a changing Western town

A great deal can change during the course of seven years in a mountain town, whether it's Steamboat Springs or Pinedale, Wyo.

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Tom Ross: Good news: The world is still flat

'Hot, Flat and Crowded' offers more than candidates have so far

After surviving the two grandiose pep rallies that comprised the national political conventions, my faith that the two campaigns and the TV networks can stage meaningful candidate debates has been shaken.

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Tom Ross: Only in America

Feel-good freebies make garage sale worthwhile

The first customer to arrive at my garage sale on Saturday rolled up in a skid steer loader, more commonly known by the familiar trade name of Bobcat.

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Tom Ross: Don't tell comic he passed away

Carlin deplored euphemisms

Even in death, comedian George Carlin resides in a little pad on my desk in the newsroom.

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Tom Ross: Thrush goes off course; birders migrate to Steamboat

The pilgrims come from all across North America and even Europe to a quiet dead-end street in Old Town Steamboat Springs. They are all strangers but welcome in the home of Jan and Vic Serafy overlooking the rushing snowmelt of Soda Creek. The pilgrims come for the thrill of spotting a songbird that has no business in Colorado.

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Tom Ross: Snow gods forgive math error; record almost sure to fall

If there's anything sacred in Ski Town USA, it's the all-time record for the most snowfall in one season.

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Tom Ross: How to powder your nose

Steamboat skiers, riders enjoy mounds of snow

If you're on your way up to the ski hill this morning, you might swing by Old Town Hot Springs and see if they'll loan you a pair of those nose clips that synchronized swimmers can't seem to do without.

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Tom Ross: Have you crossed over the line?

Join me as I give up fudge, pizza and cheese logs (for now)

As the winner of the 1971 Elm Drive B pizza-eating contest, this is a difficult confession for me to make. However, the sad truth is that I've been living on the plus side of the Mendoza Line ever since Thanksgiving. I'm wearing khakis with a hidden elastic waistband under the belt loops.

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Tom Ross: One dog night

Travelers stranded by Silverthorne blizzard forced to improvise

Sunday evening was every bit a three-dog night, and I had only one warm dog. Fortunately, I had two sleeping bags and one very warm wife in the back of my SUV.

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