Written by enauman on 24 Jun, 2005
South Fork Trail was said to be beautiful. We turned onto Seedhead Road. I was wary now, at 7am in the morning, of other deer bounding up in front of me. On Route 129, I nearly had a doe as a hood…Read More
South Fork Trail was said to be beautiful. We turned onto Seedhead Road. I was wary now, at 7am in the morning, of other deer bounding up in front of me. On Route 129, I nearly had a doe as a hood ornament and she passed inches within of our car. Luckily, we missed her, but we were jumpy now. We turned onto Seedhead Road and Dave was watching. I rounded a curve on the Elk River and there was a long, wide swathe of sagebrush on the right. Dave yelled and said, "Two deer on the right!" I instantly braked. What we didn’t see was a third one that was down below us and he popped up right in front of the car. I couldn’t believe it! All three deer ran quickly across the road for higher ground. I just shook my head. Two close calls--but this second one, because we were on guard, didn’t even begin to compare to the first meeting.
I was so glad to get to South Fork and put on my hiking gear that it wasn’t even funny. There was a large meadow, flower strewn, ahead of us, and white-barked, spindly aspen in the distance. The day smelled young, fresh, and earthy. I hoped we would meet a deer--a third chance encounter--and this time, I’d have my camera ready. It was early in the day, and the deer were finishing up their eating and going home to sleep throughout the day.
The moment we started through the wide, lush meadow I found prairie smoke (Geum trifolium), her cute little pink heads popping up out of the grass, then deers ears. How appropriate. They are a white flower with green speckles on a towering spike that can reach nearly 10 feet tall when they are mature. Things got even better when we climbed the wide, smooth beginner’s trail into the Aspen groves. On top, we found a lovely purple-and-white Colorado columbine, the state flower. Farther, we found a small pond. And in that pond was spatterdock, or what is known as yellow pond lily. That was a find! We got eaten up by mosquitoes to get these photos!
The trail, this time, was wide and fairly smooth, nothing like Fish Creek Trail. We went 1,500 feet gradient over 3.32 miles. We hiked halfway around a mountain that was 9,800 feet tall at its base. Up on top, we found a beautiful, small lake with a beaver house at one end of it. The view from up there was spectacular! We at lunch and gave gifts of Fritos, cookies, and some of our sandwich to the spirit of the area. There are plenty of little chipmunks around who will find the fare sooner rather than later.
Coming back down, we detoured down a hill to the Elk River. There, in a small, muddy area where a tiny trickle of water winded through, were all kinds of butterflies! There where white-and-black swallowtails, yellow and black ones, painted ladies, and a dazzling blue butterfly. I spend many minutes and probably 50 photos to catch them or hope for a couple of good shots out of all of them.
All the way back, we had butterflies, deer and butterflies. Deer symbolize emotions and intuition, learning to be graceful and in sync with the world. Butterflies were always a sign of transformation. Yes, we almost had transformation out on that highway at 7 this morning! I saw by the astrology of the day that the moon was square with Mars at 7:30am, so that’s a ripe aspect for accidents. We damn near had one. Fortunately, we got lifted out of time, things slowed down, and the doe was allowed to live another day. It wasn’t her time to go, nor was it ours. I love how our guides for all of us interceded to make that sure accident did not happen. It was a magical day.
We hiked 6.75 miles today, and our knees and feet weren’t pounded into hamburger, as they were on the Fish Creek Trail. But then, South Fork is a beginner’s trail, and Fish Creek is rated the highest as "difficult." We arrived back into town to eat at the Egg and I for lunch. I had a tuna melt drizzled with sharp cheddar cheese and wolfed it down. Then I went shopping for some last-minute gifts for friends and family. That’s always fun. Of course, I bought something for myself, too.
