Valley Voice December 2021

Page 1

December 2021 . Issue 10.12


a member managed llc

Steamboat Springs Hayden Oak Creek Yampa

Waiting for Winter


December 2021

Valley Voice

Artwork by John Lobser Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. If you’re not home by then, you’re in big trouble!

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Contact: Suzy Pattillo 970.846.0666

Valley Voice

December 2021


Contents S.S. Transit Accelerates into Winter

Page 4

Bipartisan Infrastructure Helps Us

Page 5

Affluent Households vs. Middle Class

Page 6

Brown Ranch: A Community Vision

Page 7

Little Snake River Valley: Part III

Page 8

Fold Me into Your Heart

Page 9

Seasonal Sadness

Page 10

Upside Down - 1976

Page 10

By Jonathan Flint/ Steamboat Springs Transit Manager By Dylan Roberts By Scott L. Ford

By Sheila Henderson & Emily Katzman By Ellen and Paul Bonnifield By Fran Conlon

By Alexa Taylor

Publisher/Art Director: Matt Scharf Sales:

VV Assistant:

Eric Kemper

Valley Voice is published monthly and distributed on the last Wednesday of each month. Please address letters, questions, comments or concerns to: Valley Voice, LLC, P.O. Box 770743 or come by and see us at 1125 Lincoln Ave, Unit 2C, Steamboat Springs, CO 80477. Or contact Matt Scharf: 970-846-3801. Website Subscription rate is $40 per year (12 issues). All content © 2021 Valley Voice, L.L.C. No portion of the contents of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without the written permission from the Valley Voice.

Official Fine Print Advertisers assume full responsibility for the entire content and subject matter of their ads. In the event of error or omission in the advertisement, the publisher’s sole responsibility shall be to publish the advertisement at a later date. Advertisements and articles are accepted and published upon the representation that the author, agency and/or advertiser is authorized to publish the entire contents and subject matter thereof. The author, agency, and/ or advertiser will indemnify and save Valley Voice, LLC harmless from all claims and legal action resulting from the contents of the articles or advertisements including claims or suits resulting from libel, defamation, plagiarism, rights to privacy and copyright infringements. The views and opinions expressed reflect the views and opinions of the authors and may not necessarily reflect the views and opinion of the editor, staff or advertisers in Steamboat Springs’s Valley Voice. Direct all correspondence, articles, editorials or advertisements to the address below. The author’s signature and phone number must accompany letters to the editor. Names will be withheld upon request (at the discretion of the publisher).

By Johnny Walker

Sports as a War Substitute

Page 11

Merry Mistletoe!

Page 12

Sarvis Creek Wilderness Expansion

Page 14

For a Good Time, Call...

Page 15

By Fran Conlon By Karen Vail By Jim Hicks

By LA Bourgeois

Once Your Man Page 15 By Duane Koukol

He's Coming Page 16 By Aimee Kimmey

A Welcomed Winter Visitor

Page 17

A Friend of Mine

Page 17

Your Monthly Message

Page 18

By Sean Derning By Joan Remy

By Chelsea Yepello


Comics Page 19

If you are interested in advertising your business in the Valley Voice, please contact Matt Scharf at or 970-846-3801 (We are the most affordable in town!)

You moved here from a big, crowded, angry city, stop driving like you’re still there… Is Routt County the only place where you can throw away your old snowmobile on the side of the road? From a distance it looked like a small city. Nope, when you got closer it was just a McMansion with holiday lights lit up… When it seems like the fix is in and then the judge says something racist and removes all doubt… Having enough gas for twenty-five more miles and home is thirty miles away… Working through the holidays…

Raves... Kudos to all the small businesses in town that survive through thick and thin… When an old classmate recognizes your artwork in the Valley Voice from a yearbook 47 years ago… The Hayden COOP for getting it done… No one can steal your car because no one can drive a stick shift… Talking (complaining) to long-time locals who you can truly relate to…

Say What?... “Coming next year, it’s America’s realest reality show: Murder House! Featuring fan favorites like Kyle Rittenhouse, George Zimmerman and OJ Simpson. Televised on FOX, of course.” “Ask yourself; do you really need that hat?” “They have another COVID variant? How many more do they have?” “Win as if you were used to it, lose as if you enjoyed it for a change.”

We go to press December 31st for the January 2022 Edition! Send in your submissions by December 19th!

Yampa Valley Housing Authority's Brown Ranch

Join the YVHA in creating a neighborhood that is...

Submission is no guarantee of publication. Subscription rate is a donation of 40 measly dollars per year. However, if you wish to send more because you know we desperately need your money, don’t be shy, send us all you can! Advertisers rates vary by size, call 970-846-3801 and we’ll come visit you. Please make checks payable to: Valley Voice, LLC P.O. Box 770743 • Steamboat Springs, CO 80477 Thank you for your support!

Community Kick Off Presentation | Save the Date: January 27th at Strings

If you spend your whole life waiting for the storm, you'll never enjoy the sunshine. — Morris West


December 2021

Valley Voice

City of Steamboat Springs

Steamboat Springs Transit Accelerates into Winter Season Jonathan Flint/ Steamboat Springs Transit Manager




The Purple Line runs continuous loop service to the northern condominiums, Yampa Valley Medical Center, Central Park Plaza, and the gondola base. This route features service from 8:05am to 5:55pm and requires a transfer to other lines to reach downtown, condominiums or west Steamboat Springs. SST’s Regional service between Steamboat Springs and Craig makes traveling between these communities convenient, affordable, and comfortable with three anticipated daily departures in each direction as well as reverse direction service. SST’s regional rates remain the same as last year.

Catching a ride with SST is easy and convenient. Check the destination sign on the front or side of the bus, which tells you which line the bus serves and where it is going. Drivers will call out all stops. So, when you hear your destination, pull the cord over the window to signal the driver. Remain seated until the bus comes to a complete stop and then exit out the rear doors whenever possible. Remember, buses stop at signed stops only. If you need to transfer to another route, let the driver know as soon as you have boarded so that they can arrange the transfer. When it is dark out, it can be challenging to see passengers at the bus stop. It can also be hard to see into the shelters under certain light conditions. As the bus approaches, please exit the shelter so the driver can see you and pick you up.

With the large planes set to start flying in December bringing winter guests from near and far, Steamboat Springs Transit (SST) shifts into overdrive for the free local winter bus moving to winter operations on Sunday, December 5, 2021, and continuing through Sunday, April 10, 2022. “The free local bus is a community asset and one of the most efficient rural transportation systems in the state,” said Transit Manager Jonathan Flint. “The pandemic continues to bring operational challenges and scheduled modifications; however, SST will do everything within our power to get you to your destination safely throughout the winter.” This season, the Main Line, one continuous loop between west Steamboat/downtown and the mountain area/condominiums, will provide 30-minute continuous service in the early morning (6am to 7:30am) and evening (6pm to 11:30pm). No transfer is required when the Main LineSki Area transitions to the Main Line - Condo bound bus. During the bulk of the day, SST will again pair the Red Line (West Steamboat, downtown, grocery stores and gondola base) with the Green Line (condominiums) running

roughly between 8am and 6pm. Similarly, the Orange Line connects hotels/motels south of the ski area on US40, The Ponds and several condo properties to the GTC. The Orange Line runs from 8:20am to 6:20pm. For early morning and evening service, passengers will use the Main Line – Ski Area/Condo. Getting from downtown to the mountain will be faster this winter with the introduction a new ExpreSST Line. This new route provides express morning (8-11:32am) and afternoon (1:20-6:32pm) service traveling directly from 3rd & Lincoln to the GTC. This express route will operate every 20-minutes between eight downtown locations and the ski area. New this winter, the Yellow Line is being replaced by the Yellow Zone, a free, on-demand ride service that gets you from point A to point B with the tap of a button. Simply download the Yellow Zone app and request on-demand rides within the service area from 7am-6:20pm, daily. The service area includes downtown Steamboat and many of the surrounding neighborhoods. Transfers will be needed to go to West Steamboat, the Ski Area or out to the Condominiums.

