Page 1

suMMer 2014

Radius 100: 50 things to do outside Steamboat

LOCALS SPECIAL SECTION Restaurant Roulette: A guide to new eateries downtown

Plus: Prom-posals, a snowboarder turns to motocross, hot air balloon skiing and more

2 | Steamboat living | Summer 2014

Summer 2014 | Steamboat living


4 | Steamboat living | Summer 2014


John f. russell

Letter from the Editor

Special sections


Quick Hits From snowboarder cross to motocross, hot air balloon skiing, creative prom-prosals and more.


Final Frames: Nicole Shue





Locals An inside look at 10 residents making our community what it is, from a Rolling Stones roadie to a teacher putting interns in the workplace.


1 0 0


s k i


d ay s



y e a r

a t

a g e


8 3

don gore


on gore is a motorhead, an aficionado at jumping rope and he runs, bikes, works out and eats well so he can enjoy his biggest passion: skiing. at 83 years old, gore just wrapped up his 25th season of instructing at steamboat ski area, once again notching 100 days on the slopes. “My goal is to be in my 90s and still teach, and i think i can make it,” says gore, who was still skiing in May. “it’s kind of a source of pride that i can perform with the younger guys, and in some cases, outski them.” When he can’t outski them, gore says he can at least offer some tips on form and technique. “don is an inspiration to all of us,” says steamboat snowsports school director Nelson Wingard. “even at 83, he is fit and strong. every day he’s out on the mountain training, working on improving his skills and teaching techniques and always looking for ways to grow. He wants to share his passion for skiing and that is contagious to all ages.” Before landing in steamboat, gore worked as a ski patrol for 25 years at Washington’s Crystal Mountain. He first learned to ski when he was 25 years old and on leave from the Navy. gore jumped in by heading for Berthoud Pass with rented gear and socks for gloves. “that day i fell 22 times, and i’ve never had more fun in my life,” he says.

Getting better with age: Don Gore with his 1974 Camaro.

His first ski area job was at White Pass in Washington as a lift op. While there, he learned from twins steve and Phil Mahre, who would become american skiing legends. “i learned a lot from those 9-year-old kids,” he says. gore got to ski race alongside some of the best, including steamboat’s Buddy Werner. He remembers finishing one race in one minute and 15 seconds, 30 seconds

slower than the local skiing icon. When the resorts close for the season, he moves onto his other passion: restoring a 1974 Camaro. “it’s been a 10-year project,” gore says, adding that the hot rodding helps him feel young again. “this year, if i can get it running, i’m going to drive down Lincoln avenue just to look around and show it off. i feel like i’m 23.” — Matt Stensland

14 | Steamboat living | Summer 2014


restaurant roulette ck Ba ed Ne go Lo

Restaurant Roulette An appetizer of what to expect from 15 downtown eateries on the move.

or Do

l hee dlew d Pad Nee o Log

John f. russell

On the cover: Wife, performer and business owner Laura Lamun has built Little Moon Essentials to an international business. Read her story on page 37. (Photo by John F. Russell)


Nee d Curry Red Bow Log l o



John F. Russell


Need Eureka Logo

15 downtown eateries on the Move


Published as a special section of the Steamboat Living magazine by the Steamboat Pilot & Today. | Steamboat living | 19 Summer 2014




Radius 100 Sure, there’s plenty to do in town. But a wealth of other activities exist within 100 miles that often go unnoticed. A glimpse of countless things you can do within a day-jaunt of town.

9 8 48






Routt national forest

16 49





to veRnal

SteaMboat SpRingS



1 Routt national forest

2 yaMpa

45 Rangely





100 Miles




35 White River national forest

42 Rifle

33 eagle


50 summer activities within 2 hours (or so) of Steamboat

Max Parsons at Bear river BMX park.


to SaRatoga




Story by Eugene Buchanan

42 | Steamboat living | Summer 2014

Summer 2014 | Steamboat living

38 40

glenWood SpRingS


John f. russell


Suzanne Schlicht Publisher Lisa Schlichtman editor in chief eugene buchanan Magazine editor Reed Jones Magazine advertising director Laura mazade Assistant editor Lindsay Porter creative services supervisor Steve balgenorth circulation manager Photographers scott franz, Ben ingersoll, Joel reichenberger, tom ross, John f. russell and Matt stensland Writers scott franz, Ben ingersoll, Joel reichenberger, tom ross, John f. russell, lisa schlichtman, Matt stensland and dan tullos advertising design and production seve deMarco, Mack Maschmeier, chris Mcgaw and lindsay Porter advertising sales Jenni defouw and reed Jones steamboat living is published three times a year, in March, July and november by the steamboat Pilot & today. steamboat living magazines are free. for advertising information, call reed Jones at 970-871-4225. to get a copy mailed to your home, call steve Balgenorth at 970-871-4232. email letters to the editor to or call 970-870-1376 6 | Steamboat living | Summer 2014

Jumping in “Dad! I jumped in the pond!” gushed my daughter, Brooke, on one not-so-fine day in early May. That she did it, off a rope swing no less, didn’t surprise me. There’s a pond behind our house that fills every spring, luring pollywogs from the neighborhood like 20 inches of snow does skiers to Mount Werner. That she did it during a freak spring snowstorm did. It caused me shrinkage just thinking about it. Then the next day, my youngest daughter, Casey, at a paltry 11 years old, did the same thing, also when it was freezing. And so did her friend. Never mind that it was an utterly dismal mud-season day. They cannonballed in, goosebumps be damned. Then they showed me videos of their bikini-wearing plunges, which they posted to Instagram. “I had to, Dad,” my youngest implored. “I was nominated.” Therein began my indoctrination into a fad sweeping not only Steamboat, but the rest of the frozen-watered country. There was a cold-blooded initiation rite going on, it seemed, in our nation’s school system. Students “nominated” others to take a teeth-chattering dip, and then those poor shivering saps could do the same. It first seemed relegated just to highschoolers, whose hormones can ward off

bad weather. But then my oldest “nominated” my youngest and the penguining spread like the plague. So in case you noticed an uptick in colds this spring, or saw kids swimming when, by all rights, they shouldn’t have been, that’s the reason. And the ritual got me thinking. It’s analogous, it seems, to all of us who have jumped into living in Steamboat — the people who uprooted on a whim, passed through and never left, came for the winter and stayed for the summer or otherwise settled in the Yampa Valley for a better life in the mountains. It’s these typed of people ee’re profiling in this issue’s annual Locals section: those who have plunged into a new life in Steamboat Springs and made it their home. Like kids belly-flopping into our rivers and lakes, there was no real rhyme or reason as to who we chose to highlight, other than, like our shivering kids, they were nominated by friends, family or peers. What they all share is an unwavering commitment to the community and desire to make it better than it already is. If you missed your chance to nominate someone for inclusion, send it our way and we’ll include the suggestion for next year. And if you missed your chance to join your kids in a cold-water plunge, well, you can do that, too. In fact, we nominate you. — Eugene Buchanan

Steamboat Scuttlebutt Not that we believe in such things, but shortly after appearing on the cover of Sports Illustrated this winter — along with fellow snowboarder Jamie Anderson — local snowboarder Arielle Gold dislocated her shoulder on a training run in Sochi and was unable to compete in women’s half-pipe. “I didn’t even know about the jinx until someone told me about it,” says Gold, who’s now back at 100 percent and looking forward to competing again next year. “I kind of shrugged it off. Besides, Jamie went on to win the gold in slope-style, so there can’t be a jinx.” Among other notable “jinx” examples: In February 2010, Lindsey Vonn injured her leg the same week as she appeared on the cover.

Bear necessities

It was a bad spring to be an alpaca. No one knows this more than local Kurt Casey, who woke up one morning this May at his Straw-

berry Park home to find that one of his alpacas had been killed by a bear. How do they know? Suspecting one was in the area, his neighbor set up a motion cam covering the area in question. After discovering the dead alpaca, they looked at it and, sure enough, the frame was filled by a grandiose Ursus americanus caught with his hand in the cookie jar. “I was surprised, but the motion cam worked,” Casey says. “You can tell it was a pretty big bear.” Photo courtesy of Kurt Casey

SI jinx?

Breakneck contest

When Vail Mountain Resorts launched its Epic Pass contest this past season — awarding lifetime passes to the first 10 people to ski its 26 owned and partner resorts in four countries — skiers crawled out of the woodwork to hit all the resorts at breakneck speed. Unfortunately, local Jim Getten took it a little too literally. Quick on the draw to try to win the ultimate skiing-for-life schwag package, Getten hit the ground running, as the following schedule attests: Nov. 22: Heavenly Valley (California); Nov. 23: Kirkwood (California); Nov. 24: Northstar at Tahoe (California); Nov. 25: Arapahoe Basin (Colorado); Nov. 26: Keystone (Colorado); Nov. 27 Vail (Colorado); Nov.

Summer 2014 | Steamboat living


28: Breckenridge (Colorado); Nov. 29: Beaver Creek (Colorado); Nov. 30: Lake Eldora (Colorado); Dec. 1: Canyons (Utah); Dec. 2 Afton Alps (Minnesota); Dec. 3: Mount Brighton (Michigan); Dec. 4: Verbier (France); Dec. 5: Val Thorens/ Orelle (France); Dec. 7: Zürs (Austria). But it was at this last resort when, with just 11 resorts remaining, Photo courtesy of JiM Getten his plans came crashing down. Skiing off-piste, he fell into a hole and broke his neck. “It was the resort’s opening day, and there wasn’t a whole lot of snow,” he says. “It was a bummer because I was tied for first place and was going to win that thing.” The contest, meanwhile, finished Dec. 20 in Brides-Les-Bains, France, the last of the 26 resorts to open. Twenty-eight days after it began, 10 skiers earned the golden ticket to ride while Getten was home in a neck brace. “I don’t have any regrets,” he says. “It was a great excuse to go to Europe. I was pretty obsessed about it for a month.” And letting bygones be bygones, he’s already purchased his Epic Pass for next year.

Race releases ‘mindful Parenting’

Family psychologist Dr. Kristen Race has released a new book called “Mindful Parenting,” describing how “presence of mind” can improve well-being, productivity and creativity while enhancing family life. A simple family dinner, she says, can build stronger neural pathways, activate children’s prefrontal cortex and help develop empathy. The book also addresses what she calls the “Generation Stress” of today’s techheavy lifestyles, offering such solutions as creating mindful family activities. “Steamboat parents have many of the same stressors that other parents have,” she says. “We over-schedule our kids, run from one activity to the next, and have to manage the financial and career challenges of living in a resort community. The plus is that our escape to a tranquil environment is right out our back door.” Info:

all in a day’s work

Photo courtesy of BiG aGnes

There’s no rest for the weary — especially if you’re Big Agnes owner Bill Gamber (whose, ahem, Double Z sleeping pad just won Backpacker magazine’s 2014 Editor’s Choice award). Trying to eke out a little recreation before flying to South Korea for business, he drove away from his hot springs-area home at midnight one day this spring, only to get pulled over for speeding while wearing his ski boots. He then continued on to meet a friend at the base of Sleeping Giant, which they boot-hiked up and skied using their headlamps. From 8 | Steamboat living | Summer 2014

there, he returned to his downtown office at 4 a.m. for a quick shower before flying off to South Korea out of Hayden at 6 a.m. No word on if he slept on the plane.

2 minutes for bluffing

Photo courtesy of Kerry shea

Honey, I lost the bar last night. That’s the doghouse McKnight’s Irish Pub & Loft owner Kerry Shea almost had to climb out of after organizing this spring’s Red Wings alumni hockey game at the Howelsen Ice Arena. At the opening reception at McKnight’s, Shea got into a late-night game of pool with four-time Stanley Cup winner Joey Kocur, jokingly betting the bar on the outcome. Kocur won on a mean bank shot and Shea, true to his word, sent him a photo of the tavern’s digitally altered sign. Look for the menu to also start offering a Kocurburger.

Pictured: Hunter Douglas Designer Roller Shades with Custom Wood Valences

angry grouse

Alfred Hitchcock’s thriller “The Birds” has nothing on Steamboat’s grouse population. The Angry Grouse mountain bike trail on Emerald Mountain lived up to its billing this May, with a flock of reports filtering in from bikers and hikers getting “attacked” by the avian antagonists. With the menacing reported at the top and bottom of the MGM trail, the pecking featherballs reportedly forced joggers into detours and mountain bikers into defensive action. “One kept coming at me and pecking my bike tire,” Fairview resident Bob Congdon says, adding that he had to swing his front wheel to keep the bird at bay. “It was possessed or something.” Wildlife experts say that the behavior shouldn’t be unexpected in spring. “Grouse protect their brood and chicks, but it’s too early for chicks,” Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Lisa Rossi says. “So it could be a male protecting his territory because it’s breeding season.” For video of an angry grouse in action, visit

Draperies, Romans, Top Treatments, and Side Panels in 400 beautiful fabrics

biking to stay airborne

Joel reichenBerger

With the United States Ski Association cutting funding for Nordic Combined, local Nordic Combined skier Ben Berend —recently named the 2014 Colorado Ski Country USA Spencer Nelson All-Star Athlete of the Year — is spinning his wheels to bridge the gap. This summer, Berend and other team members are guiding fundraiser luxury bike tours through Colorado and Utah to raise funds for the team. “Despite the funding being cut, I’m more motivated than ever,” says Berend, who has his sights set on the 2015 World Juniors in Kazakhstan and the World Championships in Sweden. “I’ve always dreamed of someday representing the U.S. Ski Team.” A Jumpin’ and Jammin’ fundraiser is also slated for July 4 at Howelsen Hill, where spectators can watch competitors jump, and enjoy family games, a beer garden and the Salzberger Echo Band. Info:

Maximize your outdoor space with a motorized awning!