Dave got up at 6am, and we wanted to be on the Mad Creek trailhead by no later than 7:30am, because it was reaching 85°F to 87°F daily, and at 7,000 feet, the sun is brutally hot at high altitude. In Arizona, you…Read More
Dave got up at 6am, and we wanted to be on the Mad Creek trailhead by no later than 7:30am, because it was reaching 85°F to 87°F daily, and at 7,000 feet, the sun is brutally hot at high altitude. In Arizona, you always got up at 5 in the morning and worked until about 1pm and then, like the smart reptiles, went and hid in the shade and did nothing until the heat broke for the day around 5pm. We decided that since the forecast is in the high 80s all this week, we’ll be on our "Zonie" schedule.
I packed a lunch and off we went north of Steamboat Springs at 7am. It was in the high 30s as we pulled into the trailhead. The Mad Creek was rushing, pounding, and racing nearby. Now, I see why it is called "mad" - we found out it is a 5 creek (creek of no return if you ask me – the water is swift, with a huge current, huge boulders, and nothing but white water).
We no sooner got on the wide, well-kept, but steep, trail, and I had photos of flowers to take. Of course, the salsify, a yellow flower, was still closed up tight because it doesn’t open until the sun’s rays grace her face. We were in deep shade as we stopped, clicked, and walked a few more feet. The Mad Creek was always on our right, always pounding, roaring, and plunging through the narrow canyon that our trail traversed among the sage brush and bushes at lower altitude, and later, oak trees (scrub), and then, pine and white-barked quaking Aspen groves. On the way up, we saw Hawk Rock, a huge, gray-granite rock on the side of our trail. I had to take a photo because it looks EXACTLY like a hawk head. It’s pretty cool stuff.
We wanted the Swamp Hike because I was hoping to find some rare mountain orchids in the seeps or near the water courses. It was 2.5 miles up into the area where the swamp was located. There were some mosquitoes, and they all went for Dave. Luckily, he had on long sleeves and his hat this time!
The air was cool, the sky a bright cerulean color, and the pines dark and thrusting upward along the steep walls of the canyon on the other side of us. I found gorgeous white evening primrose in all their glory on many slopes. There was the ever-beautiful wild rose in a variety of pink shades. The deep blue of delphinium was startling and rare between the grass and sagebrush of the lower altitude. We kept climbing and stopping and clicking. As we went higher, we saw the lighter blue flax; white, soft-looking Pussytoes; and the bright yellow of orange sneezeweed. There were plenty of chokecherry bushes, a bear’s favorite in the fall as it fattens up for the coming harsh winter.
We got to the Swamp Trail to look for orchids, which always like a water source nearby. We wanted to eat, so we went to a quaking Aspen grove in the shade, because the temperature was starting to rise and we had some food. I ate some cantaloupe to replace my fluids. At high-altitude hiking, you can lose a lot of water and not even know it. In Arizona, the same thing can happen, so we were drinking fluids, fruit or veggies, and Fritos.
As Dave rested in the shade, I scouted around the meadow for some elusive, rare orchids. I found none, but three other flowers that I couldn’t identify, but did photograph. We could always hear the roar of the Mad Creek, which wasn’t far away. Veratrum album, or Hellebore, is a highly poisonous plant. The huge, leafy, and tall plants were in the seeps and muddy, grassy flat. I was hunting for one that was blooming. There were hundreds of them, and some had buds, but no flowers. We'd hiked 3.5 miles, and that would be a round trip of 7 miles, which was plenty for a good day's hike.
We did detour on the way back to a small path that led right down to the turbulent, roaring Mad Creek. I found a Hellebore in bloom! Wow, was I happy! Dave lay on a rock in the sun, eye closed, like an old turtle warming up.
The temperature was climbing rapidly now, and the trail, which had been about 50% in the shade coming in, was 95% in the sun now. As you get older, you don’t handle heat stress like you can when you’re younger. I found deer's ears, or what is known as the monument plant, a huge 7- to 10-foot tall plant when mature. The deer love to eat this plant, hence its name. It has wonderful and interesting flowers on the spike and is worthy of being photographed.