For those who live here and for those who wish they did.

Federal guidelines mandate a facemask covering the nose and mouth to ride SST. All buses undergo electrostatic disinfecting daily on top of sanitizing high touch areas after every loop. This revolutionary technology, releases electrostatically charged droplets which create an electric field adhering to surfaces. In addition, paratransit vehicles are cleaned between customers and regional and local buses have drivers disinfecting high touch areas between each loop. Steamboat Springs Transit makes every effort to operate according to the printed schedule and routing. However, circumstances such as weather, road conditions, passenger loads, traffic, and other unforeseen issues may prevent maintaining the schedule. Use the latest in technology and never miss the bus. Learn when the next bus is due to arrive and see buses in real-time with RouteShout; plan your trip and see the fastest options for your journey with google maps; or visit your one-stop location for everything related to SST on the city’s website or call 970.879.3717. Hop aboard SST this winter and sit back, relax, and leave the driving to us.

Valley Voice

December 2021


State Representative/ Eagle and Routt Counties

How the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bills Help Us By Dylan Roberts

Here’s some great news: substantial and badly-needed investment in our state’s infrastructure, broadband, and water needs are coming our way thanks to bipartisan infrastructure bills passing both in Washington, D.C. and at the State Capitol in Denver. Both of these bills are going to improve our commutes and road safety, invest in our water resources, and bolster the economy here in our mountain communities. Bipartisan agreement on investing in our transportation and infrastructure has eluded both the state legislature and the US Congress for decades but this year, that changed. In June, Governor Polis signed into law SB21260 - The Sustainability of Colorado’s Transportation System Act - which I supported because of its immense benefit for Routt County. President Biden signed into law the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Both of these bills had broad bipartisan support because thankfully, even in our divided times, we can still agree on a few things - like the need to invest in better roads, accessible broadband, and managing our water resources. Here’s what both of these bills will mean for us here in Colorado : $3.7 billion towards improving our highways which will fund projects to reduce I-70 traffic, fund local transportation projects, and upgrades to our rural highways. $225 million for bridge replacement and repairs $688 million over five years to improve our water infrastructure which could not be more crucial right now as Colorado faces historic drought and increasing downstream demands for our water. $100 million to help expand broadband across the state so that you can learn, operate a business, and stay connected no matter what your zip code is. $35 million to protect against wildfires so that we can keep our communities safe and our surrounding environment healthy.

Expanding the successful Revitalizing Main Streets program which allows towns to implement innovative enhancements that make their downtowns economically vibrant - funding for this has already been awarded to Oak Creek and Hayden.



Thousands of jobs created in our state in fields such as engineering, construction, and more.


Serving Northwest Colorado since 2001!



These are big numbers, but both bills are fully paid for and do not add to the deficit - another major achievement to be celebrated.




A reliable and robust transportation system plays a critical part in our economic well-being as a thriving mountain community. These bills are also good for working families and our local economies. We all know that without a reliable transportation system in and out of our communities, tourism is not possible. Nor is the ability for a small business to decide to locate their operations here if they cannot reliably move their goods. The improvements we can expect to see from their passage will directly impact our economic growth, will help create more jobs right in our communities, and will go a long way toward protecting our crucial economic drivers of tourism and agriculture. Another important aspect of the legislation is that it makes significant improvements to the contracting process and emphasizes partnership with private industry so that these projects can begin quickly. I was happy to support our efforts in the Colorado State House to reduce red tape and it is encouraging to see Congress do the same. So, what happens next? Now that both bills are law, state and local partners will work with CDOT and other agencies to identify road, broadband, and water projects for funding. As your representative, I will be doing everything I can to ensure that our local needs are being fairly heard and that our fair share of funding is allocated to us. There are already a few examples of local efforts that could get off the ground because of these bills, like safety improvements to Vail Pass and creating a commuter transportation system to connect our Northwest Colorado communities of Oak Creek, Steamboat, Hayden, and Craig. We can also expect support coming to our region for water projects that will support both municipal and agricultural water users and help our communities manage the impacts of severe drought.

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I know it is easy to become cynical about politics and that partisan bickering is more common than results. Yet, on infrastructure, Colorado and even Washington, D.C. have come together to get something done that will improve our economy and our lives. This is a promising time for Colorado. As always, I invite you to contact me about this topic or any others. My cell is (970) 846-3054 and my email is

Representative Dylan Roberts serves Routt County and Eagle County in the Colorado State House

Transit builds a city that people choose to live in. — Betsy Hodges


December 2021

Valley Voice

Go Figure

Affluent Households are Displaceing Middle Income Households in Steamboat By Scott L. Ford

Steamboat Springs CCD

Percentage of Households by Income Range 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% 2010










17% Low Income = $0 to 35k Middle Income = $35k to 150k 74% High Income = $150k and up 9%




























Source: US Census Bureau ACS Table: B19050

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I hear it often that because of a host of issues Steamboat Springs is losing its “Middle Class.” In my October column I wanted to see if there was data that could quantify the loss of the middle class locally. One would think this would be a rather simple task for a data geek like me. I have found that it is not easy because it is difficult to define what is middle class.

The solution to this problem is to change the definition of middle class that does not use median household income as its starting point. The good news is that that US Census Bureau’s American Community survey does provides data T on household income by fixed income ranges. H

When asked, most folks will quickly describe themselves as being middle class. The problem is there is no single definition of exactly what is and what is not middle class. The challenge is that one must first define what “middle class” is before it can be measured.

Low Income = $0 to 35,000 Middle Income = $35K to $150K High Income = $150K and up

The PEW Research Center has a definition of middle class that uses median household income as its starting point. PEW defines middle class as household income between 60% and 200% of median household income. This definition is recognized nationally. Using the PEW definition, the middle class in the greater metropolitan area of Steamboat as of 2019 is any household that has an annual income of $48,850 to $162,834. Using the PEW definition over the past 10 years, the data is clear that there has been only a slight decline in the number of middle-class households in Steamboat. A decline from 62% to 59% over a decade.

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Although the PEW definition is valuable, it has a weakness when applied to a place such as the greater metropolitan area of Steamboat. In a community where the affluent may be displacing the less so, the median household income (PEW starting point) may be drifting slowly upward. The PEW approach when applied locally may mask the magnitude of what is actually occurring. This is a problem.

For those who live here and for those who wish they did.

These fixed rangers are:

Every one of the 6,800 households in the greater Steamboat area will fit into one of these three fixed income ranges. Using a fixed range of household income is a better way to define middle class. Using this definition over the past 10 years, there has been a decline of 13% in the number of middle income households locally. Over the past 10 years the percentage of households in the low-income range has been essentially unchanged. What has changed is the percentage of households with incomes of over $150,000 annually. The affluent households are not displacing low-income households. The affluent households are displacing middle income households and now we know by how much. The percentage of affluent (high income) households was 9% in 2010, by 2019 it had increased to 22%. In 2010 middle income households accounted for 74%, by 2019 that has declined to 61%.

Valley Voice

December 2021


Yampa Valley Housing Authority

Brown Ranch: A Vision By The Community For The Community By By Sheila Henderson & Emily Katzman

The Focus Teams include: • Housing & Non-Residential Demand: This team will analyze current housing needs for all income levels along with non-residential needs. Solutions will focus on providing a broad spectrum of housing solutions. • Infrastructure: This team will look at opportunities and limitations regarding water, sewer, storm water, dry utilities, sustainable energy, and transportation. • Urban Design: This team will look at design concepts for each phase, inclusive of housing, commercial, open space and trails, streets, and other key services. • Natural & Built Sustainability: This team will look at environmental sustainability such as water consumption, energy production, and building efficiency. It will follow best practices with the goal of remaining flexible to new technology. • Long-term Stewardship & Project Economics: This team will analyze the best approach to funding each urban design concept to identify development funding gaps, provide creative solutions, and to ensure that the community is self-sustaining. Strategies to maintain long-term affordability of housing will be included in the analysis.