Specializing in: Blinds • Shades Shutters • Awnings Soft Treatments

Ask 10% w about the hole disco house unt!


Your #1 Source for Window Coverings in the Yampa Valley! Summer 2014 | Steamboat living


Photo courtesy of Ed Briones

Quick hits

“Can we hot wax our skis with that while we’re at it?” Balloon skiers Bill Murphy, Scott Wither and Ed Briones (above); and pilot Bud White’s craft (below).

Balloon ski

Forget the gondola car. This spring, a trio of Steamboat skiers used a hot air balloon to reach their line. On March 14, locals Ed Briones, Bill Murphy and Scott Wither relied on the services of pilot Bud White to ride a hot air balloon to ski Sleeping Giant west of town. It marked the first time it had been done since Scott’s father, Pete Wither, did it in 1978. “I first thought about doing it about four years ago when I saw Pete’s photo,” Briones says about the original longhaired locals who hatched the idea at The Tugboat Grill & Pub. “This December, I saw a balloon truck and the idea struck again. So I called Bud, who said he’d help.” After picking the date, they scouted takeoff and landing options and then eyed the weather. The morning of, they launched a few “pilot ball” test balloons to assess the conditions. “The winds weren’t too favorable,” Briones says. “It was a little gusty.” Further complicating matters: The winds were coming from the north, which would blow them away from their quest. Still, with White giving the nod, they loaded up their skis and took off. “It took us a while to find any easterlies to carry us to the knees,” Briones says. Tic-tac-toeing at different elevations this 10 | Steamboat living | Summer 2014

way and that, they finally found a northeasterly at 11,000 feet that carried them to the Giant’s feet. Then they continued to ride that breeze to treetop level near the Giant’s head before White finally dropped them off “nice and easy” on the backside of the stomach. In all, they spent about an hour in the air. The team then held down the balloon and unloaded their skis before giving White the thumbs up to depart. “When we let go, he shot about 1,000 feet straight up without our weight,” Briones says. From there, a 20-minute skin took them to the summit, where they skied perfect corn before rendezvousing with their shuttle. “It was a great way to see the valley,” Briones says. “But you’re at the complete mercy of the wind. It was a lot more work than a chairlift.” Watching them the whole time with a pair of binoculars back home was Pete, who saw his feat repeated for the first time in 35 years. “He was psyched we did it,” son Scott says. “It was pretty much the exact same trip, only with shorter hair and no mustaches.” For a video of the feat, visit — Eugene Buchanan

Photo courtesy of Ed Briones

Trio skis Sleeping Giant


Quick hits

Students go all out to get dates for the big dance Photo courtesy of Jaelin Kauf

Traditionally, asking someone to prom was as simple as a teenage boy meekly posing the question. Today, the methods have undergone a “21st-century renaissance,” says Miriam Jordan, of the Wall Street Journal. The “prom-posal” has evolved into an elaborate peacock-feather competition to woo prospective dates. These antics were on full display by courters this spring at Steamboat Springs High School. To better understand Routt County’s examples of these rituals, we split up some of the “asks” leading up to the 2014 SSHS prom into the categories below. And yes, for the lovesick among you, all ended with favorable outcomes.

The mystic movie scene

Michael and Savannah: Accompanied by a few friends for support, this asker started blasting “Star Wars” music outside the askee’s house at night. After the askee strolled hesitantly outside to see what was up, the asker confronted her with a light saber and asked, “Will you join me on the dark side and go to prom?” The drawback: neighbors threatened to call the police with a noise complaint.

The pun

Quinn and Jaelin: There is nothing cuter than a nervous guy asking a girl while holding flowers. This situation eschewed the traditional by having friends of the girl lead her directly into a “flour shower.” She was doused with bags of white flour and then led to a sign reading, “I got you some FLOURS so will you go to

Jaelin Kauf shows off “flours” she received with her prom invite.

Summer 2014 | Steamboat living

| 11

Photo courtesy of eVAn WeinMAn

evan Weinman next to his prom invitation written in swedish.

prom with me?” She didn’t have to sift through her answers at all. John and Emma: An unsuspecting boyfriend was told to visit The Tap House Sports Grill for a simple dinner with his girl, when he found an open box of wings sitting suspiciously on his table. The inside lid of the box read, “I’m just going to wing it … PROM??” Rumor has it the free wings cinched the deal.

the foreign language front

Evan and Mila: This couple is familiar with Sweden, one from being an exchange student and the other having visited the country. Because of this, the girl walked up a stairwell to a sign written in Swedish saying, “Will you go to prom with me?” Behind the sign, the asker sat excitedly, holding a sweet-smelling bouquet of yellow flowers. (Sometimes the simplest ways turn out the best.)

the serenade

Joe and Kelly: The unsuspecting girl thought she was simply attending a movie with her friends when her group was “kicked out” of the theater by cinema staff. The moviegoers then were led outside in front of 15 boys, who proceeded to sing “My Girl” by The Temptations. After reciting the entire song with surprisingly few errors, the asker jumped out of the middle of the troupe with a rose and asked his date-to-be to prom. How could she resist the temptation?

the gift wrap

Carter and Harper: In the front of the school, a suspicious gift-wrapped box sat in the wide-open seating area. When the girl approached the box, a voice from within told her to unwrap it. When the wrapping paper was close to removed, the asker sprung up, asking her to prom. It was the ultimate present. — Marley Loomis

Sandi Eivins, M.D.

Board Certified Dermatologist P. Skye Richards, PA-C 940 Central Park Dr. Suite 210 • 871-4811 Find us FAST in

Photo courtesy of Joe DoBell

Joe Dobell and friends serenade Kelly Borgerding. 12 | Steamboat living | Summer 2014

Photo courtesy of ?????

Crossing it up: Three-time X Games snowboard cross silver medalist Erin Nemec is making the move to motocross.

Quick hits

“Erin innately understands how to use machines. She couldn’t tell you what a gearbox looks like or how the clutch works — she just knows how to work them. It’s uncanny.” — Kevin Nemec


Erin Nemec: Snowboard cross to motocross What exactly does an Olympian do after she starts a family, gets older and “retires”? She keeps on racing, of course. That’s the attitude, at least, of local Olympian Erin Simmons Nemec. Formerly ranked as one of the top 10 snowboarders in the world, the three-time X Games silver medalist and 2006 snowboard cross Olympian is now finding a new way to rack up medals: motocross. Nemec, 37, and her husband, Kevin, took an interest in the sport as soon as their boys Jett, 5, and Cael, 3, were old enough to reach the throttle. While Steamboat usually isn’t associated with dirt biking, close proximity to Sand Wash, Burns and “Wendler’s Track” has made the transition trail smooth. “Erin innately understands how to use machines,” Kevin says. “When I surprised her with her first dirt bike (a Honda CR80 Expert), she hopped on, started it and took off. This is the same bike I stalled three times when I first rode it. Nothing like being an expert rider and getting shown up by your beginner wife. She couldn’t tell you what a gearbox looks like or how the clutch works — she just knows how to work them. It’s uncanny.” After a few casual weekends with the family, son Jett decided he wanted to enter a motocross race. So last summer, the family geared up and took off for Denver with Nemec the consummate cheerleader, nurse and coach. Naturally, she found herself sizing up the competition in the women’s division. You can take the girl out

of racing, but you can’t take racing out of the girl. “I just decided … I can do that,” she says. Despite a license plate that reads “Air-N,” Nemec is very down to earth. Growing up in West Vancouver, B.C., skiing Whistler, she didn’t start racing snowboards until after college. Like a lot of moms in Steamboat, she works on the mountain (as the snowboard master-guide for Marabou), works out (6 a.m. Manic sessions three days each week) and enjoys the outdoors with her family (launching off homemade kickers and snowboarding the half-pipe with her 2-year-old). Within a week of assessing the motocross scene, she was ready to compete. While her last snowboard event was five years ago, the nervousness of competing is the same. “Motocross butterflies are better than snowboard cross butterflies because the expectations are lower,” she says. After a few practice laps and coaching from Kevin and her boys, she took on the challenge. “I had no idea what I was doing,” she says. “I had to ask the girl next to me how to position my bike on the starting blocks.” Baptism by fire suits the dynamic blonde. Five laps later, she had a third-place trophy to place next to her snowboard awards back home. And she’s looking to add to them as she continues her new fossil fuel-powered passion this year. — Heather Martyn Summer 2014 | Steamboat living

| 13

















8 3

Don Gore

on Gore is a motorhead, an aficionado at jumping rope and he runs, bikes, works out and eats well so he can enjoy his biggest passion: skiing. At 83 years old, Gore just wrapped up his 25th season of instructing at Steamboat Ski Area, once again notching 100 days on the slopes. “My goal is to be in my 90s and still teach, and I think I can make it,” says Gore, who was still skiing in May. “It’s kind of a source of pride that I can perform with the younger guys, and in some cases, outski them.” When he can’t outski them, Gore says he can at least offer some tips on form and technique. “Don is an inspiration to all of us,” says Steamboat Snowsports School Director Nelson Wingard. “Even at 83, he is fit and strong. Every day he’s out on the mountain training, working on improving his skills and teaching techniques and always looking for ways to grow. He wants to share his passion for skiing, and that is contagious to all ages.” Before landing in Steamboat, Gore worked as a ski patroller for 25 years at Washington’s Crystal Mountain. He first learned to ski when he was 25 years old and on leave from the Navy. Gore jumped in by heading for Berthoud Pass with rented gear and socks for gloves. “That day I fell 22 times, and I’ve never had more fun in my life,” he says.

14 | Steamboat living | Summer 2014


John f. russell

1 0 0

Getting better with age: Don Gore with his 1974 camaro.

His first ski area job was at White Pass in Washington as a lift operator. While there, he learned from twins Steve and Phil Mahre, who would become American skiing legends. “I learned a lot from those 9-year-old kids,” he says. Gore got to ski race alongside some of the best, including Steamboat’s Buddy Werner. He remembers finishing one race in one minute and 15 seconds, 30 seconds

slower than the local skiing icon. When the resorts close for the season, he moves on to his other passion: restoring a 1974 Camaro. “It’s been a 10-year project,” Gore says, adding that the hot rodding helps him feel young again. “This year, if I can get it running, I’m going to drive down Lincoln Avenue just to look around and show it off. I feel like I’m 23.” — Matt Stensland





Molly Hayes John f. russell


f you peeked into the window of Mambo Italiano at lunchtime May 29, you would have seen 100 fifth-grade students filling the tables — the boys in collared shirts and ties, and the girls wearing their best skirts and dresses. Sitting with backs straight, napkins in their laps and passing the salt and pepper to the right, they were practicing table manners they’d learned in the classroom from a woman they affectionately call Miss Molly Manners. Molly Hayes has been teaching etiquette classes in Steamboat Springs since she and her husband, Todd, moved here in 2010. She does so for local fifth-graders at no charge. “I look at this as community service,” she says. Ever since growing up in Tampa, Florida, Hayes has been intrigued by etiquette, often reading manners books by Emily Post and Amy Vanderbilt in a hammock by the lake. But she is quick to point out that her etiquette classes are the antithesis of the cotillions of her mother’s generation. They aren’t “stuffy” or “country clubby” but fresh and very applicable to modern-day life. “It’s light, fresh and well received by parents and kids,” she says, her Southern accent fitting for someone teaching social graces. “We teach real-life skills they can relate to. I also teach good personal habits. If we feel good about ourselves, we’ll treat others better.” Local parent Kim Brack, who helped create the program at Soda Creek Elementary with teacher Cindy Gantick, says the students love Molly “She has a Southern, genteel charm, and the kids really engage with her.” Fifth-grader Morgan Graham is also a big fan. “She’s really kind for teaching us better table manners,” Morgan says. “It takes a lot of courage to teach kids manners because we are a rowdy bunch.” Since founding Molly Manners (www. in 2010, Hayes, a former teacher with a master’s degree in educational leadership, has expanded beyond Steamboat into the international market. To date, Molly Manners has business license agreements in 37 locations, including Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, the Philippines and Guatemala (people can purchase her business model, which includes curriculum, training and support). Hayes has developed three age-specific sets of curricula — “Nice is Right” for ages 3 to 6, “Kool to be Kind” for ages 7 to 11 and “The Young Sophisticate” for ages 12 to 17 — with lesson plans ranging from how to properly set the table and make good first impressions to interview skills and tips.

Mind your Ps and Qs: Molly hayes at riggio’s italian restaurant.