By the time we reached the parking lot at 10:30am, it was 80°F, and we headed back to Steamboat Springs. Our favorite restaurant is the Egg and I in Sunset Plaza. They have great food and are very creative, and the price is right. It is a good way to end a good day's hike and to celebrate finding deer's ears!
We arrived at Fish Creek Falls parking lot. As we emerged from our car, surrounded by evergreen-clad mountains and a pale-blue, sunless sky, we could hear the distinct roar to the Fish Creek lower falls. It was only a quarter mile walk up…Read More
We arrived at Fish Creek Falls parking lot. As we emerged from our car, surrounded by evergreen-clad mountains and a pale-blue, sunless sky, we could hear the distinct roar to the Fish Creek lower falls. It was only a quarter mile walk up a nice concrete path to the 270-foot-long falls. WOW! It was awe-inspiring. And with no one around except us at 6:40 in the morning, nothing but the sounds of nature surrounding us and this roaring, tumbling water fall that can easily compete with any other well-known waterfalls in the USA.
We went back down after taking some great shots of the falls and found trail no. 1102. This drops down to the base of the falls, crosses a footbridge, and then steeply (and I mean steep) switchbacks up the canyon. This trail climbs to the Upper Fish Creek Falls and continues onto long adventures to Long Lake at 9,800 feet. We wanted to get to at least the Upper Falls. The path was wide, but granite rocks sticking up all over the place. I’m so glad I bought my Swiss knapsack and Swiss hiking sticks with titanium points. I needed both! The path moved back and forth among the pines and brush like a sidewinder. The earth smelled sweet, moist and alive. A blue jay hackled at us and a chipmunk scurried in front of us. I was in no hurry up this ever-escalating trail because I was looking for wildflowers that I hadn’t shot yet. I found a lot of what I term UNID (unidentified flower), which means I will have to go home to my 1,000-book library and try to identify them. Sometimes I get lucky and sometimes I don’t.
Now, from the lower falls to Long Lake is 5.5 miles. It doesn’t sound like much until you realize it’s a 2,500-foot climb always upward. Some parts of the trail are wide and hard dirt. But many other parts are rocky or partly rock, or you are literally, at 8,000 feet, traversing over striped white, brown, and black granite. There was a 12-inch ledge we had to negotiate as well to get to the upper falls.
Morning around here is the time to hike from a temperature perspective, and there are NO PEOPLE are on them at 7:00am. They’re still sleeping. We had the world to ourselves. As we continued ever upward, Fish Creek, which is as wide as a river and roaring nonstop, just like Mad Creek had yesterday, was our dawn symphony. I was hoping against hope I would find an orchid today. Orchids only grow in seeps (water moving down beneath a hill or on top of it—a very muddy, moist area) or around river banks, ditches, or lakes. I knew we were going high enough, 8,800 feet, to potentially find some. And there were lots of little ditches and streams of water. At every one, we stopped and looked, with no success.
I also noticed a lot of spent glacier lilies. They resemble a tiger lily in that they have reflex petals, but they are a bright, sunny yellow. And they are very hard to find. I found lots of stems full of seeds on wilting, thick leaves, but they were all past flowering. I hoped as we climbed higher that I might get lucky.
On my pedometer that I wear, we had already walked 2.23 miles to the top of the lower Fish Creek waterfall. There, the sun came up, and at the top, before the water plunges downward, there’s a lot of spray. As the sun peeked over the mountain behind us, it hit that spray and created a rainbow of colors! Wow! I snapped about 40 shots, hoping to catch ONE photo that would show it. I haven’t seen them yet, so I don’t know, but I’ve got my fingers crossed. To be standing there beside that roaring cataract and to have the sun silently send her fingers through that spray and watch the creation of rainbow colors was simply breathtaking. What a way to start our hike up to the Upper Falls!
We climbed steadily. We went through a wondrous grove of white-barked aspen, their heart-shaped leaves dancing silently around us. It looked like a forest of white soldiers standing at attention. It was beautiful, and the bark on the trees had all kinds of black designs in them.