The Alpenglow project by the Yampa Valley Housing Authority The Brown Ranch is a special place just west of the current Steamboat Springs city limits. It’s a beautiful 536-acre property with meadows, bluffs, creeks and rolling hills that include stunning views of the ski area, the Continental Divide, the Sleeping Giant, and Emerald Mountain. Now, thanks to the foresight and generosity of an anonymous donor who gifted this property to the Yampa Valley Housing Authority, our community has the opportunity of a lifetime. The Brown Ranch can help preserve the Steamboat character we all cherish by providing all Routt County workers, regardless of income level, an opportunity for affordable, stable housing. Within a day of closing on the property in mid-August, the Housing Authority initiated a community-led comprehensive planning process. The 20 Yampa Valley residents who make up the Steering Committee are a true snapshot of our community, representing a variety of skill sets, viewpoints, and demographics. Over the past two months, they have been working hard to create the vision and the principles that will guide both the urgent need and the long-term development of the Brown Ranch. Our Vision The Brown Ranch residents will live and connect in a vibrant, resilient, diverse, and welcoming neighborhood that provides a wide variety of housing options and services designed by and for the Yampa Valley community

Our Guiding Principles First and foremost, the Brown Ranch will provide affordable and attainable housing options for the Routt County workforce in a timely and efficient manner that meets both the urgent and long-term need. Second, the Brown Ranch will provide quality housing that is sustainable yet flexible, modern, efficient, safe, healthy, environmentally responsible, and in harmony with existing natural systems. Third, the Brown Ranch will be both physically and emotionally connected to the community, providing opportunity for social cohesion and successful vibrant and healthy lifestyles. Fourth, the community-driven process to design and develop the Brown Ranch will be inclusive, fact-based, honest, cost efficient and collaborative with all relevant stakeholders. In addition to the Steering Committee, Yampa Valley Housing Authority is organizing Focus Teams to bring interested community members together to analyze major questions regarding the Brown Ranch in detail. The Focus teams will be tasked with taking a hard look at the needs and desires of all community members and assessing the opportunities, challenges, and solutions in relation to Brown Ranch in both the short and long-term. That input will form the core of the Comprehensive Development Plan.

YVHA has also engaged an impressive team of technical consultants who include local, state and national experts in each of the above focus areas. The technical consultants will provide data and contribute their expertise over the next year, integrating feedback from the community Focus Teams into the Comprehensive Development Plan for the Brown Ranch. The Brown Ranch is not just another housing development! YVHA believes the Brown Ranch can be a selfsufficient and radically sustainable community. We believe the Brown Ranch can include a large variety of housing options at a variety of price points. We believe the Brown Ranch can include open space, parks, commercial opportunities…and even a grocery store. We believe nonprofit and human service organizations, infant daycares and preschools, medical facilities and other community-identified needs will help make the Brown Ranch vibrant, resilient, and welcoming. And now is the time to share your dreams and hopes for this special place. Now is the time to think big. What do you think should be included in this amazing opportunity? Join us January 27th at the Strings Music Pavilion as we kick off the Focus Teams with a Community Presentation of the Brown Ranch! Stay tuned for more details. YVHA is working hard to ensure everyone can provide input during the planning process. If you would like us to meet with your group, whether it be a business, club, neighborhood, or organization, please let us know. You can email us at And stay tuned as we roll out our websites. They will include platforms to provide input in English or in Spanish.

He is now rising from affluence to poverty. — Mark Twain


December 2021

Valley Voice

Bonnifield Files

History of the Little Snake River Valley: Part III By Ellen and Paul Bonnifield

Colorado Governor John L. Routt and Senator Edward Wolcott rejected the petition. Their ally, John Noble, played his political cards with skill. As Congress was about to finish its work, all that remained was approval of the General Revision Act of 1891. In the joint committee, Noble slipped in Section 24 giving the President power to establish forest reserves. The bill passed both houses without serious debate. On October 16, 1891, President Harrison set aside 1,200,000 acres as the White River Timber Land Reserve.

John Long Routt: The first Govener of Colorado Occasionally individuals and communities play major roles in historical events although few people realize what is happening. Such was the case of the conservation movement in the Little Snake River Valley during first half of the twentieth century. A small group of settlers near Trappers Lake didn't want the timber despoiled by ruthless loggers. They contacted Edward T. Ensing who published a series of articles to protect Colorado forests. This resulted in the organization of the Colorado Forestry Association which aligned with the American Forestry Association and the Academy of Science. That group subsequently petitioned Congress to establish forest reserves.

Responding to disastrous floods in his home state, Arkansas Congressman Thomas C. McRae in 1893 introduced legislation establishing meaningful forest reserves; however, Colorado Senator Henry M. Teller and Representative John C. Bell killed the legislation. Responding to the findings of his Forest Commission on February 22, 1897, President Cleveland created thirteen new forest reserves containing twenty-one million acres. Two weeks later Cleveland handed the problem to his successor President William McKinley. McKinley worked out a compromise with the western congressmen. The forest reserves with power to enforce rules became part of the national land use system. To repeal Section 24, in 1905, Senator Charles W. Fulton attached an amendment to the Agricultural Appropriation Act recanting the president's authority to form forest reserves. Before signing the bill President Theodore Roosevelt designated several new national forests then signed the Appropriation Act. In 1905, the Forest Service was established. On June 12, 1905, the Park Range Forest Preserve was designated with headquarters in Kremmling. Two years later, 1907, it was divided with Routt National Forest taking charge of the western half and the headquarters moved to Steamboat Springs. Roosevelt's forests were not welcomed with open arms. The powerful Senator Teller working through the governor called a Public Land Convention in Denver. All conservation delegates were refused credentials preventing their attendance. Addressing the convention, Teller recalled in Pennsylvania and New York all the trees were cut down. "I [Teller] thank God that the trees are gone and in their place have come men and women, Christian men and Christian women, liberty-loving men and liberty loving women . . ."

For those who live here and for those who wish they did.

"Here [are] forest reserves, you cannot have a church, you cannot have a school, nobody else can come and live by your side." He saw the United States Government "as a great landlord and the people as tenants ‑ half-slave." "I do contend that we have a right to put them (timber, minerals, range) to the use God Almighty intended they should be put, . . ." Those were powerful words and the select delegates agreed. The survival of the Forest Service was in doubt. In 1907, fifty-four members of the Garfield County-Grand River Stock Growers Association signed an agreement not to pay grazing fees or apply for grazing permits. They maintained the Forest Service was unconstitutional. Fred Light vs. U. S. (1911) is one of the basic cases justifying the Forest Service. Among other things the Court ruled, "The Constitution [grants] . . . power of the United States of control over its property." Having won the critical case did not assure survival of the Forest Service. Neither President Taft nor President Wilson were strong supporters of conservation. But, men and events have a way of writing their own history.

Harry Ratliff had a homestead on Mad Creek north of Steamboat Springs and, like all homesteaders, grazed the W t forest and took timber and stone from the public domain. In fact, he and his good friend John M. Ellis, a local t rancher and new forest guard, had a serious disagreementr over logs and poles he had taken from public land. In his t memoir Ratliff said, "He was anti-forest reserve, anti-gov- s l ernment, and everything else that crossed his mind." c a Ellis was running steers on the forest and due to a conflict of interest he resigned. Pat Cullen, Jim Norvell, s and Logan Crawford cornered Ratliff and talked him into i talking Ellis's place. Crawford was most persuasive. "You C t know these cattle men to the east and west [very large ranches], we have got to [have] someone who can get us a r break." Anti-everything Ratliff became the Routt National w Forest guard and soon to become the second Routt Forest p a Supervisor.