“Good manners are all about treating yourself and others with kindness and consideration,” she says. “And it always starts with you — showing that consideration for yourself and others.” In Steamboat, she teaches character education and etiquette through the city Parks, Open Space and Recreational Services Department’s after-school program and enrichment programs at Bud Werner Memorial Library. She also offers classes at Rex’s American Grill & Bar and Steamboat Christian Center. While she and Todd recently purchased the Brown & Brown

Agency (now Steamboat Select Insurance Group) and also are busy raising polite children, Ruby, 12, and Bruce, 9, she still has time to appreciate her new home. “I love the people and sense of community here,” she says. “Everyone looks out for each other. And I love that my kids can be outside without me worrying.” She also treasures family time outdoors — hours spent on the slopes and learning to fly fish. “You have to immerse yourself in the Steamboat culture of getting outside,” she says. “We love it.” — Lisa Schlichtman Summer 2014 | Steamboat living

| 15




( and

neighbor )

Debbie Aragon

hey go for bike rides and hikes after work, pick up trash along a mile of highway on Rabbit Ears Pass and spend hours coming up with an office-wide theme for Halloween costumes. Working at the State Farm office in Steamboat Springs is more than a 9-to-5 daily commitment, and those employees say that’s thanks to the woman at the top, Debbie Aragon, who stands out as a Steamboat local in part because of the vibrant office she leads. Aragon came to Steamboat in 1996, chosen to take over the local State Farm office. From the then-small town of Millikin, between Loveland and Greeley, Aragon started with State Farm immediately after high school, a 17-year-old working with a company more than twice as big as the town she grew up in. She was playing softball in the summer when she met her husband-to-be, John Aragon. “I was a pitcher and he was the umpire. I felt like he was being very generous with his calls,” she says. “Anything

16 | Steamboat living | Summer 2014

close was a strike. I thought, ‘Wow. He’s either a lousy umpire or he likes me.’” The couple, married in 1981, had three boys — John, 31, Jeff, 30, and Brian, 25, — who all now live in Texas. Aragon was working at a State Farm office in Greeley when she interviewed to take over offices in Wyoming, Fort Collins and Longmont. Finally, it was Steamboat that came through. Her children weren’t sold on the idea at first — “I don’t like Steamboat. I don’t like boats and I ain’t going,” Brian, then a second-grader, declared initially. A ski trip on a bluebird powder day sold them, however, and the Aragons have been eating up all Steamboat has to offer ever since. Aragon makes a point of bringing that attitude to her office, and her employees have learned to love it, helping the agency be selected as one of town’s best places to work in 2012 and 2013. The employees have done the Steamboat Mad Mudder run together, the STARS Biking the Boat ride, the Steamboat Color Run and the Tour de Steam-

Joel Reichenberger


All in the family: Debbie Aragon with her staff.

boat. They participate in after-work activities weekly during the summer and have shared more than a few happy hours together. It all makes one comment from Aragon make perfect sense: “I haven’t posted a job ad in years,” she says. — Joel Reichenberger

Ben Ingersoll

A river runs through him: Bill Chace and his dog, Fim, take a break along the Elk River.

T he




Bill Chace

here are few places Bill Chace would rather be than along the banks of the Yampa or Elk rivers — or any of the valley’s streams — doing the job he’s enjoyed for more than 30 years. Chace spent 24 years volunteering and working with Yampa Valley Fly Fishers. With the group, he built a set of skills and connections that would make him one of the most knowledgeable people in the region when it comes to maintaining, repairing and sustaining local rivers and streams. River keeper is Chace’s title, one that he wears proudly on the breast of his longsleeved green shirt at job sites. But the job takes on many forms, and Chace is the first to say his work — and passion — can’t be done singlehandedly. It’s a team effort, he says, that requires everyone from geomorphologists to hydrologists and riparian ecologists. Experts like these have made Chace a valuable asset in keeping the Yampa, Elk and other waterways healthy since moving to the valley decades ago. “I was able to transfer the knowledge I

received volunteering to serve the retiring baby boomers buying larger parcels of land,” Chace says. “It’s been a wonderful experience. It’s a job you love to get up and go do.” Chace’s team collects data on things such as riparian habitats, water depth and width as well as riverbank stabilization. From there, they develop a plan to change the contracted piece of river from its existing condition to a more productive, sustainable body of water. The river keeper’s job goes well beyond how the water flows or how many cubic feet per second it’s pushing. Sure, Chace keeps a watchful eye on these details to ensure fish populations are thriving and recreationalists are happy. But take a trip along the banks of the Elk with him, and he’ll point out the smaller, unnoticed things that make his job so valuable. A ripple could signal a job his team completed last fall, keeping the river from eroding its bank and overflowing into a field. A downed tree or cluster of sticks often means beavers; nothing breaks his

heart like seeing a tree he planted decades prior go to waste. “It’s like losing a child,” he says. These days, Chace works almost exclusively in the private sector, maintaining rivers that run through ranchers’ properties. And age, he says, is making him more of a consultant. Landowners might contract him to work a season or multiple years. He’s worked on stretches a mile long and those only a hundred yards long. His work varies, but water never will change, he says. “It’s not always perfect,” he says. “Water does exactly what water wants to do.” He understands that no matter how much he and his team poke around Yampa Valley riverbanks, nothing beats the real deal. A river’s natural, untouched beauty is what continues driving him to the water. “It’s the communion I have with nature,” he says. “Being successful in any of the natural resources doesn’t come from having money or power. It comes from communion and knowledge.” — Ben Ingersoll Summer 2014 | Steamboat living

| 17


Elaine Dermody


laine Dermody could fill several books with the text of her adventures. The 76-year-old has climbed Mount Whitney — the highest summit in the contiguous United States — twice, and she still loves backpacking in California’s High Sierras. And when she and her husband retired early, they traveled across the country in a Fleetwood Flair Class A motor home for six years, returning home to Florida for only a couple of months each year. They bought the biggest motor home they could that still would be allowed in national parks, and when they couldn’t get the RV in, they’d hop on their bikes. Along the way, they found Steamboat Springs. And it was a handful of llamas that finally motivated them to move here in 1997. “When I found out I could get out into the wilderness and not have to carry a heavy backpack, that’s when I told my husband we were moving,” says Dermody. For many years, Dermody has put off retirement to protect the places where people go to disconnect from their cellphones, televisions and computers. In 2000, she started Friends of the Wilderness, a volunteer organi-

18 | Steamboat living | Summer 2014

zation that helps to maintain the Sarvis Creek, Flat Tops and Mount Zirkel wilderness areas. When the group started, the focus was on educating visitors about wilderness regulations. They’d inform campers where they could and couldn’t camp and help clear trash and other things left behind (Dermody once found a toilet seat at an abandoned campsite). After years of fires, beetle-kill and other forest challenges, the volunteers started to help maintain trails. “I feel strongly about having a place to go where you can connect with nature,” Dermody says. “Our souls need a place to go to regenerate our spirits, and nature is where that is. It’s important to our survival.” Dermody considered scaling back her volunteer work to focus on her painting. But she kept going back to the wilderness. Her reach went national five years ago when she helped start the National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance, an organization focusing on getting more volunteers out into the wilderness. Today, she still loves to wake up at 10,000 feet in a wilderness area and seeing volunteers continue to protect the wild places.

scott frAnZ


Woman of the wilderness: elaine Dermody at fish creek falls.

“I couldn’t have done it without help,” she says. “Federal funding was being held back, and there were less people. I could see that we as volunteers were making a difference trying to keep the wilderness pristine for future generations. That’s the goal.” — Scott Franz

Wor ld C urr y


Red Bow l Ha

Restaurant Roulette

15 DOWNTOWN EATERIES ON THE MOVE Published as a special section of the 2014 summer steamboat living magazine by the steamboat & today. | Steamboat Summer 2014Pilot living | 19

2 | Steamboat living | Restaurant Roulette summer 2014

If you haven’t had dinner downtown for a while, you’re in for a treat. Call it the year of the new downtown dining establishment, or at least the switching around of some favorites. Come mealtime, there are 15 eateries that have either moved, opened up new doors or switched things around downtown. Following is an appetizer of what to expect.

E3 CHOPHOUSE Ranch to table

There’s a new sheriff in town when it comes to steaks, with a focus on fresh. All beef for the e3 Chophouse comes from the laRoche family’s Kansas ranch, raised humanely in an all-natural environment, ensuring only the best, certifiable Black Angus Prime. “At e3, it’s truly all in the family,” says co-owner Jeff laRoche. “Our steaks and


Cowboys and carne asada Arriba! Downtown’s newest Mexican restaurant is brought to you by the owners of Fiesta Jalisco. located at 730 lincoln Ave., the restaurant hangs its sombrero on original family recipes passed down from generation to generation, all in a great new atmosphere. “It’s the same theme, only downtown

chops are cut daily in-house and prepared the only way we know how — to perfection — then cooked over an over-fired char broiler.” Set alongside the beautiful Yampa River, with oversized doors opening to a massive patio along the river, e3 features only the best seasonal, all-natural ingredients, with daily specials, fresh fish (24 hours sea-totable), wild game and more. Featured menu

items range from bacon-wrapped dates and Danish blue, maple-glazed pecans to jalapeno goat cheese fritters, fennel marmalade and lobster mac and cheese. For meats, try the elk tenderloin with a cherry stout mole, 14-ounce new York strips and ribeyes, filet mignon and a whopping 24-ounce porterhouse. Info: 701 Yampa St., 970-879-7167,

now,” says owner Mario Rodriguez. new items include meat and cheesestuffed empanadas topped with sour cream and tomatilla sauce; shrimp ceviche; and original tacos made from tripe and beef tongue. everything’s made fresh daily from scratch, from enchilada plates, rellenos, burritos to homemade specialty soups and chicken and carne asada offerings. True to its Fiesta roots, inside you’ll find

an authentic vaquero, or cowboy, theme. Paintings and other Mexican cowboy artwork dot the walls, as do lariats and other tools of the hard-fought trade. And like a vaquero, you can wash it all down with a special “original” margarita, that you can refill yourself from an oversized glass with ice-blocking pourer. Info: 730 lincoln Ave., 970-871-6999,

Going for gold The tagline for Aurum, located at 811 Yampa St. where Sweetwater Grill used to be, is “A new element in dining.” Owner Phil Armstrong describes the atmosphere — including its namesake gold motif — as fun and energetic, with a serious emphasis on food and service. Aurum prides itself on the outside dining options on its patio and deck overlooking the Yampa River as well as its fine dining menu and wines by the glass custom blended by Colorado winemaker Joe Buckel, of Sutcliffe Vineyards. Other wines are organized by region and change with a seasonal menu throughout the year.

Headed by executive chef Chase Wilbanks, who has cooked at Vail’s la Tour and Denver’s Shanahan’s Steak House, the menu includes such favorites as the local duroc pork chop, combing sweet, salty and hot, to more casual fare. A “local’s hour” menu augments its regular offerings, with the bar and lounge area offering Colorado liquors and beers along with a specialty drink list. Above all, it’s the restaurant’s relationship with its customers that keeps people coming back. “Our staff has a lot of fun with people,” Armstrong says. Info: 811 Yampa St., 970-879-9500,

JoHn F. Russell


Good as gold: Aurum owner Phil Armstrong and chef Chase Willbanks.

Restaurant Roulette summer 2014 | Steamboat living


Auto • Truck • 4X4 Foreign • Domestics


ffering horse back riding in a scenic environment.

Photo by Larry Pierce

and 2 d 6 e wn ce 19 o ily sin Famrated ope

• Over 35 years automotive repair and experience • ASE Master Technician • Free Pick-up and Delivery • Complete automotive repairs including windshield repair & replacement


Brian Small - Owner 2565 Copper Ridge Drive Mon-Fri 8am-6pm


970-879-3495 Reservations requested.

Scenic horseback rides available • 2 miles left of The Clark Store

33 3

3 LE




Steamboat Family & Aesthetic Dentistry

Our goal is to provide you with the highest quality dental care possible in a relaxed & comfortable environment. ACCEPTING NEW PATIENTS

Advanced Cosmetic & Family Dentistry 30 Years Experience

Call to schedule an appointment

Gary E. Fresques, DDS, PC 879-3565

4 | Steamboat living | Restaurant Roulette summer 2014

Please allow our team of professionals to help you with all of your insurance needs.