Fish Creek was always roaring on our left. We were traversing ridges above the canyon that contained the raging, greenish water. This water came off the snow melt and was ice-cold. Finally, we reached the bridge that crossed the creek. And then it was another 30-minute steep climb with much more granite on the trail than before. We kept huffing and climbing. We’d rest about every 10 minutes and enjoy the view from the top of the world. It was hot now at 10am, and there were a few more people and a lot of dogs on the trail.
When we finally found the Upper Fish Creek Falls, it gob-smacked us. Imagine climbing over smooth, striated, loaf-like granite rock and looking down to see this behemoth greenish-white water cascading in a roar with spray that you could feel 300 feet away. Not only that, but as we carefully made our way down the trail, I saw glacier lilies in bloom! All over the place! They were huge, healthy, and beautiful, because the spray from the waterfall kept them well supplied with fluid. Their yellow reflex petals danced with tiny pearls of water that held miniature rainbows within them. This place was Eden.
As we got closer to the waterfall, which was very short in comparison to the other one, it more than made up with power of moving millions of gallons of water along its sleek, black-granite banks. Rivulets of water ran down the gleaming ebony rocks, and the spray lifted so high in the air that you instantly got body-sprayed by it. Let me tell you, the cooling water droplets felt like heaven after sweating and hiking 2,500 feet in a blistering sun overhead. It was manna from heaven. We just stood there, opened our arms to the waterfall’s might and glory, and let it soak us, cools us down, and revive and refresh us all in the same moment.
And, best of all, at this altitude, we had sub-alpine flowers--and there’s nowhere else you can find them. I found purple mint plant, but don’t know the name of it, and mountain pussytoes, with their small, white heads looking like Q-tips sticking out of green leaves. There was teeny, tiny Alpine Sandwort, a wonderful little five-petaled, white flower that raises its head from a matt of short tufted leaves in a colony across the granite escarpment. Short, conspicuous Oregon Grape, with its bright, beaded-like yellow flowers, were here and there. And best of all were plenty of nodding Glacier Lilies to satisfy any connoisseur.
After we took dozens of photos of this incredibly powerful waterfall, we wanted to climb up above it to take some other shots. There was a seep that seemed good to look for new flowers, so we went up it instead of on the trail. Dave found shooting stars! Oh, my! That was the second flower of the day that had knocked my socks off. Shooting stars are a pretty fuchsia/pink color with reflex petals, too. They were very small, and best of all, they were in colonies. I was down on my hands and knees in the mud and water trying to take good photos of these shy beauties. I also found some pinedrops, which are bright-red stems coming out of the dried, brown pine needles, a parasite plant, in the woods at the head of the lower falls, as well. So, for me, I found three great finds in the flower world this day.
After taking photos and getting drenched one more time by that spray, we started back. Just before the bridge, I told Dave my feet hurt and I wanted to take boots/socks off and soak them in a stream to cool them down. We pulled up in the shade at a lovely little trickling stream and I did just that. This water is ice-cold. I couldn’t leave my grateful feet in that icy chill for more than 20 seconds. After doing that four times, my feet and I were smiling once again. I’m breaking in that new pair of hiking books, and to ask 10 miles of them in a 2-day period is a lot.
We finally made it to the Hot Springs area after a 4.11-mile hike. We could smell sulphur on the air in a little grotto with a granite overhang. I was slowing down because any seep or standing water could signal an orchid.…Read More
We finally made it to the Hot Springs area after a 4.11-mile hike. We could smell sulphur on the air in a little grotto with a granite overhang. I was slowing down because any seep or standing water could signal an orchid. My fondest wish was to find one and nary one on this trip. Of course, on all my other trips in the USA, I never found a terrestrial (earthbound) orchid, either. I found orchids in proliferation on hikes with Michele Burdet in the Alps of Switzerland, and they were wonderful to photograph, but none here. I was REALLY bummed out about this. Every trip, I looked forward to finding an orchid--any orchid--but nada.