I Union Pacific subsidiaries, Carbon Timber Co. and J. C. W Teller and Co., were tie contractors. (J. C. was Senator f Teller's nephew.) At its height, Carbon Timber ran a company town and operated in Hog Park, Encampment o Park, and other points. They bought ties from individuals p at twelve to sixteen cents per tie and added two cents per t tie delivered at stream side. During spring floods, the ties i t were floated down the North Platte to Fort Steele. Businesses along the upper Little Snake River and upper Northt Platte conducted extensive transactions with the timber o company and opposed legal action against the company. In h fact, Ratliff sold beef to Carbon Timber Co. before he began S fi working for the forest service. h The company was trespassing on public land, involved in criminal land fraud, and extremely wasteful of timber. T Ratliff's first assignment was part of a larger group bring- c R ing Carbon Timber to court. The case eventually found L its way to the Supreme Court with the Forest Service winning.

Valley Voice

December 2021



"He was anti-forest reserve, anti-government, and everything else that crossed his mind." - Harry Ratliff

Fold Me into Your Heart By Fran Conlon

Wyoming and Utah sheep men quickly recognized the advantage of grazing permits, and Will C. Barnes, in 1908, wrote the Supervisor of the Park and Sierra Madre National Forest for a permit to graze his Wyoming sheep. He was permitted 10,000 ewes depending upon final agreement with the Carbon County Woolgrowers Association and the Snake River Stockgrowers Association. (The approval came eleven years after the sheep-cattle war of 1897.)

Harry Ratliff had a homestead on Mad Creek north of Steamboat Springs. While working on the Carbon Timber case and a smaller timber fraud case on Sand Mountain, Ratliff was promoted to Superintendent. The ranchers on the Little Snake River refused to apply for grazing permits and were preparing to cause serious trouble. Robert McIntosh had written several articles against the forest service and was a leader in opposition. His support of the forest service was critical. His concern was that the big ranches with money and influence in the right places who already controlled seventy-five percent of the range would successfully grab it all. (This was the same concern Crawford, Norvell, and Cullen had when they talked Ratliff into going to work for the forest service.) After a long conversation in an upper room, McIntosh was assured the "A" class permit holders would be preferred over "C" class and he applied for a permit - 1,200 horses. He talked the other ranchers into applying. In 1908, Ratliff along with two Forest Service men from Washington, D.C. rode the San Madre Mountains and found way more cattle than permitted. A roundup was organized and the cattle counted B 46,000 head in an area permitted for 20,000 head. The trespass action cost two of the bigger ranches their permits and others had a sobering experience. The next year the Two Bars, the Sevens, the Two Circle Bar, and the VOV once again attempted to overstock their permits and once again they came out second best. The Sevens was caught putting 1,700 head on Slide Mountain. Ratliff kept his promise and the Snake River Livestock Association provided much needed financial support when he was being framed on charges of horse stealing. The winter of 1919 was extremely hard, killing countless cattle. Cattle prices fell to disastrous levels in the fall. Roundup wagons and roundup crews were no more on the Little Snake River range.

On the Medicine Bow National Forest, Supervisor J. W. Nelson was having real trouble with the powerful Cosgriff Brothers' sheep operation and other sheep men who ran 315,000 sheep on a range permitted for 50,000 sheep. In the final settlement it was agreed that Ratliff would allow 40,000 sheep on the Routt Forest. To overcome objections by Steamboat Springs ranchers, he had Crawford put his cattle at a higher altitude, up where the horse flies were dominant. The cattle would not stay up there and the sheep, protected by their wool, did not care. In 1912, a band of sheep was driven down Lincoln Avenue to the railroad stockyards. Ratliff had another plan. Following the introduction of the Model T Ford, good roads and tourism became a paramount goal of thousands of communities. Steamboat Springs was no exception, but not even a trail, let alone a road, existed over Rabbit Ears Pass. A cost sharing arrangement to raise $3,000 by Steamboat only garnered $600. Ratliff cut a deal with the Wyoming sheep men. Jim Garten was hired to build the road, but first he went to Vernal, Utah, and picked up a $5,000 check. While crews labored building a road over the pass, more Wyoming sheep enjoyed the high meadows of the Park Range. Late that summer, W. M. Carver and Jim Norvell drove the first automobile over Rabbit Ears Pass. Following the death of the big cattle ranches, the open free sage brush became a war zone between sheep men. Mildred McIntosh called them "Free Riders"; others called them "Range Pirates." They had no address, paid no tax, stayed no place. They came in all sizes. Joe Livingston ran thousands of sheep under armed guard. His herds simply followed the grass and water and took what they wanted, including others sheep. Cecil Connor recalled that in the Sand Wash one sheep wagon would move off a hill and another move on. Colorado passed state laws attempting to control the Free Riders, but failed. The success of the Routt National Forest became the model that Congressman Taylor and Ferry Carpenter used when writing the Taylor Grazing Act. Carpenter attempted to model his administration after Ratliff. Rough handling of Livingston by the regional grazing associations played a principle role in Carpenter resigning.

There are looks and sometimes love, Affection can lead the merry way, To close encounters like a hand in glove, That tucks the moment in heart’s play. A fold, a crease can change the form, From a tree to shark that swims away, There seems to be no platonic norm, But tychism (chance) does hold sway. Our diet of paper animals is free, New images form as if in a trance, A serendipitous discovery for me to see, Come now, let's join the dance. The serious tone had passed me by, Light-hearted views are on the scene, Cumulus clouds dot the blue sky, The message I must work to glean. Folded papers: a delightful zip, I'll control them with a paper clip.

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Imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong. —Thomas Sowell


December 2021

Valley Voice

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Seasonal Sadness By Alexa Taylor

They don’t tell you how easy it is To take on the weight of winter And succumb to the sadness of silence They don’t realize how easy it is To hold onto the heart-aching heaviness Of the darkness at dusk and dawn They don’t tell you how hard it is To break the spell of being alone Because cold bones stay home They don’t realize how hard it is To accept this seasonal sadness isn’t forever For in a few months it’ll feel forgotten Until next year, that is.

I arrived at work one morning in the middle of a snowstorm to drive the Free Bus for the 7am shift. I started up the very old, but reliable, 1954 city transit bus. This bus and I were old friends, as 2 years back I drove it to Steamboat from Jackson Mississippi, a ten day trip. Together we began driving the first year of the Free Bus Service, which was a City Council experiment to get tourists into town to dine at one of the two restaurants. I picked up about twenty locals that stormy morning, most going to work, and a few skiers hoping for fresh tracks in waist deep powder. As we approached the old Mt. Werner Road we could see that a few cars were stuck on the steep road. 4-wheel drive cars were practically unheard of back then. Two cars coming down the hill proceeded to slam into the stuck cars trying to go up. More cars added to the gridlock in the storm’s whiteout conditions. I pulled the bus over to side of U.S. 40 to assess the situation with my passengers. We decided that Walton Creek Road might be a better road to the ski area... I stepped outside to chip ice off the steering tie rods with an ice axe while a passenger scraped the windshield. Those old buses lacked much heat and the tie rods would ice up making it difficult to steer. I requested that the passengers move to the back of the bus. This would increase our traction - an old trick I’d learned in the previous storm. Also, if passengers would jump together, up and down, the traction would increase even more. I’ve had to do this more than once to get up old Mt. Werner Road… always fun for everyone. I’m not kidding! We were ready and continued on U.S. 40 looking for the left turn at Walton Creek. It looked good, no traffic and a freshly plowed road. We slowly turned up the road and had gone about 100 yards, when we suddenly saw a car sliding sideways towards - us coming fast! I quickly swerved to the right. The shoulder was plowed off level with the road. I didn’t know about the 4 foot deep ditch that the snow was covering. We lurched farther to the right. The snow plowed up and over the windshield and I lost all visibility as the bus began to drop into the ditch.