Call us Today! 970-879-1756 Debbie ArAgOn StAte FArm inSurAnCe 404 Oak Street • Steamboat Springs, CO • 970-879-1756

Restaurant Roulette summer 2014 | Steamboat living


JoHn F. Russell


Sushi and more along the river After a nine-year Saketumi run on the mountain, owners Kier and eric Delaney have moved their sushi restaurant to the banks of the Yampa River at 609 Yampa St., the former home of The Boathouse Pub. Operating under the new name Sake2U, it offers a whole lot more than its traditional sushi favorites, thanks to an expanded kitchen and new chef Kevin O’Connell joining Koji Maesato. new specialties include its Blood Moon Ribs, with a blood orange plum glaze; Chilean Blue Mussels, with sake avocado

bisque; 609 Brussels Sprouts, with bacon, shallots and sun-dried tomatoes; a variety of salads (kale or squid, anyone?); and scallops with mirin butter and toasted almonds. All this complements such tried-and-true sushi offerings as its ahi, panko shrimp and avocado Bula Roll, and 14’er, a beef tenderloin filet with lobster and asparagus, as well as a smorgasbord of gluten-free options. “We’re far more than a sushi restaurant now,” says Kier, adding that they can also now take reservations and even have space for private groups. “We’re hitting the middle

Take me to the river: sake2u co-owner eric Delaney and staff at their new location.

ground with excellent food in a casual environment, in a restaurant that’s welcome to everyone.” And all this can be enjoyed overlooking the river on the second floor’s patio and in the outside seating area downstairs (sushi on both levels during the slower seasons), with libations poured from a friendly, fullservice bar. Info: 609 Yampa St., 970-870-1019,

Sweet Pea Market and Restaurant has a new executive chef, Pete list, of Denver’s Beatrice & Woodsley, who brings with him a new menu of rustic, seasonal cuisine. “I had my fill of city life,” he says. “I’d been wanting to get up to the mountains.” Sweet Pea owner Katherine Zambrana says the two “just clicked” and that it’s a great fit, especially with the restaurants’ use of fresh ingredients and a farm-to-table focus. “Sweet Pea’s style is very similar to Beatrice & Woodsley’s,” list says. “It’s been


Suds with a Colorado flair The Barley is Old Town Square’s newest bar, slated to open in mid-July and offer Colorado craft beer, spirits and wine in the lower level of the mall at lincoln Avenue and Seventh Street. With owner Megan Gray’s family owning the property, combining the lower level units into a Colorado-themed bar came naturally. It showcases the breweries and micro-distilleries of Colorado: 24 of the 25 taps are Colorado beers. The final “tourist tap,” Gray says, features rotating international brews. The menu consists of creative pub fare, complementing the bar’s proximity to such nearby eateries as noodles & More

an easy transition.” list’s goal is to make everything in house and keep the meals simple and straight-forward. “We’re giving it a fine dining mentality, but keeping it casual and approachable,” he says. Zambrana adds that as well as a new menu (don’t worry, its signature tacos aren’t going anywhere) the restaurant also boasts a new outdoor bar, with lunches on the patio still a big draw. “Yampa Street is changing, and we want to keep up with it,” she says. Info: 729 Yampa St., 970-879-1221,

Farm-to-table focus: sweet Pea owner Katherine Zambrana with executive chef Pete list.

Saigon Cafe, The Hungry Dog and Skull Creek Greek. “We have great neighbors and tenants,” says Gray, who’s also modifying the outside area. “The missing link and natural fit is a bar.” It’s also a natural fit for Gray, who grew up in Breckenridge and earned her degree from Cornell University in hotel and restaurant administration. She worked everywhere from the St. Regis in new York and Atlanta before settling in Steamboat Springs. “My dad and I have talked about doing something like this together for some time,” she says. “This seems like a great fit.” Info: 635 lincoln Ave., 970-471-3283

new tavern in old Town: The Barley owner Megan Gray.

6 | Steamboat living | Restaurant Roulette summer 2014


New chef Pete List

JoHn F. Russell


A Real Family Mexican Restaurant Cantina and Cocktails

410 Ranney Street Craig, CO (970) 826-0500

445 Anglers Drive Suite 1A Sundance at Fish Creek Plaza (970) 871-6999

Daily specials on lunch, dinner and drinks. Open until 10 p.m. Downtown Steamboat 730 Lincoln Ave. 970.879.7570 Restaurant Roulette summer 2014 | Steamboat living


Hair 路 Nails 路 Waxing Hair Extensions Call Today for an appointment

879-1222 Wildhorse Market Place

8 | Steamboat living | Restaurant Roulette summer 2014

Restaurant Roulette summer 2014 | Steamboat living



Steak, Ribs, Game Specials, Sushi, Salads, Small Plates, Happy Hour Menu & Kid's Menu! • VEGETARIAN AND GLUTEN FREE OPTIONS •


10 | Steamboat living | Restaurant Roulette summer 2014

BACK DOOR GRILL Burgers to go

Grab a burger to go in the ’Boat. That’s the theme of the new Back Door Grill, which operates out of the to-go window in the Ghost Ranch’s building on Seventh Street. Back Door Grill launched with a soft opening in early June, eager diners gathering around a handful of tables and umbrel-

las in the alley along Butcherknife Creek. The burger joint is the work of Brandi and David eliason, who also work for e3 Chophouse — Brandi is its pastry chef and David is the general manager. Back Door Grill is their own venture, but it’s made possible by a partnership with e3 Chophouse and the Ghost Ranch. The Ghost Ranch’s kitchen will provide more space for Brandi to create breads and

pastries for e3, and Back Door Wor Grill will use e3 ld C Black Angus beef for its urr yH aus burgers (starting at $6.95). It will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. (or later) seven days per week, offer breakfast every day, and take orders over the phone for those pressed for time. Info: 56 Seventh St., 970-871-7888

Red Bow l


ROOTZ is blending up big business with its fresh-pressed juices, smoothies, salads, grain bowls, paninis and more, all designed to “balance the body.” A holistic health practitioner and former executive chef, owner Fawn Racoma has styled the interior with different textures and bright paints, with handmade jewelry and wheatgrass as decors. “It feels cozy, like you’re walking into my house,” she says. She also follows a strict “reuse, reduce, recycle” mentality, as evidenced by a “We Compost” sign hanging behind the counter and recycling bins handy. Joining its fresh juices, the menu features bowls built around grains or leafy greens, soups and paninis. It also offers vegetarian, vegan and custom choices. Items are labeled with explanations and table tags offer more information about ingredients. Most everything is raw, local and as fresh as possible. “I want people to have the freedom to create what their body needs,” she says. ROOTZ, she adds, is also perfect for athletes looking to boost their performance, “without having to clean a juicer of their own.” Info: 737 lincoln Ave., 970-871-4510

JoHn F. Russell

Foods to balance the body

Finding your RooTZ: Fawn Racoma’s RooTZ on lincoln Avenue features fresh pressed juices, smoothies, salads, grain bowls and paninis.


In a hurry for curry? Hit the newest themed restaurant downtown, specializing in, you guessed it, curry. located at the former home of The Bakery, the spicy eatery is owned and operated by longtime restaurateurs Julian and Astrid Bristow, hailing from new Zealand and Australia, respectively. “We wanted to bring a different cuisine to Steamboat,” says Julian, who has worked in

restaurants around the world since he was 16. “It’s for locals who want something new.” With entree prices ranging from $11 to $18, included in the lineup are such go-to’s as its Gondwana Curry, an Australian curry dish with kangaroo; the Korma, an almond and coconut curry for newcomers; and for those with a hankering for heat, the tastebud-sizzling Vindaloo. everything is gluten-free and made from scratch, he says, incorporating fresh herbs and spices and fresh curry leaves ground

daily. Dishes come with rice and choice of protein (chicken, lamb, fish, goat, beef and, for the Gondwana, kangaroo), with beer and wine also available. It also offers such starters as fresh, gluten-free naan (flat) bread, available in garlic, cheese or plain. “It took months to perfect the glutenfree naan bread,” says Julian, adding that all meals are also available for take-out. “People are going to be blown away by it.” Info: 1117 lincoln Ave., 970-879-7169,

Restaurant Roulette summer 2014 | Steamboat living

| 11

JoHn F. Russell


Dancing the night away

Pizza, gelato and good times Don’t worry, lynne and Massimo Romeo, as well as their sons Mirko and Gabri, are still serving the same great paninis, pizza and mouth-watering gelato, just at a new location: around the corner on Seventh Street downtown. “I miss the neighborhood feel of Yampa, but I love the movement of Seventh street,” lynne says. “I don’t know if it’s because


Mediterranean street food Carl’s Tavern owners Collin and noella Kelley are opening a new Mediterraneanstyle restaurant where Ciao Gelato used to be. Its name, eureka, means “to exalt with joy,” which is likely what you’ll do when you dine there. Inspired by street venders in Spain, Italy, Israel, Greece, lebanon, Morocco and France, the food features traditional Mediterranean dishes served family feast style. Features include a pizza oven from naples and two large, vertical rotisseries for shawarma, a Middle eastern meat preparation. They plan to source beef and lamb from the local 4-H club and procure pork from Yampa Valley Farms.

shakin’ it up: Pat Waters and Kim Haggarty at schmiggity’s.

we’re Italian, but the more chaos, the better.” Walk through the doors of this familyowned shop and smell the mozzarella still bubbling on a square slice of pizza. learn some Italian from Massimo as you decide which flavor gelato to get after trying so many spoonfuls of the creamy treat. With their welcoming service and traditional food, you’ll be glad they only said “ciao” for now and not “arrivaderci” for good. Info: 105 Seventh St., 970-870-7979

same great food and service: lynne and Massimo Romeo at Ciao Gelato.

The Spanish influences will include seafood dishes and hand-ground sausages, with plenty of Greek offerings, as well — all without any printed menu or waiters. Wall-mounted TV screens will display what’s available that day, changing on seasonality and availability. eureka also will offer quick and easy food for those on the go as well as a fully stocked bar, all in a casual setting with oversized doors opening to a patio outside. “It’s really a playground for us to experiment,” Kelley says, adding that it will pick up overflow from Carl’s. “With everything going on on Yampa Street, it fills a great niche.” Info: 700 Yampa St., 970-761-2061,

Mediterranean-style munchies: eureka owner Collin Kelly.

12 | Steamboat living | Restaurant Roulette summer 2014

JoHn F. Russell


honored Steamboat traditions alive. Stomp, the western dance series, has moved from the Depot Art Center to Schmiggity’s for its Tuesday night roundups. It also hosts a ladies ’80s night on Mondays and a ’70s night on Sundays starting at 7 p.m. Bar manager Dmitri Brown designed a “turn and burn bar,” which is proving efficient and effective. “even on our busiest nights, no one ever has to wait for a drink,” Haggarty says. The bottom line? You’ll walk — or dance — away with an “Am I still in Steamboat?” feel. Info: 821 lincoln Ave, 970-879-4100,

JoHn F. Russell

Kim Haggarty has finally done it; she’s taken her fun spirit and city energy and opened her very own nightclub right in downtown Steamboat. Schmiggity’s, which boasts a state-of-the-art stage designed by sound engineer Scott Singer and local musician Pat Waters, will host live music three to four nights a week, with a DJ and dancing the other nights, adding some young city spark to a small country town. It’s all housed in a 2,200-square-foot building downtown, which has far more breathing — and dancing — room than it would seem. Schmiggity’s also is keeping some time-

Red Bowl

World Curry Haus Dine in with us, or take-away 7 days a week!

1117 Lincoln Ave., Steamboat Springs, CO 970-879-7169 Plenty of Gluten Free, Dairy Free & Vegetarian options available. Restaurant Roulette summer 2014 | Steamboat living

| 13

Irene nelson The WhITe harT Gallery FurnITure • lIGhTInG • FInIshes

843 Lincoln Ave.

843 lIncoln ave • (970) 879-1015

Lyon Drug Store and Soda Fountain ... A great experience for the entire family. Stop in today! Jamie - Alex

Jennifer - Wendy - Kathi - Julie - CarolAnn - Shelby - Lindsay - Dannelle - Deb - Matt - Jill

Your Local Friendly Pharmacy Great Gifts · Old-Fashioned Soda Fountain · Downtown Corner of 9th & Lincoln

970-879-1114 14 | Steamboat living | Restaurant Roulette summer 2014

KARMA WINE BAR & LOUNGE In the world of karma, what comes around goes around. Coming around to Steamboat’s downtown Pioneer Building is the Karma Wine Bar & lounge, founded by Michael and Sarah Freese. Whether it’s the spirits in your glass or the ones lifted by their warm hospitality, one of downtown’s newest bars offers a dose of class appealing to the trendiest of city slickers. It’s a place where you can lose the Carhartts and zip up those leather boots and step into some true, Steamboat-style nightlife. Happy Hour runs from 3 to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, with the menu including such appetizers as eccentric cheese plates and delicious desserts. live music and DJs round out the fun as you’re sipping on your favorite wine or spirit. Info: 737 lincoln Ave., 970-819-1498,


Lifting spirits

Good karma: Karma Wine Bar & lounge owners Michael and sarah Freese.

LOW COUNTRY KITCHEN Southern comfort

Bemoan the loss of 5th Street Deli all you want, but there’s a new eatery taking its place so diners won’t miss a beat. Founded by bistro c.v. owners Katy and Brian Vaughn, the new eatery at 435 lincoln Ave. is taking up where 5th Street Deli left off. Fill up on crispy fried chicken, real southern style, or a heaping bowl of Cajun Jambalaya. This place has southern comfort stitched

into its very tablecloths, which is only fitting as the Vaughns hail from Dixie country and know the region’s food and flavor. “This is the food we grew up eating,” Katy says. “We have a pretty personal attachment to it.” With Brian concocting the menu and Katy taking care of the open atmosphere, it’s a place you’ll come back to again and again. Info: 435 lincoln Ave., 970-761-2693,

How low can you go? Inside the new low Country Kitchen.

