To Steamboat Springs

by

Monday, 30 June 2014

We were not that impressed by breakfast at the motel yesterday, so after collecting coffee, juice and bananas from the motel’s spread, we went down the street to a place that’s half library, half restaurant. I bet it’s a great social location on a miserable winter’s day.

Just west of Granby is a wildlife viewing area at Windy Gap reservoir. We stopped for a look, but the waterbirds were much too far away for anything less than a powerful telescope.

We did stop at Hot Sulphur Springs a few miles yet further down the road, walked along the Colorado river. From there, the road goes through Byers’ Canyon, a pretty stretch of a few miles. The map also showed wildlife viewing at Kremmling, but we didn’t see a sign. Stopped briefly near Wolford reservoir, but didn’t see anything more than sagebrush.

And then we climbed into a whole new ecology, over Rabbit Ears pass.

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I have no idea whether that rock is the Rabbit Ears; it is far from the pass by that name, but it also looks like an obvious appellation.

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It was so pleasant and so much cooler that we stopped at an arbitrary turnout along the top. It turned out to be Bruce’s trail, only a few km long, well suited for high altitude hiking as a brief interlude.

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I have no idea what these little yellow flowers are, but they were everywhere. Very nice!

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Steamboat Springs is back in the valley, a mere 6700 feet above sea level.

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Hard core yuppie vacation land. We may end up paying an arm and a leg to stay here. Left the car and wandered around. Eventually tried the Nordic Lodge motel, and were pleased enough to sign up for two nights. Dropped off a few things and went out for a walk.

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There are many springs here. We visited a few of them, some smelling fairly bad. There is a rec trail along the Yampa River, which we took in the direction of the botanic garden.

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Along the way, we watched a couple of rafts navigating the rapids.

Quite a way to the botanic garden, and it was a hot day. But definitely worth seeing. Unlike many horticultural venues around the world, this one seems to specialize in local vegetation, albeit some of it from high mountains or desert.

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There were also a few small animals of note.

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Back into town, where we stopped at a downstairs sports bar for brews. Then back to the motel for naps and showers, and almost next door to Sumatera, a very small restaurant hidden in the back of a building occupied by a much larger Italian restaurant. Only half a dozen tables, walls screened with bamboo, friendly people, and great food.

We had half an hour before the library closed, so we stopped and enjoyed it. Nice town, this. A little out of our way, but I’m glad we came here.

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