For those who live here and for those who wish they did.

The sliding car only missed us by a few inches. I still remember the big eyes of the driver as he skidded past the bus. Meanwhile, the momentum of the bus kept us going farther into ditch and she slowly rolled over, quite gracefully, like a breaching whale. We came to a very soft stop, nearly upside down. Passengers, skis and poles had all fallen to the right side (the bus had no outside ski racks). I shut down th engine. Then it was silent. I asked if anyone is hurt. No injuries, it seemed that everyone was fine. I open the left side emergency exit window. Two passengers, who were lift operators and dressed for the job, climbed out first then helped the remaining passengers out of the bus, one by one. Two pickup trucks pulled over to assist. I shoved all the skis, poles and backpacks out of an opened window. Everybody neatly sorted out the gear along the snowbank. Before I could get their names, and phone numbers, they had grabbed their gear and jumped into the two trucks and headed to the ski mountain. As they drove off the front wheels of the bus were still turning. My passengers were in a hurry to get to work, or possibly, catch the best day of skiing in their life. We had no two-way radios in the buses back then. I walked up to a Walton Creek Condo and knocked on a door. They came and stepped outside to see the up-side-down bus, and quickly offered me the phone. I called Dick at the bus barn and he immediately got hold of two large tow trucks that had been parked at the base of Rabbit Ears Pass, awaiting the next tow job. (They had radios) The tow trucks arrived not more than 15 minutes later and with straps and winches the city bus was rolled over and back onto her wheels. I was back on the road and only missed one 40 minute loop. No photos, no police and no newspaper story! Did this really happen? Were you there? 45 years later I’m still driving buses and I have plenty more stories where that one came from. ‘See you out there!

Valley Voice

December 2021


The Educated Guess

Sports as a War Substitute By Fran Conlon

Carrie Underwood and the musical wham-bang rhythm introduction to Sunday night football sets a standard for the glamor in sports. The presentation is interspersed with graphic and heroic scenes of completed passes, spectacular ground runs, and quarterbacks doing amazing leadership duties. In fact, for the viewer with only modest sports interest (like me), Carrie Underwood's introductory song and dance is, perhaps, the most significant aspect (as long as the home team wins). The old philosopher/psychologist, William James, was a thinker holding the view that sports might be the substitute (or moral equivalent) of war. There's intense rivalry, strong political overtones, national pride, and nobody (usually) gets killed. Ancient cave paintings and drawings used this notion: aesthetic images can relate to real encounters, perhaps a magical/ religious tone would echo success in the hunt. Indeed, some contemporary critics of ancient hunting have suggested that early hunters were responsible for the extinction of some species, such as the wooly mammoth.

The current discussion about “de-extinction” considers bringing back so-called extinct species such as the wooly mammoth and the passenger pigeon. The passenger pigeon gets my early vote because if there's a botch-up, the mistake is smaller than a wooly-elephant mammoth with a bad temper.


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But maybe that's just a matter of personal taste. The aesthetics and drama of sports have that seniority of the hunt for victory. There seems the to have been “tribal” and nationalistic competition in making archaeological discoveries, in finding strange new worlds, in the “space race.” These endeavors take on a competitive edge and give pride in the victory (all without a shot being fired, we hope). When covid is managed, and the Olympics resume, “game night” may add the media coverage, non-stop no doubt. May Carrie Underwood, and others, sing and dance with stirring spectacle. Peace, bro and sister!

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When you're playing upside down, it takes twice the strength. — Tommy Lee


December 2021

Valley Voice

'Boat Almanac

Merry Mistletoe! By Karen Vail

Photos by Karen Vail

the bark (yummy!), are often jointed, and end in a flower or fruit. They are well camouflaged and tough to see unless you are looking for them. Each node of the stem has a pair of scale-like leaves. Five species of dwarf mistletoe of the genus Arceuthobium are found in Colorado, and all infect conifers. In our area we have an abundance of lodgepole pine dwarf mistletoe (Arceuthobium americanum). The visible parts of the plants are dioecious with male and female flowers on separate plants. Use a magnifying glass to view them, and they will seem like alien beings on stalks. The male has 3-4 “petals” with lighter stamens on each petal, the female looks like a shallowly 2-lobed cup. The fruit forms at the tip of each stem, is bicolored and has a really cool way of spreading the seed. Leafy mistletoe are mostly distributed through animals eating the fruit then pooping them out in an appropriate place. Dwarf mistletoe can also be spread through this method, but mostly through a remarkable explosive process. The single seed is explosively discharged by one of the most effective hydrostatic mechanisms among flowering plants. Pressure builds in the seed capsule, triggered in part by heat produced by the plant, until the capsule bursts spewing the seed coated in sticky viscin at up to 60 mph and up to 52 feet away! That’s a mighty powerful process!! (“Thermogenesistriggered seed dispersal in dwarf mistletoe” deBruyn, R., Paetkau, M., Ross, K. et al., Nat Commun 6, 6262 (2015) (“Dwarf Mistletoes”, Worrall, Geils, The American Phytopathological Society, 2006) “I saw mommy kissing Santa Claus, underneath the mistletoe so bright…” Such an iconic part of our holiday celebrations, to dangle a parasitic plant over the head of our sweetheart for a kiss. Hmm, what does that say about our culture? The history of how this tradition came to be varies from druids who hung the mistletoe above their doors for luck or to increase fertility, to Norse mythology. The act of kissing under the mistletoe likely began with servants in England. Men were allowed to steal a kiss from a woman standing under the mistletoe, and another tradition allows the men to take a berry from the plant for each stolen kiss until all the berries were gone, and the fun ended. (www.history. com) Mistletoe are obligate hemiparasitic plants. “Obligate” means they depend on a host for all of their water and inorganic nutrients, and most of their fixed carbon, and “hemiparasite” alludes to the fact they are only partially parasitic and have some green tissue to photosynthesize and produce their own energy. All that said, the mistletoe found in our forests of northwest Colorado called dwarf mistletoe look nothing like the leafy stems we use for holiday merriment. The visible part of the plant looks like pieces of short green-ish brown spaghetti erupting from

After the seed germinates on the host shoot a “root” contacts the bark and forms a disk-like holdfast that enlarges and tightly grips the bark. The holdfast then produces a wedge that penetrates the bark to the cambium layer where the plumbing work of the tree is found. At this point the strands, called the endophytic system, begin to grow into the tissues under the bark creating enlarged sections of the stem, the first real visible sign of the plants presence. The initial swelling is a long taper found mostly on younger stems. After 3-5 years the endophytic plant produces aerial (visible) shoots ready to continue the cycle of life. (“Dwarf Mistletoes”, Worrall, Geils, The American Phytopathological Society, 2006). These shoots will typically live 5-7 years before they die and fall off. In times of stress such as drought the shoots drop off and leave behind on the bark surface a small cup. Often in branches that have been infected for several years a witches’ broom forms. These are dense, distorted growths that are a reaction to the mistletoe infection. Research has suggested that the mistletoe itself produces or stimulates the plant to produce a growth hormone called cytokinin that stimulates growth around the infection site producing almost a cancerous-like growth of stems and branches. (“Dwarf Mistletoes: Ecology and Management in the Rocky Mountain Region” Worrall, Jim, USDA Forest Service).

For those who live here and for those who wish they did.