Fresh brew

While not as nascent as some of the other bars and eateries listed (it opened nearly a year ago), PaddleWheel Coffee & Tea Co., at 720 lincoln Ave., is nevertheless new enough to include in a downtown round-up. The coffee and tea company serves succulent, freshly brewed coffee, loose leaf tea and several other specialty drinks, as well as a full array of home-baked goods and snacks (try one of their homemade powerbars).

A great place for school or out-of-theoffice work, it provides a power outlet at every table as well as free Wi-Fi (the hum of an espresso machine is even proven to fuel creativity). With 28 bike spots in front and 12 parking spots in back, it’s easy to stop by for a drink or snack. “I feel like we have a good local following, which is very important to us,” says co-owner Brigette Arnold. Info: 720 lincoln Ave., 970-761-2592,

JoHn F. Russell


espresso service: Paddlewheel Coffee & Tea Co., co-owner David Arnold.

stories by eugene Buchanan, luci Franklin and Michael schrantz Restaurant Roulette summer 2014 | Steamboat living

| 15

Whatever your fancy, enjoy a bite and pint at the historic Old town Pub & restaurant

Live music and dancing or dinner with the famiLy, you’ll find it at

OLd tOwn Pub,

serving full menu til 10 pm and Pizza until 1am

one of the best traditions in town.


, CO • 97 600 Lincoln Ave • Steamboat Spgs

Large Parties WeLcoMe! BrING THe TeaM

serving food until


• Live Music Most Nights! • 729 Lincoln Ave. Steamboat Springs, CO (970) 879-2431 16 | Steamboat living | Restaurant Roulette summer 2014

John F. Russell

Head of the class: Kipp Rillos standing in front of the intern class of 2014.

I n t e r n a l l y


grat e fu l

Kipp Rillos

hey say you spend the first 10 years in Steamboat trying to figure out how to leave and the next 10 how to stay. After 28 years living here, Kipp Rillos doesn’t look like he’s going anywhere. Following his move to Steamboat in 1986 after graduating from Colorado College, Rillos started out managing Beckett’s Drug Store, now Gondola General, on the mountain at night while skiing during the day. Approached by Colorado Mountain College to teach in the Ski and Snowboard Business Program, Rillos dove in, racking up experience in various programs. He spent four years as an adjunct instructor with CMC, seven years teaching full-time at Hayden High School and five years at Soroco High School before moving on to his current position as a business teacher at Steamboat Springs High School. A third-generation teacher, Rillos always considered education as a potential career. In moving to Steamboat and educating youths, he saw teaching as a way to build a

life here while still being able to pursue his interest in business. Upon landing at Steamboat Springs High School, Rillos was greeted by a small internship program started by his predecessor, Gail Dudley. Tasked with reinvigorating the program, Rillos again jumped in. Starting with a mere 25 students, the program now has grown to host 81 interns, including 14 working at Yampa Valley Medical Center. Rillos has seen the community embrace these interns with open arms. “We have a great business and professional community that is very supportive and diverse for our size,” Rillos says. “I’ve rarely had anyone say they couldn’t take on an intern.” Danica Moss, the high school’s college and career counselor, has watched Rillos’ program build throughout the years. “It’s phenomenal,” she says. “His program gives kids the opportunities to explore their interests to see what they want to do beyond high school. They need experience

to know what they want to do, and his program does just that.” Internship sites include the hospital, vet clinic, Steamboat TV18, Cafe Diva, Integrated Community, Steamboat Pilot & Today and more. His interns have logged more than 750 hours at 67 job sites in the past year alone. Rillos considers the program’s achievements to be primarily at the student level. In exploring their interests, students have gathered experience in all kinds of fields, with Rillos by their sides. They’ve designed buildings, improved business systems, published photographs and stories and seen babies born. The excitement and enthusiasm surrounding the program is infectious, he says, and “impossible not to get caught up in.” “I think all of the interns come out the other end a little more directed as a result of the experience, either toward or away from the path they were exploring,” he says. “Both are a win.” — Emma Wilson Summer 2014 | Steamboat living

| 35

L e avi n g

i n


ha n ds

Dr. Dave Williams

his summer marks a milestone for Dr. David Williams, 68. On July 1, he’ll retire from Steamboat Medical Clinic, which he co-founded with Dr. John Sharp 39 years ago. “The medical community in Steamboat in 1975 was very different,” Williams says. “There were no ER docs, OB-GYNs, pediatricians, anesthesiologists, ENTs, urologists, dermatologists, plastic surgeons or ophthalmologists. The family docs, one surgeon, one internist and one orthopedist covered the emergency room, delivered babies — I’ve delivered over a thousand — did C-sections, took care of the infants and children, administered anesthesia and more. As more specialists arrived, the scope of family medicine gradually evolved and became what it is today.” His colleagues remain flabbergasted at his earlier duties. “I can’t imagine doing the roles he did 30 years ago,” says Dr. Dave Niedermeier, who has practiced alongside him for the past six years. “He’s an incredible asset for this community, and a constant voice of reason, wisdom and calm in the face of constant challenges in an ever-changing health care environment. He and Dr. Dudley have built an extraordinarily positive clinic environment.” Despite the earlier, multi-directional arm pulling, Dr. Williams wouldn’t have it any other way. After graduating from Colorado College and the Baylor College of Medicine, and completing his family medicine residency at the University of Utah, Dr. Williams moved to Steamboat Springs with his wife, Holly, in 1975, where he’s lived in the same house ever since. Shortly after co-founding the center, he brought on Dr. Jim Dudley, a close friend from his residency days, building the clinic into today’s successful, seven-person, multispecialty practice. While attending to the community’s medical needs, he also helped raise children Ashley, 38, and Brad, 35, both Boetcher Scholars who went on to attend MIT and Harvard, respectively. Ashley, he says proudly, is now a bio-engineering researcher for Stanford University and professional dancer, and Brad is an attorney in Denver who ran this year’s Steamboat Marathon. Throughout all this, it’s Steamboat’s down-home community that has kept him here so long. “Practicing in this wonderful small town has allowed me to know, listen to and learn from a great many people, both as patients and friends,” he says. “For a town this size, the menu of opportunities for intellectual stimulation, multiseason sports, arts and entertainment and commu-

36 | Steamboat living | Summer 2014

John F. Russell


thi n gs

Say aahh: Dr. Dave Williams in front of the Steamboat Medical Group, which he co-founded in 1975.

nity participation is astounding. And I’ve been exceedingly lucky to share it all here with my soulmate and wife, Holly.” Looking ahead to the next, more leisurely chapter of his life, Dr. Williams might be putting down the stethoscope but he’s hardly slowing down. In May he traveled to Iceland before road biking in France, and he plans to continue such pursuits as skate and Alpine skiing, biking and running (he’s competed in the 10K Bolder Boulder more than 20 times). “I

love the things this aging body continues to support,” he says.   And he can do it all knowing that the legacy he created is in great hands. “I’m proud of the energetic, smart and compassionate younger physicians who are carrying on the practice,” he says. “Another remarkable thing about this town is the breadth and depth of the medical community here. It could be the envy of much larger cities.” — Eugene Buchanan



G I V I n G l I T T l e M O O n A l I T T l e l O V e

laura lamun

aura lamun is a lot of things: a successful businesswoman, talented performer and loving wife. She knows what she wants from life and isn’t about to let anything get in her way. In the past 20 years, she’s built a national following and international business that reflects what’s important to her, and more than 120 products that she’s proud to have stamped with the name little Moon essentials. But when it comes to describing herself, she prefers to use a different word. “I’m a natural-born wild child,” she says. lamun owns little Moon essentials, whose products range from Dream Cream to Tired Old Ass Soak. The common theme is that they’re all natural and use aromas to address certain everyday problems. Some are used to reduce stress or pain, others lead to a restful sleep and some reach out to other human conditions. The idea came to her in a dream. Back in 1984, while working a natural food store in Boulder, she had a dream about a warming ginger mineral bath called letting Go

that would help her chronic eczema. The next morning, lamun, a studied aromatherapist and herbalist, made a bade with a combination of salts and essential minerals, with organic ginger as its main healing herb. Shortly afterward, she began selling the mixture, and the product took off. After moving to Steamboat Springs, she continued to grow her product line and build her wholesale and retail business. “The key is that the products make me feel better, and they make my customers feel better,” she says. The company’s success reflects lamun’s personality in the products as well as the names she’s branded. Her most popular product, Tired Old Ass Soak, was meant as a joke but grabbed customers’ attention. “You have to have a sense of humor,” she says, adding that a lot of people bought the soak as a joke but then became hooked. While lamun enjoys making products that make people feel better, she doesn’t like to think of herself as a businesswoman. The business took care of itself in the early years,

she says, riding a wave of success to the top. But it wasn’t immune from the recession; some of her biggest wholesalers, a category representing 70 percent of her business, just stopped buying. So she was forced to downsize and even feared closing her doors. But she bounced back, and today, her company once again is a success story. Still, while she’s truly loved her times at little Moon, she admits that after 20 years, she is ready to move on. She recently put her business up for sale and hopes to find a buyer who will bring new ideas and energy. Meanwhile, she’s also pursuing her first love, music, as a blues singer along with her husband, Dave Allen. She currently sings in three bands, including the husband-wife Allen-lamun Band as well as Pink Floyd and neil Young tribute acts. With offers to perform overseas, she says running a business is simply too time consuming. “I started singing when I was 5, and I’ve always seen myself as an entertainer,” she says. “That’s what I really want to do.” — John F. Russell

Get Ready to Enjoy the Outdoors

at Hot Stuff Hearth & Home

1625 Mid Valley Dr. #3 (behind Staples)

Steamboat Springs

(970) 879-7614

Summer 2014 | Steamboat living

| 37

Integrated Energy Therapy® Feeding the Body Feeding the Soul, LLC Want to find Enthusiasm and Focus?

Meet Nancy Ann Cohen,

Master IET® Instructor, Nutritionist, Reiki Master

Her skilled healing can help you: • Clear Energy Blocks and Limitations • Release Suppressed Feelings and Cellular Memories • Empower you to experience Fulfilling, Loving Relationships

Call today. We offer gift certificates!

970-875-7114 410 S. Lincoln Avenue, Steamboat Springs



Find it at

since 1995

1707 Lincoln Ave. • 870-8807 West of downtown Monday-Friday, 10-6 • Saturday 10-4

38 | Steamboat living | Summer 2014

Tom Ross

Routt County roadie: The new Strings Music Festival production manager Steve Chambers has signed mementos from AC/DC, Tina Turner, Pearl Jam, the Rolling Stones, The Who, Joe Walsh, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and more from 20 years on the concert trail as a stage rigger.

Lik e



ro l l i n g

sto n e

Steve Chambers

he story of how Steve “Elkie” Chambers came to Steamboat Springs is a familiar one. He first arrived on a college ski trip, loved it, and then came back to become a horse wrangler. That’s where it veers: He left to become a roadie for the Rolling Stones, dated one of their daughters, toured with AC/DC and U2, surfed with Eddie Vedder and finally married one of Tina Turner’s dancers and settled back down in Steamboat to live happily ever after. Fresh off working as a rigger for the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Super Bowl show in February, Chambers assumed his new role as production director for Strings Music Festival. He calls it the perfect fit for him in a town he has loved for decades. “This is absolutely it,” he says. “I feel very, very fortunate.” Chambers’ job includes handling the technical aspects of Strings performances as well as booking the non-classical performers. His contacts in the industry are helping and he’s already working with Los Angeles talent booker Jeff Apregan for 2015 shows.

