It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Puh-lease. This might hold true for the Routt County Courthouse lawn, the lights hanging over Lincoln Avenue and the bell-clangers outside City Market, but not in the most traditional sense of having a very white Christmas.
Why is the daffy — that glorious, crotch-ripping badge of courage involving one or more midair splits — tainted with dorkdom? Pop a daffy under the lift today and you’re considered an ironic hipster or a loser.
Halfmoon Cay is the outermost atoll in Belize, a two-hour boat ride from the mainland. It sits in the heart of Lighthouse Reef National Park, one of the crown jewels of the Belize Barrier Reef, the second largest reef in the world.
You don’t have to go to the ski resort, Howelsen Hill or even the ice rink to get your winter sports fix. With a little creativity, local homeowners are taking matters into their own hands — and yards — creating everything from backyard rails to rinks just a snowball’s throw from the fridge.
Steamboat certainly has its share of closet hard guys and gals — those people who punish themselves with wacky cardio challenges that no one knows about except themselves. We managed to chase down a few (gasp) and got them to share some of their accomplishments, which might just entice you to get off the couch.
If Jazzel Gardea, 8, has a varied skiing style, don’t blame her. Last winter, the never-ever skier was the recipient of ski lessons provided by 15 volunteer coaches from the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club.
If you liked what you saw — and skied — last winter (i.e. a 433-inch ski season), wax your boards for more of the white stuff this year. Forecasters are predicting a return, albeit milder, of La Niña.
Local mountaineer Matt Tredway has taken college graduation presents to new heights. As a gift for his daughter, Ariel, Tredway took her up Africa’s Mount Kilimanjaro in September.
On Oct. 4, Dinosaur National Monument celebrated the opening of its new Quarry Visitor Center and Quarry Exhibit Hall. The opening coincides with the 96th anniversary of the creation of the original 80-acre Dinosaur National Monument.
I still remember it sitting under the Christmas tree: a Snurfer. My five siblings and I raced it outside to the hilly yard of our home in Boulder and started schussing down the hill. And here in Steamboat Springs, this wintertime backyard fun is even easier.
When the 2011 World Rafting Championships wrapped up Monday on Costa Rica’s Pacuare River, Steamboat Springs resident Sarah Hamilton was there every stroke of the way to help propel her U.S. Teva Women’s Team to a seventh-place overall showing.
If Colorado has a hunting hotspot, it’s likely Northwest Colorado. Open up any map and set your sights over the upper left corner. Your scope lines cross on one of the truly great regions in the country for outdoorsmen, and the ideal destination for your next hunting adventure.
Elk and deer aren’t the only things on hunters menus in Northwest Colorado. The region is also known for a variety of other species luring outdoorsmen to Moffat and Routt counties every year. Aside from antlered game — elk, deer and moose — the next most popular species on hunters’ lists is likely the pronghorn antelope. Rifle bearers far and wide descend upon the region’s sage-covered plains and rolling hills for long-range, open-country hunts far different than the tactics used for other game. And this year should prove especially fruitful pronghorn.
Local Rick Sanny bags cat, bear and elk, putting two in the record books
Local hunter Rick Sanny, who in 2006 moved to Steamboat Springs from Fremont, Neb.,“in pursuit of big game,” had a heck of a hunting year. The property manager for Old West Management bagged a bear, mountain lion and elk last season, two of which garnered state honors. “Last year was amazing,” says Sanny, also a ranch manager at Coal View Ghost Ranch. “Two of my three animals made it into the record book. Hard work, scouting and persistence paid off.”
Quality fishing can complement any elk outing
Done dressing your elk? With the Yampa River flowing through the heart of downtown Steamboat Springs, Hayden and Craig, the Elk and White rivers nearby, and countless smaller streams, lakes and reservoirs in the surrounding hillsides, Routt and Moffat counties are the perfect places to complement your hunt with trout fishing. “Fishing is the perfect companion activity to hunting,” says Brett Lee, a veteran hunter and co-owner of Straightline Sporting Goods in Steamboat Springs. “And Northwest Colorado offers some great options.”