Lodgepole Pine Mistletoe The evil side of mistletoe? This is a plant living inside a host plant draining the resources of the host and altering the host trees physiology. Dwarf mistletoe are not the most efficient water users and transpire water at a much higher rate than their host. Even during “normal” growth times this is a strain on the host, but during drought the additional drain on the host tree does not bode well. The hormones in the mistletoe cause nutrients to be moved to the infected branches where luxuriant witches’ brooms form, while the crown and other parts die of starvation. The dense growth of witches’ brooms and the drying of other tree tissues increases the likelihood of fire. Some dwarf mistletoes cause cankers in older stem infections where a fungus often enters and starts to decay the tissue. If you are a logger, the deformed wood from infested mistletoe trees will reduce your earnings per acre. Heavy infestations weaken trees, predisposing them to wooddecaying and root pathogens, to beetles and the wind damage. The good side of mistletoe? Birds and mammals feed on mistletoe shoots and/or fruits, and use the witches’ brooms for nesting, denning, caching food or foraging. Researchers have found red squirrels, American martens and several species of raptors using witches’ brooms as denning or nesting sites. In Colorado great horned owls were often seen using the dense clumps for nesting (“Biotic Associates” Hawksworth, Geils, USDA Forest Service). The value of the standing dead snags that mistletoe often leave behind is debatable. Some research has shown a positive correlation between the snags and diversity of wildlife and insect use. Other research shows that over the long term, dwarf mistletoe may reduce the value of snags because the snags tend to be smaller and are less likely to have decay inside the tree (great for cavity nesters). Mistletoe does open the canopy cover creating a more diverse understory and varying habitat for wildlife. And insects are abundant in affected trees which in turn, attracts insect eating birds such as woodpecker, nuthatches and warblers. Happy holidays everyone and may your mistletoe smooching be merry! See you on the trails.

Valley Voice Horse Sculptures on the corner of RCR 14 and 131 - Photo by Suzy Pattillo

December 2021


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December 2021

Valley Voice

More Wilderness? Located at Neste Auto Glass

Sarvis Creek Wilderness Expansion By Jim Hicks

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Through tagging and relocating research by the Colorado Division of Wildlife (now Colorado Parks and Wildlife), it was documented that the lower Harrison and Green Creek areas are important winter range and calving areas for several hundred elk. The Green Creek meadows up on top are important nursery areas for elk. Historically Green Creek had large beaver colonies that built the long, wide meadows. The landscape is mostly aspen and lodge pole pine on the south facing slopes and dark spruce and sub alpine fir on the north facing slopes. Due to the pristine nature of Green Creek it is important to protect this area as wilderness to provide habitat for wildlife and back country recreation for the public. This area has remained in a pristine state because of the difficulty of access.

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Wildlife is abundant in the Green Creek drainage. There is a significant elk herd in the Green Creek area, estimated at 250 to 300 elk. Also many elk move into this area in the summer from the old mining areas further west. Beaver are no longer abundant in Green Creek. A few beaver are left and the population will eventually return as the aspen growth expands closer to the creek. Mule deer summer in this area, but move many miles west into Moffat County in the winter. Green Creek has a healthy population of brook trout. No threatened or endangered species reside in the Green Creek drainage.

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The Trappers Lake Group of the Sierra Club is proposing an expansion of the Sarvis Creek Wilderness Area. The expansion would include the lower portion of the Green Creek drainage so all the National Forest land in the Green Creek drainage would be in the wilderness area. Placing the land into the wilderness area protects it from mechanized use. As the Yampa Valley becomes more popular for recreation, people will be attracted to this area. A wilderness designation would protect the land and its wildlife in a natural state. The proposed expansion area, lower Green Creek, was in the original Sarvis Creek Wilderness Proposal, but the land was removed from the proposal at the request of the Catamount Ski Area developers to be within the ski area boundary. The Sarvis Creek Wilderness, 47,140 acres, became official in 1993. The ski area was never built and the permit has since expired. The land is now designated in the forest plan as Recreation by the U.S. Forest Service. The expansion would add 7,200 acres to the existing wilderness area. All the Sarvis Creek Wilderness plus the expansion area is no longer used for grazing of livestock. There are no human habitation or roads in the expansion area. There is a user trail from Harrison Creek curve on US 40 into Green Creek. The main activities in the expansion area are hunting and back country skiing.

3162 Elk River Road, P.O. Box 772498 Steamboat Springs, CO 80487 For those who live here and for those who wish they did.

The other species are typical of sub-alpine habitats, pine squirrels, pine martin, snowshoe hare, red-tailed hawks, mink, black bear and mountain lions. Even some bighorn sheep spent a winter there. There would be an increase to economic development through more hiking opportunities off of Rabbit Ears Pass, US 40. There are no water projects planned for Green Creek. There are no economical minerals to extract in the expanded wilderness area proposal. The Sarvis Creek Wilderness is the only wilderness area in Colorado below timberline. Its elevations are 7,000 to 10,700 feet. There are no alpine areas in Sarvis Creek. Most of the area is not steep terrain. The area features broad slopes of aspen, spruce, fir and lodgepole pine trees. The climate is characterized by cool summers and heavy snows in the winter. The Sierra Club hopes for your support and approval of this small, proposed expansion. Placing all of the Green Creek drainage in the wilderness will help Colorado permanently conserve 30% of lands and water by 2030. It will also prevent future motorized use. Volunteer opportunities: Photos of the area, help create a “Sarvis Creek Wilderness” website, help create promotional materials.

Trappers Lake Group of the Sierra Club contact: Jim Hicks

Valley Voice

December 2021

Creative Coaching



For a Good Time, Call... By LA Bourgeois

OnceBy Duane Your Man Koukol I was once your man I watched your tide go out Was I just a ballast in your ship Listening to the cries and shouts You have changed so much Back when you were twenty one There was so much of you That you did share Yes we could tell the pain was always there When the tide went out The ship alone at sea I asked myself how How could you do this to our son and me Is the guilt still there? Yes I can tell it is Same too for me I live just across, Yea just across the street

At the Biltmore Estate, Asheville, North Carolina. circa 1900 “I don’t have any time.” “I wish I could find the time.” “I just need to make the time.” Sound familiar? When I made the move from Steamboat to Asheville, North Carolina, I thought I was making a choice to give myself more time and less pressure. To make a real go at my creative goal of being a writer. Plus, with the difference in housing prices, I figured that after selling my Steamboat scraper, I’d be able to buy the Biltmore! No such luck. Too many staff anyway! Who wants to memorize all those names? Is that a dream of yours? Not the Biltmore part, but the “having more time to follow your muse” one? If you poll your artist friends, you’ll find it’s not uncommon. And what I’ve discovered over the past fifty years of being a creative human is that we don’t “have more time” or “find more time.” We make the time. Gah! I hate that! Why can’t creativity be magical and fun and sparkly and EASY?! Having said that, how many of you can manage to “make the time” for yourself, your art, your creative endeavors? Yeah. Me too. And that’s totally natural. Taking time for our own pursuits, creative or otherwise, can feel a little selfish, never a fun way to think of ourselves. However, making the time for ourselves has been proven to refresh and revitalize us, transforming us from worn-out husks into useful members of society again. Whew!

But despite this evidence, many of us need a push from outside ourselves to make it happen. Making a commitment to someone else to show up and work on your creative projects together changes that process from selfish to selfless. If you don’t appear, will your friend still work on that amazing short story? That’s right! You better materialize so her brilliance can shine forth into the world. And the fact that it will also allow your sparkling waterfall of creativity to flow forth is just a side benefit. At least, you can tell yourself that. Can you ask a buddy to get creative with you? Consider making a date with a friend to pursue some progress on your own art. If you don’t feel comfortable getting together in person (dang this pandemic!), Zoom and Google Meet both have a free option. Even a phone call or a series of text messages works. Plus, in the book, Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle, the Very Smart Authors list two of the keys to avoid burnout as connecting with others and getting creative. Yep! Two ways to bust stress with one fun creative date! Just committing to the work with someone else can be the difference between progressing on your creative project or sitting around and wishing you had more time to work on it. Even the Biltmore needs a crew. Gather your own and get to that creative date today!

