Posts Tagged ‘Steamboat Springs’


July 24, 2016

Sunday, 24 July 2016


Allan, one half of our B&B hosting team, is pretty versatile. As well as having done some very impressive athletic things, he also sketched these, which adorn our room.

After yet another great breakfast, we said our good-byes and headed for LaGrange, Cheyenne, Laramie, where we stopped for gas and to get some blueberries and apples for later.


Later turned out to be Walden, Colorado, where we sat in the grass on the courthouse lawn for munchies. Just across was the Pioneer Museum. Well, why not? The lady on duty told us it was bigger than it looked and she was right. Full basement, two second story sections, more stuff than you could imagine.


An area of military gear, with rifles as its centerpiece.


Forestry. Some of these are amazingly long, but when you think of the size of some of these trees, it’s clear that they have to use big saws to take them down.




Moving away from outdoors violence, we see some telephone equipment.



I hadn’t realized that Dodge has used the Ram symbol since forever, at least since 1936.



My mother had a sewing machine like this, except that the treadle mechanism had been retrofitted with an electric motor.


Just outside Walden, a little nature stop, and a view of more poles than you could count. I thought they were destined as utility poles, until we saw something about material for log houses. Makes sense.


Some little distance further on, a pull-out with a view of Rabbit-Ears Pass; then a long climb up there and a long descent down the other side into Steamboat Springs.


We’re staying at the Bristol hotel, above. Nice enough, except that the rooms are very small. Left our things and went out to wander.


The corner building is a drugstore, where Jacky stopped, while I went on to the second store, with the yellow sign. They had been advertising Lee and Levi jeans on their billboards for miles, as well as Stetson hats. Jacky thought I should get a Stetson.


Well, certainly not Stetson boots. Does Stetson make boots?


As to the hat, I don’t anticipate needing to give my horse a drink any time soon, so I skipped the hat. I was able to resist getting a classy western shirt, too.


We found a place to enjoy a couple pints of stout in a shaded outdoor nook, wandered some more, napped in the hotel, went to Mahogany bar and grill, which was a definite disappointment.

Overall, that’s our reaction to Steamboat, too. When we were here a couple years ago, we liked Steamboat, tourist trap though it obviously was even then, but the appeal is less and less as time goes on. It is becoming so popular that its essence is disappearing. Aspenizing, should it be called, perhaps?

Once again, Steamboat Springs

July 2, 2014

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

We thought it would be good to avoid driving anywhere today, and that pretty much left Emerald mountain, just across the Yampa River. We had nothing much in the way of maps, but with a GPS, we figured we couldn’t get too lost.

As it turned out, we went up the hill to the quarry stop on the open, steep, boring fire road. But at each of the trail intersections, there was a little graphic map sign, and by the time we were ready to come back down, we had figured out the code. The whole hillside is criss-crossed with trails. Too bad we didn’t know that for the ascent.


Much, much better, the descent. Lots of single-track trails through beautiful aspen forest. We could have done without the mountain bikies, but it wasn’t really all that bad, except for the hard climber as we neared the bottom who slammed into my arm. I was mellow enough not to yell at him about maintaining control of his bike.


We found several varieties of caterpillar. Don’t know what sort of butterfly or moth they will become.


We started the descent on the Blair Witch trail. This is where it comes out at the lower end, joining some other trail whose name escapes me at the moment, maybe Prayer Book trail.


I thought it was exceptional to get a back-lit view of a couple of insects busy chomping down grains of pollen.



And this bumblebee was the size of a small hummingbird!

The trail down ended at the rodeo grounds, where they are clearly preparing for a festival. Lots of brahma bulls in pens here, and we later saw trucks bringing in hay. We stopped at the ice rink to refill our water bottles, then went on up into the town, where we stopped at an upper-class grocery store for a pound of strawberries. Delicious!


We have seen lots of swallowtails, both yellow and white, but they have been reluctant to pose for pictures. This one was so busy nozzling up nectar that it didn’t mind.


Back to the motel to pick up various things, then to the library, where we sat on a terrace and mellowed out. I edited the day’s pictures; Jacky read a Kindle book. Around 4, we headed off to Mahogany Ridge brewery and grill, where we sat outdoors and enjoyed an early dinner.

Nice town. We’ll come back someday. Or not.

Fish Creek, Spring Creek, Bears

July 2, 2014

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

We had a recommendation to visit Fish Creek falls, only a 4 mile drive from town. The lower fall is directly accessible from the parking area (below), but there is a trail that goes as far as you like, including to an upper fall. We thought the upper fall might be a good destination.


One of the things we liked about this trail was the near absence of mosquitoes. Fairly steep, rocky and root-y. Conifers dominated the lower part, but we eventually climbed into aspen forest. Really pretty. Also considerably hotter than the lower forest.


After a couple hours, we reached a bridge that might or might not have been the upper fall. There was no sign to tell us. But after a calorie stop, we agreed to declare victory and abandon the field. Jacky headed down, while I invested another fifteen minutes in the uphill, just to see what there was to see. I planned to catch her up somewhere on the downhill trail.


More trail, this part becoming a bit more difficult. Open rock faces. More views of the vigorous and  boiling stream. And about fifteen minutes later, a shallow cave in the rock face that struck me as surprisingly beautiful.


I caught up with Jacky not far above the lower falls. Compare this picture with the same view at the top, before the sun illuminated it.

We considered what next to do, drove to the information office, where they were not quite as helpful as the first set we met.

But we followed a recommendation for a short afternoon hike, went to Spring creek trailhead at the local high school. This is basically a gravel road going along a densely forested creek. Not that interesting, except that there were two bear cubs high in a tree here. Lots of people standing around watching, all of us hoping mama bear wasn’t too close and too grumpy.


We watched them play a little up there, then shimmy down the tree and disappear into the undergrowth.



There’s a pond a bit further up, which we circumambulated, but the day was getting hot and we packed it in. Back to the motel for laundry, then wandered around the town looking for the perfect spot to have a brew and later on, dinner. Nice town; we extended our reservation for one more night.

To Steamboat Springs

June 30, 2014

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.


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.


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.


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


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


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.


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.


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.


There were also a few small animals of note.



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.