We also found Shooting Stars at this grotto, so I photographed them. It was the only place on this 4.11-mile hike, one-way, that we saw. That was a find in itself!
We crested the hill, and this stone-and-redwood building stood out gracefully, and we got excited about getting in! We finally found someone, and he was walking down the road (We discovered there was a dirt road into the place. Before, we thought the only way you could reach this place was by trail--silly us). We asked if we could use the hot springs, and he said it didn’t open until 10am. It was 8:30am. I was so bummed. He also added that Thursday was their cleaning day and you could hear equipment down below us making a lot of noise.
What an absolute bummer! We glumly thanked him and found a place to sit down. I had to get my feet out of these wet socks. As I pulled off my first boot, water ran out of it. NOT a good sign. Great. I took the second one off. More water. Dave said that I did a good job of getting wet. I took off my socks and squeezed about a quarter cup of water out of each of them.
Well, our towel was going to be used to dry off my water-soaked feet. I asked Dave if he had any plastic bags in his pack. What my thinking was: dry my feet off; put on my nice, thick, dry socks; put them each into a plastic bag; and then put my soaking-wet hiking boots back on. He thought that was a creative idea, and we found one plastic bag from a store and one 1-gallon Ziploc bag. Perfect! At least I wouldn’t have wet, soggy feet or blisters on a 4.11-mile return trip.
And no hot springs. What crap. I was NOT in a good mood at this point.
But, little Chipmunks, fat buggers for sure, used to tourists, approached us. After I got my feet dried off and in warm, comforting socks, I put the towel on the ground and my feet on top of it. Dave threw some Fritos to the chippies, and here they came! We sat there resting, eating a sandwich and restoring our water as they entertained us.
We decided, at 8:50am, to leave. I was really grumpy, because I had so longed to come here and have a good mineral soak, sort of a dream come true. But they were closed.
As we started back down the trail, my feet were fine in the plastic bags within my boots.
We stopped again at the little grotto where the Shooting Stars were. "There could be orchids around here," I told Dave. The soil was right, the water was right. I peered over and over again around the grotto and saw nothing.
"Hell," I muttered defiantly as I turned back to the path, "there aren’t any orchids around here anywhere..." and I was, again, bummed.
But then, my eye caught a bright red stem no more than 50 feet down on the bank under some pine-needled area. What was it? I then recognized the red stems that I had seen at the Lower Fish Falls--and taken photos of. They had not bloomed out, so they were just red stems sticking up out of the dry, brown pine needles. I thought they were a parasitic plant, Orobranche, that has a bright red stem, too.
Oh, well, I thought, I might as well photograph the Orobranche in bloom. As I got down, squinting because it was in deep, dark shade and my eyes aren’t great, I realized I was not looking at Orobranche.
"Oh, my god, Dave!" I screeched. "It’s an ORCHID! An ORCHID!!!" I dropped to my knees, hunkered down, and took a good look at it. Yes, sir, it WAS an orchid. I sat there gasping, filled with joy and shock. Dave was leaning over and admiring it, too.
"I’ll be darned," he said. "An orchid. Finally."
Well! My grumpiness disappeared in a flash. The hot springs was completely forgotten. I knelt there with shaking hands, taking 40 photographs of this beautiful little orchid in bloom. I had no idea what kind it was at the time, and it didn’t matter. It was an ORCHID. It has six petals and the lower lip was wide, flat, and white,with purple spots on it. When I realized that I had photographed the SAME orchid, not in bloom, at Lower Fish Creek Falls headwaters, I just shook my head. It just goes to show you that without something in bloom, you can easily misidentify it. I later was able to identify it as a coral root orchid from one of the flower ID books I’d bought here in Steamboat Springs. Too cool.
My whole week was anchored in finding this one orchid. What a GIFT! I was delirious with happiness. I photographed that orchid in every possible perspective and angle. It was only about 10 inches tall, and I had missed it coming up the trail. Only coming down the trail, slowing and looking because it was good orchid area, did I see it. And even then, you could easily miss it in the deep shade. But the red stem stood out, flashing at me like a big, red stoplight.