After a dozen years touring with Tina Turner, Chamberss wife, Solange Guenier Chambers, meanwhile, is teaching ballet and hip-hop at Elevation Dance Studio. Chambers grew up outside Cleveland, Ohio, where he raised 4-H animals and rode horseback. During a break from college at the University of Cincinnati, he came to Steamboat and signed on with legendary cowboy Pat Mantle leading horse trips. “For a time, I took my baths in the Yampa River,” he says. He later helped Mantle with his elk hunting trips and stuck around skiing for a while before heading back to Cincinnati for school. There, he started rock climbing, a skill that eventually landed him with the Stones. After returning to Colorado to work at Pyramid Ranch with Doug McIntyre, the phone rang. “They’d just put their first phone line in, and the first time it rang it was Jake Berry, production manager of the Rolling Stones,” Chambers says. They needed a “climber” (a roadie who rigs lighting and backdrops

above the stage). “When I got back from packing out an elk, they told me that Berry wanted to know, ‘What do I have to do to get this elk boy on a plane to Miami?’” The Stones’ South American VooDoo Lounge Tour was just starting and Chambers was launched on a career he could never have imagined. “My first day, I was in charge of deconstructing this giant cobra snake,” he says. “I thought it was going to be one trip around the world, but it went on for 20 years,” he adds. Chambers toured with The Who, the Eagles, became a surfing companion of Eddie Vedder’s and rescued Alicia Keys from a complicated made-for-TV show on the Great Wall of China. The stories are never ending, and yes, he really did date Stones guitarist Ron Woods’ daughter, which led to hanging out with the band. Now, Chambers is hanging out at Strings in Steamboat and making the most of his music industry connections to lure notquite-as-famous artists our way. — Tom Ross Summer 2014 | Steamboat living

| 39

G ivi n g

th e

h e art

Ed and June MacArthur

hirty-five years after arriving in the Yampa Valley — after meeting at Colorado State University in the late ‘70s — Ed and June MacArthur are still changing the face of town and its heralded Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club through their ceaseless generosity. Their interest in the club started when their two sons joined and they saw first hand the quality of coaching and mentorship it offered. “They were taking our prized possessions into the outdoors and really had a moral commitment to the kids,” Ed says. “The development and growth we saw in our boys was amazing. They focus on creating great people, not just great skiers.” Ed and June wanted to preserve that atmosphere for future generations to enjoy. “I have a granddaughter now that I want to get the same benefit that her dad did,” Ed says. So they did what they could to help support it. With equipment from their construction business, Native Excavating, they helped build as much as they could for the town, from Howelsen Hill’s summer ski jump and weight room to the aerial jumps at their Bald Eagle Lake south of town. “We had the

40 | Steamboat living | Summer 2014

water, the materials and the equipment,” he says. “The community has been great to us, so there’s good reason to give back.” While Ed and June are modest about their accomplishments, their generosity has not gone unnoticed. “They’ve very quietly and effectively assisted our youth and community in many ways,” says fellow SSWSC parent Jeanne Whiddon. “They see needs and then step up to the plate with no fanfare or need to draw attention to themselves.” The MacArthurs’ philanthropy isn’t just limited to sports. They donate their time and money to local schools and such nonprofits as the United Way and the Strings Music Pavilion. When asked about his philosophy on giving, Ed says, “I don’t think it’s an obligation — it’s something people should do because they want to. There are enough nonprofits in this town that everyone should be able to find something that’s a hot button for them.” Perhaps the biggest testament to the work they’ve done for area youth is the adults the community has created, from Olympic medalists to successful business owners and genuinely concerned citizens. And for

the MacArthurs, it’s the whole town that’s made that possible. “If there’s a need for something here, everybody shows up to the table,” Ed says. “That’s pretty spectacular.” — Dan Tullos Dan Tullos



Flying high: Ed and June MacArthur, in front of the fruits of their labor at Bald Eagle Lake.

Steamboat’S Premier orthoPaedic Surgery & SPortS medicine



• Board Certified • Fellowship Trained • US Ski Team Physicians • Committed to the Best Care • Servicing Steamboat Springs, Craig and Granby Let us put you back on track call today to schedule your appointment 8 X 7-1/2 Solar Gem Green Houses in stock Grass Seed mulch Soil amendments Fertilizer

Come in and see us today!

2680 Copper Ridge Circle · 879-5383 Monday - Friday 9-6 · Saturday & Sunday 9-5

970.879.4612 1.877.404.4612

940 Central Park Dr. Suite 190, Steamboat Springs, CO Summer 2014 | Steamboat living

| 41

WyoMing Utah




Maybell CRaig

to veRnal



45 Rangely



100 MILES 50 summer activities within 2 hours (or so) of Steamboat Story by eugene Buchanan

42 | Steamboat living | Summer 2014


White River national forest

43 42 Rifle

glenWood SpRingS


10 12

to SaRatoga



8 5




6 11

Roosevelt national forest


Routt national forest





3 18

SteaMboat SpRingS


State forest State park

Routt national forest


17 21 Rocky Mountain national park






22 27 37


35 33 eagle

30 26 32

25 29



38 40


arapaho national forest



31 39

bureau of land Management blM Wilderness area fish & Wildlife Service area

national forest forest Service Wilderness area national park Summer 2014 | Steamboat living

| 43

Sure, there’s plenty to do right in town. But Steamboat Springs is located close to a wealth of other recreational options that often go unnoticed. So we took out our protractors and drew a 100-mile radius around our Routt County hamlet to offer a glimpse of a few other things you can do within a day-jaunt of town.


Rabbit Ears Peak


Stagecoach Reservoir


These iconic, twin pinnacles at 10,654 feet loom over the Continental Divide and require a final scramble up lava rock at the end of an otherwise easy 2.5-mile hike through aspens and Alpine meadows covered in wildflowers. Head 20 miles east out U.S. Highway 40 to the Dumont Lake Campground turnoff on the north side of the highway. Take FDR 315 for 1 1/2 miles past the campground turnoff and turn left on FDR 311 to the trailhead and parking for Grizzly Creek Road (291).

This state park reservoir 17 miles south of town encompasses 780 surface acres of water with an annual stock of 35,000 rainbow trout. Its tailwaters offer some of the best fishing around (but you didn’t hear that from us). A full-service marina rents and services watercraft for pleasure rides, water skiing, wake surfing and more, while a sandy beach offers swimming for the kids. For a peaceful bike or hike, head to the Morrison Cove parking lot and the Elk Run Trail for a 10-mile loop around the reservoir. Bonus: great bird watching on the west end wetlands.


Carpenter Ranch


Steamboat Lake & Pearl Lake State Parks

Twenty miles west of Steamboat on the north side of U.S. Highway 40, Carpenter Ranch offers an easy nature hike at the sprawling 906acre Nature Conservancy preserve. The Yampa River Preserve is free and open to the public from dawn until dusk. No pets allowed.

The 1,053-acre Steamboat Lake reservoir, 27 miles north of town, offers a full-service marina and is one of only three lakes in Colorado to receive the Colorado Wildlife Commission’s Gold Medal rating for fishing. It’s also great for car camping and offers a sandy swimming beach for the kids. Bonus: Bring a few hotdogs and some string for crawdad fishing — they’re almost more abundant than the fish. Nearby 167-acre Pearl Lake offers more solitude, due to its wakeless restrictions and non-electric campsites.


Hahn’s Peak

This conical mountain stands like a sentry in northern Routt County and is one of the area’s more popular hikes. Atop is an old Lookout Tower dating back to 1912. Enjoy 360-degree views from the exposed, 10,839-foot summit in the morning to avoid afternoon thunderstorms. To get there, head north on Routt County Road 129 to trail 1158. Bonus: Visit Hahn’s Peak Village’s historic schoolhouse and free museum, and reward yourself with ice cream at the Clark Store afterward.

44 | Steamboat living | Summer 2014

Northgate canyon on the North Platte is just 90 minutes away.


Gilpin/Gold/Mica Lakes


The Encampment River


Elk River/Willow Creek


Saratoga Hot Springs


King Solomon Falls


Big Creek Lake

Located in the heart of the Mount Zirkel Wilderness Area, 29-acre Gilpin Lake requires a 6-mile roundtrip hike, but it’s well worth the effort. Link it with a trip to Gold Lake for a 10-mile loop (doable in a long day, or by camping). Another option: A mile out of Slavonia, take the left fork and head to Mica Lake, a 3.8-mile hike leading to the base of Little Agnes and the perfect jumping-off point to summit Big Agnes. Head north on Routt County Road 129 to Clark, turn east at Seedhouse Road (C.R. 64) and go 10 miles to the Slavonia trailhead. Trail 1161 follows Gilpin Creek.

Kayakers looking to paddle a pristine, clear, forest-lined Class III run can head to the Elk River along Seedhouse Road, anywhere below Box Canyon Falls. For a short Class IV beginning, putin below the falls. For an easier Class III option, put in at the Hinman Bridge. Most paddlers take out at the bridge on Routt County Road 129. For a Class IV-V fix, check the gauge in the spring and head to Willow Creek, which comes out of Steamboat Lake and dumps into the Elk after a 4-mile run. Note: Watch out for wood. While not for the faint of heart, King Solomon Falls, located on the Middle Fork of the Little Snake River in North Routt County, lets you huck into a crystal-clear plunge pool. The most popular launch is a 15- to 25-footer on river right (wear shoes and watch out for rocks). Getting there requires a halfhour hike on a trail following the creek, complete with a roped section offering a welcome handrail. Get a map and ask someone who’s been there for directions. Note: If you reach the entrance gate for Three Forks Lodge, turn around and look for the first pullout to your left about a mile back down the road.

Coursing through northern Routt County, the Encampment River serves up a 20-mile, Class V wilderness run in a beautiful canyon cutting through the Sierra Madre Mountains. Suitable only for expert kayakers, the upper 10 miles offers continuous Class III-IV as well as such Class V gauntlets as Damnation Alley. The next 10 miles to Riverside is scenic and busy Class II-III. A trail follows the east side of the river, offering great hiking and access to Blue Ribbon trout fishing. The river flows into the upper North Platte River about 7 miles north of Riverside.

Whether you like a riverside view and mud between your toes or descending steps into a concrete pool, Saratoga Hot Springs has you covered with its warm waters. Choose between a classy resort (, and an edge-of-a-river hangout tagged the “Hobo” pool. Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the latter pool is free to the public and is maintained by the city. The resort has teepee-covered private pools and a large 70-foot mineral pool. Enjoy massages, body wraps and even facials, with bathrobes to rent for $5 as well as a variety of Western-themed rooms, award-winning restaurant and full bar. You don’t have to head north to Steamboat Lake or south to Stagecoach for waterside car camping. Big Creek Lake, located outside of Walden, serves up prime lakeside car-camping, without the crowds. The lake offers 54 campsites, 24 of which are available for reservation and the rest first come first serve, all at $10 per night. Nine sites are available for RVs (Note: Sites 2 and 5 are right on the lake). Boating and fishing options abound thanks to a boat ramp onsite, as do trails for biking, hiking and horseback riding.


Snowy Mountains

Chock full of some of Wyoming’s most scenic hikes and more than 20 campgrounds, the Snowy Mountains, just 30 miles west of Laramie, Wyoming, are a mecca for hiking, fishing and camping. Hike the 2-mile trail to Shelf Lakes for world-class fishing, or backpack the Snowy Range Loop, a 15.6-mile circuit with trout-filled lakes, rugged peaks, majestic views, and only a 1,500-foot gain in elevation.


Northgate Canyon

The North Platte River’s Northgate Canyon, just an hour and a half drive away off Colorado Highway 125 north of Walden toward Saratoga, serves up 10.5 miles of fly fishing and Class III rapids in a scenic wilderness canyon. While it draws fishermen in mid- to late summer, come spring it lures the whitewater crowd when higher flows surge through the canyon. The action starts with Windy Hole Rapid a mile downstream, then picks up with such rapids as Cowpie, Narrow Falls, Tootsie Roll and Stovepipe. Note: The takeout’s tricky — stay hard left around an island after the last rapid — and requires a steep hike out carrying your gear. Info:


The North Sand Hills

The slopes of Mount Werner aren’t the only hillsides you can schuss around Steamboat. Butting up against the western flank of the Medicine Bows 10.5 miles outside Walden are

the North Sand Hills, a smaller sibling of Great Sand Dunes National Park in southern Colorado. Spanning 300 acres, the yellow slopes are perfect for hiking, four-wheeling or even riding on your Teles or snowboard (Hiint: Coat your base with Lemon Pledge for the best glide). The park is free and open year-round.


Medicine Bows, Never Summers & Cameron Pass

Sure, we have the Park Range and Zirkels in our backyard. But the Medicine Bow and Never Summer mountains, that wall of white you see looking northeast off the east side of Rabbit Ears Pass, stretch for 4,000 square miles northto-south from southern Wyoming to northern Colorado. They harbor 12,953-foot Clark Peak and a host of hiking trails, campsites and glacial lakes. The area is best accessed from 10,276foot Cameron Pass off Colorado Highway 14 heading east from Walden (Cameron Pass separates the Medicine Bows to the north and Never Summer Mountains to the south). In the Never Summers, you can hike to Agnes Lake and stay in a hut nearby. Info:


Jonah Lake

It’s too far for the car campers and too close for the backpackers. That’s what makes Jonah Lake, located off the top of Buff Pass just 9.2 outside Steamboat Springs, perfect for day hiking, camping and fishing with the kids. Fishermen will find cutthroats and brookies and non-fisher-types

(970) 879-1041 Michael H. Gotchey, D.V.M. • Lee O. Meyring, D.V.M. Nate S. Daughenbaugh, D.V.M.

Large & Small Animals


Medicine & Surgery



Animal Health Store

Ultrasound Cold Laser Treatment

will relish a beautiful, forested lakeside setting. Bonus: You can also use it as a jump-off point to Whale Lake a half-mile down the outlet stream.


Parkview Mountain


The Big South Fork

Long overlooked by Steamboaters, Parkview Mountain is the highest and most massive peak in the east-west-trending Rabbit Ears Range, which separates North and Middle Parks. Straddling the Continental Divide about 30 miles south of Walden, it can be ascended from nearly any direction, with the best routes up the east and northeast ridges leading from Willow Creek Pass and accessed from the road up Pass Creek.

Careening out of Rocky Mountain National Park just east of Cameron Pass, the Big South Fork of the Poudre River is one of Colorado’s best Class V kayak runs, dishing up 11.6 miles of non-stop, technical, Class V action, including such classic make-sure-you-stick-your-line rapids as Fantasy Flight, Cool World, Melt Down, Prime Time Gorge, Double Trouble and Slideways. It takes about seven hours to paddle and can be run from late June (when the road to Long John Reservoir opens) through July. Just don’t forget the mandatory portage around a sieve at the very end. Don’t want the adrenaline? A beautiful trail follows the river the entire way.


