When rain calls for Plan B | SteamboatToday.com

When rain calls for Plan B

Lots to do indoors in the 'Boat

Dave Shively

A new roof and new hard courts have given the Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs a fresh look this season.

Option 1: Wait.

As the old saying goes, if you don’t like the weather in Colorado, wait 10 minutes.

The adage applies to the erratic thundershowers that can quickly drench a summer afternoon in Steamboat but give way to sunny skies just a few moments later.

“The thunderstorms we get in the summer here in western Colorado aren’t long-lived,” National Weather Service forecaster Chris Cuoco said. “Usually, over the lower-elevation flatlands, the storms are moving with a system or cold front and usually move out.”

Cuoco also reminded folks headed out of the valley to higher elevations that thunderstorms are quick to redevelop once they’ve passed.

“So even if it’s not long, storms along and over ridgelines will develop and dissipate several times in the same location,” said Cuoco, urging prospective hikers to always bring rain gear and to get out on the mountain early and off exposed Alpine terrain by noon to avoid lightning danger.

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Option 2: Shift plans.

Figure out an easy option to stay occupied until the storm passes.

If you’re downtown on Lincoln Avenue and Eighth Street, pop into the free Steamboat Art Museum and check out the summer exhibits, including a collection of ranch cartoons and reflective light sculpture installations. Steamboat boasts a number of other art galleries along Lincoln Avenue.

As long as you’re on Eighth Street, head one block north to Oak Street for a look at the Tread of Pioneers Museum’s new summer exhibit, “Cows, Coal and Commerce: 100 Years of the Moffat Railroad in Steamboat Springs,” as well as the new computer-based interactive exhibit comprised of historic film footage, classic interviews with locals and historical photos revealing Steamboat’s dynamic past.

“We’ve been working hard to put this exhibit together for over a year and a half and I’m so excited to share all this historic footage with the community,” museum curator Katie Peck said. “Come check it out, you never know, you might just learn something you never knew about Steamboat Springs.”

The museum also hosts a free, one-hour “Brown Bag Lecture Series” program at noon every Friday in July and August to explore the tales and history of Steamboat through the locals who lived it.

If on-screen summer blockbuster explosions are more your bag, Steamboat has two movie theaters. The Carmike Chief Plaza 4 Theater is right next to the Steamboat Art Museum, and the newer, six-screen Metropolitan Wildhorse Stadium Cinemas offers stadium seating, located in the Wildhorse Marketplace off Mount Werner Road. Of course, there’s always the book versions as well at Bud Werner Memorial Library on 13th Street in downtown Steamboat.

Perhaps the solution to the rain is with either much colder water or with much warmer water. Head to Howelsen Ice Arena (call the info line at 879-0341 to make sure afternoon open-skate sessions are available), or Old Town Hot Springs for a 98- to 103-degree soak in three newly renovated hot spring mineral pools.

Or, you could find a creative outlet at the Steamboat Arts & Crafts Gym or get your fix at craft-specific activity centers with a knitting class at The Fiber Exchange or pottery painting at The Potter’s Wheel. If you’re looking for a little more exercise, consider one of the 12 lanes at Snow Bowl, the six indoor cushioned hard courts in the Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs, or the pair of swing-hitting bays at Golf Etc.