Wow, this was a million times better than a hot springs!
Written by Armed With Passport on 18 Apr, 2002
I had found my seat on the United Airlines plane, buckled into my seat in coach next to my wife, and started to read a travel article in the in-flight magazine "Hemispheres". I was getting into some article about a faraway place and wondering…Read More
I had found my seat on the United Airlines plane, buckled into my seat in coach next to my wife, and started to read a travel article in the in-flight magazine "Hemispheres". I was getting into some article about a faraway place and wondering when the rest of the plane was going to file in and get situated so that we could get underway with the second leg of our trip from Denver to Hayden/Steamboat Springs.
I was disrupted by a small ruckus maybe about ten rows in front of me. I hadn't been paying close attention because I was reading, but I could see that all the flight attendants were making a fuss over one of the passengers. They all wore silly smiles on their faces and seemed to all want to talk with the passenger. All I could see of the person in question was a yellow hat, a yellow cowboy hat to be exact.
The flight soon filled up and I forgot about it.
When we landed about forty minutes later (the plane had trouble finding the runway), we quickly exited via a slippery and freezing sidewalk. We entered the ground transportation area, which was all abuzz because of the famous man standing there waiting for his snowboard to come down the baggage shoot.
It wasn't someone that I recognized, but the man in question certainly stood out. Everything that he wore and that he carried with him was yellow. He had on the aforementioned yellow cowboy hat, yellow sunglasses, a yellow winter coat, yellow slacks, and wonderful yellow cowboy boots. To round out the ensemble, the man carried a bright yellow breifcase.
I asked the lady at the Alpine Taxi counter, "Who is that?"
She said, "That's Banana George!"
Banana George was surrounded by adoring fans, mostly young women, who all posed for pictures with him. Banana George's wife stood by and seemed to take in all in stride.
The Alpine Taxi porter told me that Banana George was famous for his barefoot water skiing jumps and tricks and that he comes to Steamboat because he also likes to snowboard.
Toni got some shots of Banana George when the hordes of admirers gave him a little break.
Banana George's full name is George Blair, born in Toledo, Ohio in 1915! 1915! That means he just turned 87! He still snowboards and barefoot skis as well as appears for television and public speaking engagements. He has starred in a movie, Captiva Island (with Arte Johnson and Earnest Borgnine), been on the Today show, Letterman, Regis and Kathy Lee, and Entertainment Tonight. He learned to barefoot waterski at age 46 and is in the Waterski Hall of Fame. He has also broken his back five times during his life. When he is not water-skiing, he is a real estate developer and the holder of three patents.
You can learn more about George Blair (whose favorite food is, not surprisingly, bananas) at bananageorge.com.
May we all live as long and as well as Banana George!
