Have you ever wanted to sell everything you own and just "take off?" Travel the country's back roads, paddle down a meandering stream, experience breath-taking mountain views, walk among 100-year old trees, and just marvel at America's beauty? That is the dream that my partner, Betsy, and I decided to make a reality. This blog describes our adventure. The food we eat, people we meet, sights we see, and the enjoyment we find in traveling.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Ski Town USA

Where is it?  You may have guessed Aspen, Park City, or Vail.  But you would be wrong.  Sorry.  That title is held by Steamboat Springs, Colorado.  Early settlers and mail carriers relied on skis for getting around when the blanket of white powder covered the ground.  But when Carl Howelsen, a Norwegian ski jumper, arrived in 1913, he showed them how skis could be used for fun.  Steamboat Springs has world-renowned ski areas which makes it no surprise that it is home to more Olympic athletes than any other town in North America.  

Steamboat Springs is more than just a ski town.  It sits in the beautiful Yampa Valley and is surrounded by nearly a million acres of wild lands that make for excellent hiking, kayaking, fishing, horseback riding, and any other outdoor recreation you can think of.  And for you who like to shop, visit museums, and be pampered with spa treatments you will be satisfied too.

F.M. Light and Sons has been outfitting cowboys since 1905

Steamboat is home to natural hot springs that are found throughout the area.  Early settlers heard a chugging sound that they believed was coming from a steamboat down the river.  When no steamboat arrived they discovered the sound was coming from a hot springs and decided to name the town Steamboat Springs.

Northwest Colorado is steeped in cattle ranching history but Steamboat Springs attracted a different crowd – homesteaders.  The promise of free land attracted many hardy souls that braved the deep snow in the winter and blinding winds of the summer.  The life was hard but many persevered and their ranches are still in operation today.

Expansive cattle ranches are set in a beautiful valley.
Open range
Road block
Hahn's Peak Lake was a perfect spot for kayak fishing and even yielded some results for us.
O.k., so the trout were pretty little but fun to catch and release.
We stayed at Yampa River State Park and took full advantage of fishing in the Yampa River, exploring the many hiking trails in the area, and relaxing by the campfire with new friends, Susan and Dean.  

Susan and Dean with their dogs Nigel and Zac and a beautiful Bluebird coach.
The Yampa River running along our campground.
Holly, a young naturalist working at the park, gave many presentations and led bird walks.  She drummed up support for her bat talk by walking around the campground with a stuffed bat.   We loved Holly's enthusiasm! 
Hahn's Peak
A beautiful hike in the Routt National Forest                      

1 comment:

  1. I wanted to let you know I have been reading your blog off and on for a while nowand have really enjoyed it. The pictures are always so clear. Thanks for sharing. -Angie2B


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