Free tear out and dump of old carpet with purchase of 40 yards of carpet. Not valid in combination with other coupons, offers or promotions. Expires Sept 30th.

The Cache La Poudre

While the Yampa River is Steamboat’s pride

More than just carpet. Wood starting at $3.99 Laminates starting at $1.49 Ceramic tile starting at $1.29 Porcelain tile starting at $2.97 *see store for details

Hills Science Diet & Blue Buffalo Foods

1878 Lincoln Ave Steamboat Springs, CO 80487 SteamboatVetHospital


Like Us

1625 Mid Valley Drive (Near Walgreens) • 970-870-8036

Summer 2014 | Steamboat living

| 45

and joy, the 126-mile Cache La Poudre (French for “Hide the Powder”) in Larimer County, coursing east off Cameron Pass toward Fort Collins, offers a medley of river running options from fantastic Class III-IV commercial runs to Class V options for seasoned kayakers. Its most popular stretch, Mishawaka, is named for 98-year-old The Mishawaka Lodge ( halfway into the run. Stop and eddy out for a cheeseburger and libation, and then camp or cabin after catching a concert. When water levels subside, the river also offers great fishing and tubing.


Trestle Bike Park

For a dose of different trail scenery, head to the Trestle Bike Park (www.trestlebikepark. com) in Winter Park, which borrows the same Intrawest commitment to cycling as its former sister resort Whistler-Blackcomb. With countless trails — including a family friendly option along the Fraser River — the cornerstone is the downhill park, which hosts events and competitions all summer on 40 miles of trails for every level. The world-class park features jumps, bumps, ramps, berms and more. The new Green World trail offers gentle hills and berms while Mountain Goat is steep, technical double black diamond. Rentals (Hint: Wear the padding), camps and lessons are also available.


Rocky Mountain National Park

PHoTo coUrTeSy oF yMca oF THe rocKIeS

When Joel Estes discovered the Estes Park region in 1859, little did he know the area would become one of the country’s most popular national parks. Founded in 1915 (yep, it’s celebrating its 100th this year), the park has five visitor centers, including the National Historic Landmark Beaver Meadows center, and protects 415 square

miles of some of the most rugged mountains in the Rockies. It has 72 named peaks higher than 12,000 feet and more than a quarter of it resides above tree line. Visitors can hike 359 miles of trails to more than 150 lakes, including jaunts to such popular spots as 14,259-foot Longs Peak and Bear Lake below Hallett Peak. It also offers great backpacking, car camping and fishing. From Steamboat, take Colorado Highway 34 (Trail Ridge Road) out of Grand Lake and drive over the Continental Divide — the road tops out at 12,183 feet — to Estes Park. Camp at Moraine Park in early fall and you’ll hear elk bugling all night. Bonus: Bring your stand-up paddleboard and tour Grand Lake at sunset on your way home.


YMCA of the Rockies

This sprawling guest ranch offers a great, affordable getaway for the whole family, offering everything from horseback riding and horseshoes to roller skating, mountain biking, hiking, swimming, arts and crafts and more (yes, it even has a summer tubing hill opening this July). Founded in 1969, it’s made up of three historic homesteads — the Rowley, Just Ranch and Accord — with 173 rooms in three different lodges, plus 62 family cabins and nine group cabins. And there’s plenty of wilderness with its ample amenities; of its 5,100 acres, 2,800 are protected in a conservation preserve, meaning your alarm clock is likely to be an elk bugle. Info:


Georgetown Train

All aboard! Built in 1884, the Georgetown railroad was one of Colorado’s first tourist attractions and was considered an “engineering marvel.” In 1973 the tracks were restored as part of the 978-acre Mining and Railroad Park.


It’s fun to ride at the yMca. 46 | Steamboat living | Summer 2014

The railroad loop takes riders on a track that, at times, rises 640 feet off the ground through cuts, fills, lops and curves along a 3-mile narrow gauge track from Silver Plume to Georgetown and back. Perfect for kids, the journey also offers two mine tours, the Lebanon Silver Mine and Lebanon Extension, where visitors can tour miners’ quarters and take home a silver and gold ore sample. Info:


The Blue River


Ute Pass


The Gore Range


The Upper Colorado

Coming out of Lake Dillon, the Blue River tailwaters through Silverthorne offer statedesignated Gold Medal fly fishing, with trout often over 24 inches. The reason: It’s one of three tailwaters in the state with mysis shrimp, which tumble through the dam and afford trout an easy meal. Below, the river parallels Colorado Highway 9 with nearly 15 miles of public-access fishing all the way to Green Mountain Reservoir. Pullouts include Eagles Nest, Sutton Unit and Blue River Campground. With the frigid tailwaters given time to warm, the inlet to Green Mountain Reservoir can also have fantastic hatches for targeting Kokanee salmon.

Have some time to kill en route to the Front Range? Take a back road and traverse Ute Pass. Heading south out of Kremmling on Colorado Highway 9, turn left onto on Ute Pass Road (County Road 3) and follow it up and over to the south side of Prairie Mountain. From there, it winds down past Williams Fork Reservoir and the Williams Fork River (Hint: Pack your fly rod) before depositing you back on U.S. Highway 40 just east of Parshall. It can be driven the opposite direction as well.

The Gore Range stretches 60 miles from Rabbit Ears Pass to the Eagle River near Vail, serving up pristine exploration for hikers and backpackers. Named after Ireland’s Sir George Gore, who visited the area in the 1850s on a hunting expedition, the range is relatively inaccessible due to a lack of mining roads, with several mountains above 13,000 feet and countless more above 12,000. Great hikes include the 10-mile trek to Lost Lake, which sits just below tree line on Copper Mountain, as well as those to Booth Lake, Gore Lake and Mirror Lake. An hour south near Kremmling is a river maybe you’ve heard of before: the Colorado. At lower, midsummer flows, it’s one of the most family-friendly river sections in the state (excluding Class V Gore Canyon outside of Kremmling, which features such drops as Gore Rapid, Tunnel Falls and avoid-at-all-cost Toilet Bowl). The takeout for the Gore stretch, at Pumphouse, marks the start of a great Class II-III float/fishing trip through Lower Gore Canyon, featuring relatively easy rapids, sandy beaches, hot springs and cliff jumps. It runs 4 miles to Radium, where you can take out or continue floating another 7 miles to the funky, riverside community of Rancho del Rio, which has a great beach for kids. (Bonus: There’s a side hike to dinosaur tracks on the right.) From there, it’s a 4-mile, Class I-II run to State Bridge, below which

PHoTo coUrTeSy oF GeorGeToWN raILroaD


all aboard! The Georgetown railroad was one of colorado’s first tourist attractions.

lies another 4-mile float to a new put-in/takeout at Two Bridges, and an additional 10-mile stretch to Catamount Campground and beyond.


Kremmling Fossil Beds

Established in 1986 by the Bureau of Land Management and State Land Board, this site boasts exceptionally large and well-preserved fossils of giant ammonites (Placenticeras) and other groups of marine invertebrates, including 70 million-year-old nautiloids, bivalves and gastropods. Its fossil ammonites are the largest specimens of this Cretaceous group ever found in North America. To get there, turn east off U.S. Highway 40 onto County Road 25 about 10 miles north of Kremmling. Veer left on County Road 26 after 3.2 miles then take a jeep road to the left a mile to the gate, where it’s a 1/4-mile hike up a hill. Bonus: Bribe kids for their finds!


Green Mountain Reservoir

Want to get your huck on? Don’t hold us liable, but prime cliff-jumping awaits at Green Mountain Reservoir off a cliff band just before the dam (to get there, turn right onto 30 Road off Coloroado Highway 9 coming from Kremmling). It offers hucks as high as you want, with a short swim and relatively easy climb back out. Note: The hucks are bigger when the reservoir’s low in fall and spring, and more manageable once it’s full after runoff. And they’re a bit too high for cannonballs. The reservoir also offers great lakeside car camping and motor boating.


Green Mountain Canyon

Hone your kayaking chops on Green Mountain Canyon on the Blue River below Green Mountain Reservoir, a 4-mile stretch of Class III perfect for intermediates. It’s boatable above flows of 400 cubic feet per second on the USGS gauge. Put in at the base of the dam on 30 Road off Colorado Highway 9. To reach the takeout, drive back to Colo. 9, turn left (north) and then take the next left on Spring Creek Road at a tiny unnamed township. Park where the river meets the road. Bonus: Visit the Master Bait and Tackle fish shop in Heeney for its name alone.


Woodward at Copper

Get your ski and snowboard fix in the summer at Woodward at Copper, a 20,000-squarefoot indoor freestyle training facility for anyone willing to crawl out of a foam pit. Kids, pros and young-at-heart adults can train on Woodward’s year-round half-pipe, jumps, indoor skate park and Olympic fly bed trampolines. A recent $500,000 renovation adds options for skateboards, BMX, scooter and mountain bikes, complete with a new Street Skate area, pump track and beginner foam pit. All ramps also now feature a new Skatelite surface used with wheeled Parkboards and Parkskis for better surface grip. Two-hour-long introductory courses start at $49, which qualify you for $35 drop-in sessions on weekends. For training on real snow comes Copper’s new Pavillion Park, as well as a bigger summer park for weeklong camp attendees. Info:


Dowd Chutes & Eagle River

Get all the splashes you want on Dowd Chutes of the Eagle River outside Vail. This popular whitewater run is short and sweet, featuring a quarter-mile gauntlet of Grand Canyon-sized Class III-IV waves (with a nasty hole to avoid at the bottom), depositing you into a milder Class III section downstream that leads toward Avon. It’s worth the drive for its big-water feel alone. The stretch is good anywhere from 2 1/2 to 5 feet on the gauge; above that it can get a little pushy, and below a tad boney. Not sure of your skills? Let a commercial outfitter ( show you the ropes.


Wolcott Zip Line

Play Spider-man by zip lining over Alkali Creek outside of Wolcott, just before Colorado Highway 131 reaches Interstate 70. Six lines ranging from 250 to 1,000 feet long whisk you 200 feet above the gorge at up to 30 mph along high canyon walls. Meet for the 2.5-hour trip at 4 Eagle Ranch, where you catch a ride in the company’s World War II-era Pinzgauers to the launching pad. Bonus: Try to count the waterfalls you soar over below. Info:


Wildcat Mini-Golf Park


Sweetwater Lake


Devil’s Causeway


Trapper’s Lake

Kids getting restless in the backseat on the drive on Colorado Highway 131 to or from Interstate 70? Pull over and let them stretch their legs between the booming metropolises of Bond and McCoy to play a free nine holes of mini-golf. That’s right. Funded by GOCO, there’s a pull-off just this side of State Bridge with a free putt putt course, complete with putters and balls you can grab at will (just put them back when you’re finished). The park also offers the biggest swing in the region as well as a slide. Hint: The loop-dedoop hole breaks left.

If you’ve never taken the “shortcut” Burns road linking Colorado Highway 131 and Interstate 70 near Glenwood Springs, put it on your list. The road parallels the Colorado River the entire way and takes about the same amount of time as Colo. 131. A hidden jewel en route is Sweetwater Lake, 7 miles up a side road following Sweetwater Creek (turn right at the summer camp). It also offers a lodge/motel, restaurant and campground for overnighting (it was a big resort in the ’60s), with great fishing, hunting, hiking and horseback riding. Bonus: hiking access to the south side of the Flat Tops.

Not for the squeamish, this narrow passageway links two mountainous buttes in the Flat Tops Wilderness Area via a rocky ridge barely wider than a set of wagon wheels. Ignore the sweeping views to focus on the exposed, lava rock-ridge arête that drops 1,000 feet to the valley floor. Rumor has it that cowboys used to blindfold their horses to lead them across. Take County Roads 7, 6.5 miles west out of Yampa, then FDR 900, 8.5 miles west along the Bear River to the East Fork Trailhead (1119) at the Stillwater Reservoir. A mile along the north side of the reservoir gets you into the wilderness boundary, then it’s another mile switch-backing up the final talus-slope to 11,600 feet.

