Rabbit Ears Peak erosion goes viral on social media and spurs some to ponder new names
June 21, 2017
None of the new names social media users recently came up with for a beloved landmark in Northwest Colorado are likely to ever grace the pages of hiking books, motels or local road signs.
But social media users from around the state had their fair share of ideas for what to possibly dub the iconic Rabbit Ears Peak in the wake of the stone rabbit losing a piece of an ear, likely to erosion.
To readers around the state, the newly-eroded rock formation now resembled everything from a snail to a chicken to "Half Ears."
There were also multiple suggestions that perhaps the name should just be changed to Rabbit Ear Pass, singular.
The suspected erosion was a reminder to many that the area's landmarks are all susceptible to natural forces and changes over time.
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Many readers from out of town simply responded to the news with fond memories of visiting the peak or driving to Steamboat Springs decades ago.
It also gave people a chance to flex their creative muscles and imagine what they would have named the peak had it been discovered and named today instead of during a geological survey in the late 1860s.
News of the change at the top of Rabbit Ears Peak was also met with an outpouring of tributes and well wishes.
One reader jokingly called for someone to grab some stucco.
Another wondered, also in jest, whether the city of Steamboat Springs might be able to use its lodging tax money to repair the rock formation.
There were also some out-of-the-box guesses for how the rabbit ended up like it did.
"Mike Tyson came to town," George Ackerman III proclaimed on Facebook, making a reference to the boxer known for biting off an opponent's ear during a fight.
Other readers fired up their computers to help Steamboat Today solve a lingering mystery about the erosion of the ear.
When exactly did it happen?
Dozens of photos submitted to the newspaper appear to have greatly narrowed down the timeline.
Photos taken as recently as October 2016 appear to show the ear on viewer's left still intact, making it likely the change happened sometime in the winter or spring of this year.
And a close-up photo taken by reader John Sullivan of the peak in front of a rising moon in July 2016, definitely shows the piece of rock in question was still there at that time.
Look closely, and you can see a crack between the section of ear that remains and the large chunk that broke off.
If you have a close up photo of the ears taken this winter or spring, send it to reporter firstname.lastname@example.org.