Pioneer Picnic bridges generations in Routt County |

Pioneer Picnic bridges generations in Routt County

Audrey Dwyer/staff

At the Pioneer Picnic, Trenia Sanford remembers one story told by longtime local legend, Vernon Summer.

"He said, 'Your great grandfather's hands were so big he could bend a horseshoe with them," Sanford recalled, "and I loved hearing that, because I never knew the man. After that, I would also try to find Vernon at the picnic and get him to tell stories about those days."

Gathering to remember those who first pioneered the Yampa Valley and made it what it is today, the 113th annual countywide Pioneer Picnic will be held from noon to 2 p.m. June 10, at Steamboat Mountain School, 42605 Routt County Road 36. The event is open to the community, and for the first time this year, Tread of Pioneers Museum is acting as host.

Not only will friends and descendants of some of Routt County's first families be in attendance, there will photos and an oral history recording station provided by the museum.

What are the prices for hay? Who has a horse for sale? Who has the best recipe for an apple crumble pie? The answers to these questions can be found from multiple sources who know the tried and true answers, Sanford said.

"It's a gathering of community, with the first builders who created the community you are all standing on," said Jo Semotan, longtime local who formerly helped plan the picnic, which is also held in Oak Creek and Hayden.

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The gathering’s location typically moves across the county every two years, and this year, Semotan hopes newcomers, even younger generations, will attend.

"It's pretty wonderful to see all the generations together in one room," Sanford said. "But we would like to see more of the younger generations, not just pioneer families and the natives born here. We want these stories and the history to be communicated to everybody."

Guests are invited to bring a favorite side dish or appetizer to share for the potluck lunch. The main dish, desserts and drinks will be provided. Donations will also be accepted to help sustain future Pioneer Picnics.

If you go:

What: Pioneer Picnic

When: Noon to 2 p.m. on Saturday

Where:  Steamboat Mountain School, 42605 Routt County Road 36