For a full day’s or weekend outing, head to Trapper’s Lake in the Flat Tops Wilderness Area. You can fish, hike, swim, horseback ride, stroll along shore and rent canoes or rowboats to float beneath some of the best scenery in the state. The region has more than 30 Alpine lakes and 300,000 acres of wilderness, including 100 miles of stream fishing. Fun fact: The nation’s wilderness preservation movement began here in 1919, culminating in 1964 with the Wilderness Protection Act, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. Camp in a number of sites, or stay in quaint log cabins with a full service restaurant and bar, general store, laundry facilities and bath house. To get there, head south on Colorado Highway 131, turn right at Routt County Road 17 and head over Dunckley Pass; or take U.S.Highway 40 to Craig, turn left (south) on Colorado Highway 13, left again at Rio Blanco County Road 8 (just before Meeker), and right at Rio Blanco County Road 8A. Info: Summer 2014 | Steamboat living

| 47


Eagle Mountain Biking


10th Mountain Huts Camping

Looking for a new place to ride? Just an hour and a half drive away — two hours closer than Fruita — Eagle has quietly amassed more than 100 miles of singletrack trails, offering great riding options as a reprieve to those in Routt County (or when local trails are too wet). The majority are centered in the West Eagle/Hardscrabble area south of Interstate 70, featuring such favorites as Abrams Ridge, Itch and Scratch and the World’s Greatest Downhill. New trails have also opened near the ice rink, including Haymaker, the Pool/Ice Rink Loop and Boneyard. And they all offer a taste of the desert missing from Steamboat-area rides. Info:

The 34-cabin, nonprofit 10th Mountain Division Hut System isn’t just for winter hut tripping. You also can bike or hike to the system’s cabins, meaning no having to carry heavy tents or cooking gear. Named after the U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division who trained during World War II in Camp Hale, the huts offer a safe and comfortable way for the whole family to enjoy an extended stay in the heart of the Rockies. Bonus: They’re connected by 350 miles of trails, meaning you can link multiple huts together. Info:


Fulford Cave

Southeast of Eagle is Fulford Cave, a must for any spelunker worth his or her weight in headlamps. While the Forest Service has adopted a new management strategy for combatting white nose syndrome to protect bats (new rules require online registration), the cave is now re-opened. Take the Sylvan Lake Road south out of Eagle 1.6 miles and turn right on Brush Creek Road for 9 miles to East Brush Creek Road (FDR 415) and another 6 miles to the trailhead, which will be on your left (FDT 1875). After a 3/4-mile hike, look for a large, covered culvert marking the entrance. Inside the 40-degree cave you’ll find passages leading to pools, massive caverns, stalactites and more. Bring warm clothes, sturdy shoes, helmet and lots and lots of lights. Info:


Hanging Lake

For a dose of the Grand Canyon close to home, head to Hanging Lake 7 miles east of Glenwood Springs. But bring your lungs; the milelong trail is steep. Rest spots exist en route, and near the top are handrails for the final push to the boardwalk. Your reward: a beautiful, turquoise lake clinging to a cliff face thanks to a travertine rim, replete with waterfalls fore and aft. Bonus: Hike behind Spouting Rock, a narrow hole gushing water straight out of the cliff that sprays you with icy snowmelt to cool off the hot summer day. Note: Fishing and dogs are prohibited.


Glenwood Springs

Don’t overlook Glenwood Springs as a weekend getaway. Foremost come its hot springs and vapor caves, which legendary gunslinger Doc Holliday relaxed in. They pump out 3.5 million gallons of water per day, with temps ranging from 93 to 104 degrees (Hint:

48 | Steamboat living | Summer 2014



Keep the tent at home by booking a bunk in a 10th Mountain Division cabin.

Bring quarters for the in-water back-massage machines). Nearby, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park ( is the state’s largest public cave (ranked in the country’s top 10 by USA Today). Tours are available for the historic Fairy Caves, named for fairy-like “footprints” on the ceiling, and King’s Row, as well as a more strenuous Wild Cave outing. Also try an assortment of stomach-churning rides. You can also raft or kayak the Class II-III Shoshone and No Name sections of the Colorado River, or board surf its Waimea-like wave downtown. To stretch your legs, hike up Grizzly Creek, a beautiful side canyon filled with swimming holes, or bike its world-class bike path along the river (other mountain biking options include Wulfsohn and Boy Scout/Lookout Mountain trails). For lodging, try Glenwood Canyon Resort (, which offers tent sites, cabins, showers and a game room; or the Hotels Denver, Glenwood Springs or Colorado, where Holliday stayed.


Rifle Falls State Park

Don’t go to Rifle Gap State Park to boat, water-ski, fish or swim in its 350-acre reservoir. Nice as it is, you can find that closer to home. Instead, continue on Colorado Highway 325 another 3.8 miles to Rifle Falls State Park for a leg-stretching hike in and around a trio of cavelined waterfalls. A perfect break on the drive from Craig to Rifle, the falls offers a refreshingly lush oasis of trees and greenery kept moist by the falls’ spray. Picnic near the falls, or camp in one of 13 drive-in and seven walk-in sites along East Rifle Creek. Bonus: Limestone caves beneath the falls placate your inner spelunker. To get there, turn east (left) onto Colorado Highway 325 for 9.8 miles when coming south from Craig on Colo. 13 about four miles before Rifle. Info:


Spring Cave

While Spring Cave still is reportedly closed for bat restoration efforts, it offers one of the best spelunking sites in the country. Located in the South Fork Valley of the White River, it features the largest river inside a cave in Colorado as well as waterfalls and even an underground lake (several caverns are only accessible with

scuba gear). A word to the wise: Bring a wetsuit if continuing past Jones Beach. To get there, from Meeker, head east on Rio Blanco County Road 8 for 18 miles, turn south on Rio Blanco County Road 10 for two miles, then continue east for 10 miles to the South Fork Campground and trailhead.


The White River


Cross Mountain


Little Yampa & Juniper Canyons

This classic, close-to-home canoe trip traverses panels of petroglyphs and Fremont and frontier-day ruins through a desert wilderness canyon. Paddle all or portions of the 107-mile run from Rangely to the final takeout just before the Green River (popular access spots include Big Trujillo and the Bonanza River bridge). The river attracts waterfowl and wildlife, while a gentle gradient harbors no rapids above Class II, making it is ideal for open canoes. It’s boatable from late March until mid-November, levels permitting, with large rafts suitable over 1,500 cfs and smaller rafts above 600. Plan time for side hikes to ruins, petroglyphs, Fantasy Canyon and the trail to Goblin City, first discovered by John Wesley Powell in 1869.

Set your crosshairs on Cross Mountain Canyon of the Yampa for wild and woolly whitewater. Located just east of Maybell, it offers classic Class III-IV (V at high water) rapids for kayakers and rafters. If your own skills aren’t up to the task, take a trip with outfitter Blue Sky West ( “It’s one of Colorado’s best runs,” guide Kent Vertrees says about the 5-mile stretch. Rapids include such classics as the Osterizer, Death Ferry, Corkscrew and Pour-over City. Commercial outfitters tackle it below flows of 3,000 cfs, usually from late June into July (don’t forget to tip your guide).

To float these flat-water sections of the Yampa (Hint: Go before bug season kicks in, often the third or fourth week in May), start at South Beach 3 miles south of Craig on the west side of Colorado Highway 13 (restroom facilities, a boat ramp, and day-use picnic sites available). Suitable for canoes, rafts, stand-up paddleboards and more, the launch puts you in Little

Yampa Canyon, running 32 deer-, elk- and eagle-filled miles to the next take-out at Duffy Mountain. You can make it either a long day paddle or great overnighter (pack out your own trash and waste). Juniper Canyon is 12 miles farther downriver, offering a Class II, 6-mile float to the takeout at the Maybell Bridge, but beware a Class III-IV diversion dam downstream (scout or portage). Note: You can link the two runs by floating the 12 miles of ranch land in between.


Browns Park


Dinosaur National Monument (and Yampa & Lodore Canyons)

Named for fur trapper Baptiste Brown, who settled in the area circa 1830, Browns Park, located along the Green River before Flaming Gorge Reservoir about 60 miles north of Maybell off U.S. Highway 40, offers some of the best trout fly fishing in the country. With an estimated 8,000 to 14,000 fish per mile, fish the 7.5-mile A section, from the dam down to the Little Hole takeout; the 9-mile B section, which entails negotiating Red Creek Rapids; or the 13.5-mile C stretch through Swallow Canyon, home to the largest brown trout on the river. The area also offers prime riverside car camping and a rich history as an outlaw hide-out for the likes of Butch Cassidy’s Wild Bunch gang. Glimpse this past frontier life at the John Jarvie Ranch, built in 1880. The area is also part of the 12,150-acre Browns Park National Wildlife Refuge. Hint: Try cinnamon ants, chernobyls, grasshoppers, stimulators, yellow sallies and elk hair caddis or just hit it during the blue-winged olive hatch.

Channel your inner Fred Flintstone at Dinosaur National Monument, whose new Quarry Visitor Center and Exhibit Hall recently reopened. The Monument was established after paleontologist Earl Douglass’ 1909 discovery of eight brontosaurus tail bones, with more than 350 tons of bones excavated shortly thereafter. Located in Jensen, Utah, off U.S. Highway 40, the museum — including the 10,000-square-foot Quarry Exhibit Hall and 7,000-square-foot Quarry Visitor Center — makes a perfect day outing for families. The Exhibit Hall features more than 1,500 dinosaur bones as they were deposited 149 million years ago. For boating as well as bones, take a commercial trip (or apply for a private permit) to raft through Gates of Lodore Canyon on the Green River, or Yampa Canyon on the Yampa River, whose trips last four to six days.


Vernal Mountain Biking

PHoTo coUrTeSy oF Bo STeMPeL

Built almost singlehandedly by former BMX World Champion and Altitude Cycles owner Troy Lupcho, three distinct riding areas in Vernal, Utah, (yes, Vernal) have put the town on the map for mountain bikers. They include Dry Fork and Red Fleet (which also includes great lakeside car camping) north of town and the crown jewel McCoy Flats, just past town to the left off U.S. Highway 40. Together they offer hundreds of miles of middle-chain-ring single-track in terrain billed as a cross between Moab and Fruita, minus the deep river canyons. Lupcho has bestowed the rides with such names as Retail Sale (and more technical Fire Sale), Serendipity, Mo’ Ho’s and the kid-friendly Milk & Cookies. Look for bicycle-related sculptures en route (bicycle wheel windmill, anyone?), and BLM-endorsed trail route signs etched into flagstone slabs, making you feel like you’re biking in Bedrock.


Fruita, schmuita: vernal offers desert riding without the crowds. Summer 2014 | Steamboat living

| 49

final frames

In her own words

by Eugene Buchanan

Navy Cmdr. Nicole Shue S

Photo courtesy of U.S. Navy

teamboat Springs native and high school graduate Nicole Shue is the commanding officer of the San Diego-based guided missile destroyer USS Higgins, which recently returned from a ninemonth deployment to the Middle East and Southeast Asia. We caught up with her for her thoughts on the move from Steamboat to sailing.

My mother and stepfather, Dona and Bill, live north of Craig and run a registered miniature Hereford cattle ranch business. Bill’s family were settlers near Gore Pass and his great-great-grandmother ran the old Stagecoach stop along Rock Creek. My dream to join the Navy began in junior high at Soroco when I was living in Yampa. My science teacher, Kate Hayne, was from Australia and introduced us to marine biology. I was mesmerized by the ocean and decided I wanted to keep close to it. It’s funny that I was a Steamboat Springs sailor and that the school’s fight song is “Anchors Away.” I had visions of becoming a dolphin trainer and working at Sea World, but chose a path toward oceanography. After two years aboard a U.S. Navy warship, I decided that driving warships was where I belonged. I recently spoke to Craig Middle School students about my path from Yampa to captain of a ship. I had a goal, worked hard to achieve it and learned a lot about myself and the world along the way. I enjoyed speaking with them because influences during that time in my life helped set me up for success. It always takes my breath away as you come down Rabbit Ears Pass into the lush, green valley below. I’m reminded of the Ute legend about losing your heart to the Yampa Valley and never being able to stay away. Growing up in Yampa, I remember being told to go outside and play and simply “be home before dark.” If something changed, my mom would yell from the porch for us to come home, and the neighbors’ moms would relay the message down the block. That freedom is something a lot of kids never experience. The house I lived in sits on Hilltop Lane. Back then it was just open fields. I could lie on the back deck and look up at the Milky Way with the ski mountain illuminated below. I’ve never seen the sky so full of stars, until I joined the Navy. I grew up in the same Steamboat that Dori Duckels DeCamillis describes in her book “My Steamboat: A Ski Town Childhood.” I remember meeting friends on a Friday night at the City Market parking lot and heading out to bonfires in the woods. After 23 years, I’m still as close to many of my childhood friends as I was back then. That’s something you don’t get from a big city. When 300 people spend 70 hours a week together onboard a 505-foot-long, 66-foot-wide ship, and then deploy for nine months, you become a family. A typical Sunday funday involves barbecuing 50 | Steamboat living | Summer 2014

From the Flat Tops to the high seas: Nicole Shue serves aboard the San Diego-based guided missile destroyer USS Higgins (DDG 76) as its commanding officer.

on the deck, fishing off the fantail, tossing the football and hitting golf balls. I have fond memories of the Fourth of July in Yampa. When deployed in the Arabian Gulf for the 4th, we decorated our small inflatable boat, had a mini parade around the ship and fired off star shells and flares to Louis Armstrong singing “America the Beautiful.” It was small and simple, like so many things I grew up with.

A Sum mer of Cel ebr atio n! The Steamboat Today is turning 25! Help us party like it’s 1989 all summer long. Look for us at concerts and events. We’ll be giving away prizes! Look for fun features in the newspaper.

Celebra ting 25 Years of free daily news

Do you have a Steamboat memory from the past 25 years? Send it to V i s i t S t e a m b o a t To d a y. c o m / 2 5 y e a r s f o r m o r e . Summer 2014 | Steamboat living

| 51

52 | Steamboat living | Summer 2014

Steamboat Living Summer 2104  
Steamboat Living Summer 2104  

Locals Special Section