Local Nordic Olympians Johnny Spillane, Todd Lodwick as solid with bow as they are on skis
While Northwest Colorado is home to trophy elk and deer, it’s also home to hunters who brought home trophies from the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. Nordic combined skiers with ties to Steamboat Springs brought home seven silver medals from last year’s Games — enough to hang from every point of a Routt or Moffat county bull. And come hunting and fishing season, two of them — Todd Lodwick and Johnny Spillane — take a break from hunting world titles to set their sights on bow-hunting big game.
With more than 575 miles of trails and swaths of smooth, hilly roads, Steamboat is fast evolving into a world-class arena for bicycling. With even more new trails and events in store, this summer is shaping up to put Steamboat on the map for good.
Stepping aboard Greyhound bus No. 41 from Steamboat Springs to Fresno, Calif., just a week shy of his 19th birthday, Andrew Fonseca has a lot to think about. Six months earlier, he was a gang member running drugs in Dallas. Now, with a high school diploma and Student of the Year accolades from the Rocky Mountain Youth Corps in hand, he’s heading back to where the wrong fork in the road all started and, hopefully, a new future.
Converted South Dakota rail line perfect for riders of all walks
If Rocky Raccoon was a mountain biker, you can bet a satchel of Black Hills gold he would have ridden the George S. Mickelson Trail snaking through the Black Hills of South Dakota. Running 109 miles from Deadwood to Edgemont, the trail follows the historic Deadwood to Burlington Northern rail line, which lasted from 1868 to 1983.
Eccentricity in Steamboat
If Irene Nelson, owner of Irene Nelson Interiors, had her way, she’d add her own special touch to town. She does it for a living for people’s homes, and it’s her nature to do the same for the community she loves.
It’s all about the kids
School might be out for summer, as so eloquently put by Alice Cooper, but the Boys & Girls Club of Steamboat Springs is very much in. Steamboat toddlers and teens (as well as their parents) can thank longtime local Heather Martyn for that.
From the Tetons to the Yampa Valley
For Harry Martin, co-owner of Steamboat Ski & Bike Kare, it’s the people who make Steamboat Springs such a great place to live. “They’re incredible,” he says. “The whole community is just amazingly friendly and down to earth. It’s a great place to live.”
Banjo-pickin’, back-crackin’, unicycle-ridin’ Renaissance man
Von Wilson, 47, used to raise work horses growing up in Craig in a third-generation ranching family. He put the pastime on hold for a spell when he moved to Steamboat in 1990 and co-founded coffee hot spot Mocha Molly’s with his wife, Molly.
Last fall, a group of eight twentysomethings paddled four canoes from Minneapolis down the Mississippi River to New Orleans with two goals: Raise money for the Lambui Fund of Haiti and make it back to Steamboat in time for ski season. They succeeded on both counts.
Nothing says small-town Americana like a mailbox. Have one that’s all gussied up Steamboat-style? Send it into our Mailbox Photo Contest, and we’ll run the winners in the winter issue of At Home in Steamboat Springs.
There’s something in the water. Originating in Hawaii as a way to work out when waves turned fickle, stand-up paddleboarding has gone mainstream and mainland. And it’s now showing up full force in Steamboat.
Bird watchers cherish North Routt mating ritual
Once a huge part of Northwest Colorado’s culture, the sage grouse population has declined in Routt and Moffat counties, but its “hey there, big boy” mating ritual and the allure for birders eager to glimpse its gyrations remain strong.
Mr. Rogers has nothing on the folks in Fairview. The neighborhood at the base of Emerald Mountain gets to know its neighbors at its annual Fairview Fiesta, held on the Sunday before school starts every August.
Bored on the drive from Kremmling to Steamboat Springs? Try counting signs. F.M. Light & Sons signs, to be exact. In all, there are 99 such signs strewn about the highways of Northwest Colorado and one more at the rodeo grounds for an even 100.
Well, we asked for it, and we got it. No, not the largest snowfall and runoff season on record, but an equally proportionate deluge of nominations for this issue of At Home in Steamboat Springs' annual Locals section.