Join LA Bourgeois, Creativity Coach, for the free “Gift of Time” this holiday season, meeting with others over Zoom to work on your creative project and have fun! Contact her at to sign up.

But you have changed so much a stronger Now I shall forever meet But how I long, oh how I long to see that sail Again at my shore But I now know it won’t be me No it won’t be me no more They say find a messed up Dad a little girl With tears in her eyes Will be will always be Yea, just a little sad Listen to the bell As the sun does set red streaks and gray Oh the sailor’s delight as the day slowly turns to night

“You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing that we call 'failure' is not the falling down, but the staying down.” - Mary Pickford

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Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit. — Edward Abbey


December 2021

Valley Voice

Tales from the Front Desk

He's Coming By Aimee Kimmey

Miraculously, the flood of guests had slowed to an ebb. The last person she'd seen was Dan the Nabisco driver. But that seemed like ages ago. Now everything was ghostly quiet, just her and the holiday music drifting through the lobby. The scream of the phone shattered the calm. The clerk grabbed it on the second ring. The man on the other end was rattled, he was calling, he explained, from a hotel in the next town over. He'd just sent away an exceptionally weird customer who had sworn to visit every hotel in the area! Weird was sort of their bread and butter around here, so the clerk wasn't too worried. But as she hung up the phone, she wondered, who would be out on a night like tonight?

The story you are about to read is true... More or less. Friday. Front Desk. 6:45 pm. December 24. Everywhere you turn during the holiday season, a sea of humanity threatens to crush you. For weeks, the clerk has been running around like her hair is on fire. But tonight, tonight was a holiday the clerk could actually enjoy: in less than an hour, she would be home with her family.

This one wasn't packing...

Especially this night? In the snow and cold? And what could they possibly want at every hotel? She settled back into her chair and propped her feet up on the counter pondering... Maybe it was Santa? She giggled to herself, I mean, who else could visit every hotel in a single night? "What if Santa was having a really bad night?," she thought. What if he had been preparing to leave the North Pole; elves scurrying around, shoving last minute presents into the magic sack while the reindeer danced anxiously? Santa would have made himself his traditional cup of cocoa to enjoy before departing (as he does) while Mrs. Clause pressed his coat. He probably would have taken the cocoa out to check on the sleigh. Pleased, Santa would take a big swill of his cocoa... Which was scalding hot: it would have incinerated the roof of his mouth! Maybe he'd jerked and he spilled the rest down his shirt. In abstract pain, Santa would have sworn so loudly the North Pole itself quivered. Avalanches would shake into deadly motion hundreds of miles away. The reindeer of course, bolted into the sky! The half-empty sleigh bouncing along behind them. Santa and the elves would've stared as it disappeared into the horizon, trailing brightly wrapped presents. For one long minute, no one would move, no one would speak. Finally, Santa would have erupted, "Crap, crap, crap!"

For those who live here and for those who wish they did.

For a moment the North Pole would've been chaos as they tried to figure out what to do next. Then one enterprising elf would pipe up. He'd been tinkering with a reindeer-less sleigh in his free time. The thing looked like a B-movie rocket ship from the '50s painted in festive colors. The only problem was that it was a half-sized prototype, Santa barely fit. In fact, he nearly ripped the sleeve off his shirt the first time he tried to get in. But it was all they had, so Santa would grab his spare magic sack, and set out after his reindeer and sleigh. The way the clerk figured it, their trail was probably pretty easy to follow since they were spewing presents. But Santa would have had to stop and gather them up, so it would take him a while. By the time he'd reached the town down the highway from hers, it must've been pretty late. By this time on a normal night, Santa should have been well along his delivery route. But instead he was still searching for his lost sleigh and reindeer, frustrated was probably an understatement. The clerk couldn't blame the guy at the hotel for not recognizing him. After all, he was probably a mess; aside from the cocoa on his shirt and his ripped sleeve, the clerk was sure his hair and beard must have been a wreck. I mean no way all the presents landed neatly on the ground. The clerk figured her hotel would probably be where Santa would finally catch up to his missing sleigh because of the Nabisco truck parked outside. The smell of cookies was probably too much for the reindeer to pass up. The jingling sound of bells shook her out of her thoughts. The clerk sat up to wipe some drool off her chin. Had she been dozing? Oops. The jingling must have been the door chime, she looked around, but the lobby was empty. Then she noticed a small box on the counter in front of her, wrapped in bright red paper with a huge bow. She got up to peer out the window; it was just snow and darkness, no sign of anyone. There was a tiny card on the gift, all it said was, "Thanks for all you do." No indication of who left it. Very curious now, the clerk tore into the gift. Under the bright shiny paper was a box of Belgian chocolates, the kind her grandfather used to send her for Christmas. The clerk stared at the chocolates. They were her favorite, who could've known? Who had snuck into the lobby without her knowing? Maybe Santa had found his sleigh after all. With a warm smile on her lips, the clerk tucked the chocolates into her bag, locked up, and headed home to share them with her family.

Valley Voice

December 2021

Suds Central


Award Winning Steamboat Grown

A Welcomed Winter Visitor By Sean Derning AKA A Beer Fairy

Pouring out a khaki colored head, the amber red color is apparent when held up to the light. Aromas of brown sugar and dark roasted malts fill the nose and the beer has a hoppier profile than most of the warmers sampled. Coming in at 6% alcohol and earning an 88 rating on, this beer is one where you can accommodate a second serving. Look, you’re already on your second slice of pie anyway, right? Beer has NEVER been a good choice for calorie counters. The second choice is Winterfest from Colorado Native, the thinly veiled attempt at Molson/ Coors to produce ‘craft beers’ at their mega brewery in Golden, CO. But rather than torpedo this beer, it warrants a sip and is a solid value if you’re heading to a party with many thirsty friends. Tasting conspicuously like their old Killians Red, this beer has been labeled a bock. The head dissipates quickly and leaves little foam lacing on the sides of the glass. It does have a pleasant red orange color and the subtle malt comes through nicely, offering slight sweetness without a hop presence. If you are not a fan of darker beers and hop-infused IPA overdoses, this beer is worth a pour. At 7% alcohol, a six pack can be had for about $8, making this a better buy than say, a pair of Isotoner gloves, a Snuggie or some other unsightly fast fashion creation.

Brewskis; Odell Isolation ale, Deschutes Jubelale and Colorado Native Winterfest Even though Old Man Winter has taken his time arriving in the Yampa Valley, there is something that readers can do while waiting for a respectable base to accumulate on our mountains to combat the malaise. Try drinking beer. And not just any beer, mind you. Winter brings on a slew of seasonal beers, most notably winter warmers. These are beers that feature darker colors, generous malt backbones and often possess a higher alcohol content to help take the bite out of winter chills. One of the more robust beers of the year, winter warmers are special as they reflect the time of year when they are brewed. When paired with delicacies such as warming comfort foods, stews and soups, rich holiday meals and sweet treats, these dishes are strong and flavorful, and a light lager suitable for summer consumption may not be able to stand up to these complex cold weather culinary offerings. What drinkers need is a big beer to compliment these dishes to help them reach their savory utopias. A Beer Fairy went shopping and found three offerings of winter warmers that are welcome at any holiday event or can be sampled when hunkered down on a cold winter night while the snow piles up in wind-whipped drifts on your window sill. A fine place to start is the O’Dell Isolation ale from the Fort Collins, CO brewery.