Written by Hotcurrie on 13 Feb, 2006
Tip for the Beginners: If you want to go to the top of the mountain, take the Gondola onto Spur Run (green). This will take you to Sundown Express (high-speed quad lift), when you get to the top take Tomahawk (Blue). Whilst Tomahawk is a "blue",…Read More
Tip for the Beginners: If you want to go to the top of the mountain, take the Gondola onto Spur Run (green). This will take you to Sundown Express (high-speed quad lift), when you get to the top take Tomahawk (Blue). Whilst Tomahawk is a "blue", it has a very short but wide blue section less than 100m in length, at the top, which is followed by a long, wide, and relatively flat section for the next 1.5km or so. I'm sure that if it didn't have the steeper section at the top it would most certainly be a green.Tomahawk takes you down to Sunshine triple chair, where it's back to the top. Alternatively, you can take South Peak triple followed by Broadway (green) back to the top of the Gondola. From there it is Why Not (green) all the way down to Right-O-Way (green), and back to the base area. For the sightseeing groomers like my wife, I'd recommend So What (green) which branches off Why Not and then BC Ski Way (green). This is some of the prettiest scenery on the mountain, with relatively little traffic.For those intermediate skiers, like myself, who are trying to improve but aren't quite ready to tackle a full blown black, See Me is a good option. See Me is accessible off the Christie lifts, via Sitz, and offers a small taste of black skiing. Stay to the right of See Me, as the left is a little steeper, and hang on! The great part about See Me is that it is only 'Black' steep for the first half of the run, after which it becomes more like a blue as you run down to Headwall. If nothing else, the great view from the top of See Me makes it a worthwhile run to attempt.Close
We went to Steamboat for one thing and one thing alone—skiing, and we were not disappointed. I had spent some time researching resorts that had good early snow. After all, you don't want to spend 32 hours sitting on planes and in airports, travelling to the…Read More
We went to Steamboat for one thing and one thing alone—skiing, and we were not disappointed. I had spent some time researching resorts that had good early snow. After all, you don't want to spend 32 hours sitting on planes and in airports, travelling to the other side of the world, to get there and have no snow. Well snow isn't a problem in Steamboat, with snowfalls of 38cm in October, 210cm in November (snowiest November on record), and 264cm in December (5th snowiest December on record). We were welcomed with a base of 170cm when we arrived December 24th, 2005.We were early to rise Christmas Day, thanks in part to the jet lag, and hit the slopes straight after breakfast. We enjoyed two perfectly fine, blue-sky days that we spent familiarising ourselves with the various runs. Lucky we did to, it snowed for the next 10 days straight!We are both Intermediate skiers, although my wife is more comfortable on long green groomers than blues. We spent several hours on the first day cruising on the green run Headwall getting reacquainted with our skis. In the afternoon we headed up Christie III triple chair and explored Main Drag, Boulevard, Giggle Gulch, Bigfoot, Swinger, So What, Right-O-Way and Bee Line—all greens. The upper green runs off the lift are Main Drag and Boulevard, which whilst being fairly narrow are not that steep. The other greens, with the exception of Right-O-Way, are relatively steeper but are also wider. Having said that, we considered all of them within our ability level. It should be noted that before arriving in Steamboat we had spent a grand total of 12 days over the last 3 years skiing.The great thing about Steamboat is that the mountain is divided into basically three areas; the lower levels, which are almost solely greens, are serviced by the Christie II & III lifts; the mid mountain is mostly blues and blacks, with some greens, serviced by the Silver Bullet Gondola; and the upper mountain is all blues and blacks, serviced by Sundown Express. So as we became more comfortable on our skis, and as our confidence increased, we were able to move further up the mountain into a wider range of terrain. It also meant we could individually ski different runs and meet back at the same lift.Close
At 11am today, we leave Hot Sulphur Springs and wind our way north to Steamboat Springs up route 49. Our timeshare is at Hillside, but we can’t check in until 4pm.
From the Springs, we had about 70 miles of road, and I intended to…Read More
At 11am today, we leave Hot Sulphur Springs and wind our way north to Steamboat Springs up route 49. Our timeshare is at Hillside, but we can’t check in until 4pm.
From the Springs, we had about 70 miles of road, and I intended to take every possible opportunity to shoot wildflowers along the way. It was 80F, hot and sunny out as we left the Grill in Hot Sulphur Springs about noontime. There was a canyon with magnificent granite cliffs surrounding us and I found some blue or purple Lupine to shoot. A river snaked along parallel to our two-laned asphalt road.
About half an hour later, outside of Kremmling, I had to go to the bathroom. So we found a dirt road that over looked the river and pulled off. I was busy finding my ever-present Kleenex tissue in my shirt pocket as I squatted down below the hill facing the river, and Dave was downwind of me with the Nikon, looking for something to photograph. Just as I pulled my pants down and was slowly skidding down on the sand between two thick sagebrush, I saw a huge brown object down at the river, about 300 feet below me. I frowned, pulled down my pants, and squatted. I wanted to make sure no one from the road could see my white behind. I focused my attention back on the huge, brown, four-legged animal that was leaving a meadow of willows for the river.
My mouth dropped open. OH, my gawd! It was a MOOSE! And my hiking boots, with their thick tread, were stopping me from literally sliding down the steep slope of sand I was squatting on. Holy cow! It was a female moose!! She was HUGE! All legs and a brown bulk of 2,000 pounds of flesh combined with muscle. She moved gingerly into the river. I turned, trying to keep my balance and not pitch over or start sliding down off the vertical clime.
"Dave!" I whispered. "DAVE! Come HERE! NOW!" I was trying to whisper quietly because it was a wild animal, and if it heard me screeching, the moose would have run off. As it was, Dave turned toward me, camera in hand, and the moose lifted her muzzle and looked directly up at me, squatting on the opposite sandy vertical slope with a wad of Kleenex in my hand.
Dave started talking as he worked his way through the sagebrush toward me.
"Be QUIET!" I hissed. I didn’t want to scare the moose, but I sure as hell wanted a good, clean shot of her down at the river. My Nikon D70 could give me a photo of a lifetime.
Dave was frowning as he slid down the clime toward me.
"Why do you want the camera NOW?" he asked, puzzled
"There’s a MOOSE down there!" I hissed, grabbing the camera from him.
At that moment, my hiking boots lost their grip. I began to slide south, down toward the river.
I grabbed at a passing sagebrush with my one, free hand. The Kleenex tore out of it. My slide slowed.
I grabbed another sage. I couldn’t stand up, or the people on the highway driving by would see my big, white butt. I had to stay hunkered down in a squatting position, camera in one hand, sagebrush in the other.
Finally, my slide stopped.
At that point, Dave SAW the moose.
"Look, Eileen! Look!"
"SHHHHH!!!!" I hissed at him.
Quickly, with my tread biting into the slippery sand, my slide south momentarily halted, I got my Nikon D70 into the action. I whipped off the lens cap, turned it on, and took five photos of the moose as she walked upstream from us.
Dave slid down the hill to get the camera so I could give the sagebrush some water. He went gallumphing across the top of the hill, trying to spy the moose down below as she wound between the stately cottonwood trees that lined both sides of the river.
After doing my business and managing to take a sideswipe at the sagebrush who had stolen my Kleenex, I finally was able to crouch and pull up my pants and then straighten up and button them.
Dave didn’t get any more shots of the moose. But I had. What a lucky find!!
So our day started off with Moose medicine. I considered that a good sign!
Written by longblondhair on 01 Nov, 2003
Start the day with a brisk hike up the mountain trails, rent a bike, or an ATV. Stop by the stream and try your luck crossing over on the boulders (there is a bridge, if you don't want to get your feet wet).…Read More
Start the day with a brisk hike up the mountain trails, rent a bike, or an ATV. Stop by the stream and try your luck crossing over on the boulders (there is a bridge, if you don't want to get your feet wet). Pack a lunch and soak up the scenery. When you get back, visit the hot springs to sooth the sore muscles. The shopping area is about 6 blocks of wonderful shops with a little bit of everything. You sure don't need to ski to enjoy Steamboat Springs, CO.
Our rooms at the Sunburst Condominiums were wonderful -- the master bedroom was a romantic loft overlooking the living room with cathedral ceilings and a fireplace.
Written by kstraveler on 10 Mar, 2004
We spent a lot of time in Hahn's Peak State Park, and one day while we were there, we stopped and looked at the old remaining buildings in Historic Hahn's Peak. Hahn's Peak was once the county seat and had a large population.…Read More
We spent a lot of time in Hahn's Peak State Park, and one day while we were there, we stopped and looked at the old remaining buildings in Historic Hahn's Peak. Hahn's Peak was once the county seat and had a large population. When the gold mines played out, the people moved on. There are only a handful of people who still live in the old town. We found that Colorado was rich in history, if not in gold.Close