The final selection is a must-try from the Deschutes Brewing Co. in Bend, OR. Their Jubelale is one of the best winter warmer choices available. A tan colored head sticks around for a while but most remarkable is the deep garnet color of the malt mixture that includes five different malts and five different hop additions. Dried fruits like figs or raisins come to the nose and toffee and cocoa give the beer a drinkability that demands more than a sip. Allowing the delicate balance of hops dancing with malts across your taste buds is like experiencing fine ballet, but this carbonated dancer is wearing hiking boots to make an impression. At 6.7% alcohol, the beer is full bodied but not overpowering, and gave it a rating of 88. With the end of the year in sight, these choices are all worthy of exploring. Dark color in a beer does not mean bitter or heavy and winter warmers allow a beer enthusiast to push the envelope and discover beers that can either work with the best holiday foods or stand alone on their own. With a window of about three to four months, winter warmers are worth the wait. Unlike some family members visiting from out of town bearing literal, emotional and financial baggage, winter warmers, like a good guest who always departs and returns each winter, are enthusiastically welcomed back and never impose on the festive beer drinker. Happy holidays from A Beer Fairy!

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I want you to be happy again Dance endlessly Fall in Love Feel the joy It’s here and now In a mad world You’re a bright star Laugh with good friends That see beyond 3D Michael’s rainbow wings As darkness fades Stand strong and free

-Sean Derning is A Beer Fairy and offers beer/brewery reviews and videos at

Milk is for babies. When you grow up you have to drink beer. — Arnold Schwarzenegger


December 2021

Valley Voice


Your Monthly Message By Chelsea Yepello Aries


March 21 - April 19

You’ve never gone hunting for a Christmas tree before, but you don’t understand why people act like it’s so hard to find the right one. All you did was Google Chris T’Mastree and email him, it’s not like the name is that common. However, no one told you the hard part wasn’t finding him, it was wrapping him in all those lights while he tried to run away, and you just don’t remember the Chris T’Mastrees from your childhood yelling so much.


April 20 - May 20


You think that Santa has come to visit you, but this guy is a couple weeks early, isn’t wearing pants and is drinking all the beer in your fridge


May 20 - June 20

You will reconsider your aversion to technology and machines when the meteor careening for earth was successfully destroyed. Ironically, humanity’s primitive technology didn’t notice the meteor was carrying an alien population traveling to earth to share their knowledge and intergalactic healing abilities until it was too late.


August 23 - September 22



October 24 - November 21

You’ve had some pretty bad entrepreneurial ideas, but locking a bunch of small people in your basement and forcing them to make wooden toys while keeping them alive with cookies and Kool-Aid is by far the best idea you’ve ever had and will make you millions.

December 22 - January 19

Although you have been perfecting your talents throughout the years, people like you were born with a higher level of skills than others. You may also want to thank your ‘mother’ for discreetly squirting all those steroids into your embryotic fluid while still in the test tube.


September 23 - October 23

November 22 - December 21

Despite your many attempts at sabotage, that asshole Jeff still lives next door and still goes outside to check his mail not once, but two times a day. No one gets that much mail, Jeff, NO ONE!



Eyewitness accounts, though unreliable, will unanimously agree that Mrs. Claus was participating in the blood orgy of her own free will.


You became a vegan because all life matters, which is why you refuse to brush your teeth. All the helpless single-celled parasites in your mouth have the right to live and are just eroding your gums in a heroic attempt to survive in this cruel world. You should enjoy the feeling of security for now because evolution is planning on doing a complete overhaul of the food chain when it unleashes Shoebill Storks 2.0.

June 21 - July 22

Next-Level Functionality

July 23 - August 23

The more you express your annoyance with Christmas and try to avoid any of the festivities, the more people have translated this to mean that they need to force Christmas down your throat until you are choking on the holiday spirit. So, in a desperate last-minute attempt to be uninvited to all Christmas activities, you act so erratically festive that people will question if it’s safe to leave you alone with the rented Santa and they will have PTSD from hearing holiday songs.

January 20 - February 18

Unfortunately, your insurance company does not feel they have any obligation to cover your medical bills when you explain that you just wanted to see if the electric carving knife can cut through human femurs. February 19 - March 20

You will answer long sought out questions regarding theories in mathematics, psychology and sociology when you solve what would really happen if, ifs and buts were all candy and nuts and if that would actually conclude in a merry Christmas.

Presenting the Cloud Z Sleepers. Exquisitely engineered for seamless, European-inspired designs to compliment the most modern of decor. Handle for easy open and close sofabed transformation.

Attached back and seat cushions.

Featuring Premium Memory Foam Mattress.

Come On In! We have many styles & colors available.

1707 Lincoln Avenue

970-870-8807 For those who live here and for those who wish they did.

Valley Voice

By Matt Scharf

The Evolution of Skiing

By Matt Scharf

Tribute to Stealers Wheels “Stuck in the Middle with You”

December 2021



December 2021

Valley Voice

Dinner menu featuring “Ring of Fire” Pacific Rim Island style food!

Pu Pus


Mana Pua: $15 2 mini steamed lotus buns filled with your choice: | kalua pork | teriyaki chicken thigh or wild mushroom served with house made kimchi

Seedz House: $8 Tossed spring mix, cucumber, grape tomato, red onion, carrotchoice of dressing; ranch, balsamic glaze, yuzu mirin, caesar, spirulina pesto

* Seared Ahi “Poke” : $15

Buddha Belly Salad: $15 Spring mix, organic rice, teriyaki sauce, carrot, house made kimchi red peppers, cucumbers, cashews, peas shoots, sesame seeds | Tofu + $4 | Wild Shrimp + $5 | Seared Yellowtail *Tuna + $8

Seared yellowtail tuna with a shoyu poke sauce, arugula, tomato, avocado, rice ball Coconut Mango Shrimp Ceviche: $16 served with wonton crisps Garlic Soy Edamame: $7

Siamin Noodle Soup

Organic Cafe & Beverages


Ramen style noodle soup bowl, choice of rice noodle or chewy ramen noodle, egg, green onion, nori, bok choy, fresno peppers, togarashi sprinke kombu broth. $15

A Fresh Twist on Pacific Rim Cuisine New Hours: Lunch 10:30am - 3pm Happy Hour 3pm - 5pm Dinner 4pm - 8pm

ADD on protein + $5 | Shrimp | Chicken Thigh | Tofu | Kalua Pork | Bison Short Rib + $8

Da Kine Entrees Honey Yuzu Ginger *Salmon: $28 Seared salmon with a soy citrus ginger glaze with coconut basil rice noodles & mandarin cashew slaw

ADD chicken collagen broth + $2 Rich in calcium, magnesium, sulfur, sodium, potassium, glucosamine, keratin and other minerals.

Gochujang Tofu & Wild Hazel Dell Mushrooms: $22 Pan seared wild mushrooms and tofu in a sweet & spicy fermented soy bean sauce organic jasmine rice, yuzu mirin marinated cucumber tomato and arugula


Choose Protein and two sides: $17 Choice of Proteins: | Teriyaki Chicken Thighs | Kalua Pork | Kalbi Tofu | Island Curry Chicken Thigh or Tofu | *Lomi Lomi Salmon (salt cured salmon & tomato salad) | Garlic Shrimp w/ side Volcano Sauce | Ginger Garlic Veggie Medley Choice of Sides: | Mac salad | Slaw | Organic jasmine rice | Kim chi | House salad | Sautéed house veggies | Avocado | Mango salsa or hawaiian king roll Extra: | Add another protein: $7 | Extra side: $3.49

Rice Bowls

Family Meal Plan

4 or more people | $16 per person Two proteins, rice, mac salad and hawaiian king rolls (no substitutions)

undercooked, or contain raw or undercooked ingredients. Consuming raw or undercooked meats, poultry, seafood, shellfish, or eggs may increase your risk of foodborne illness.

Best kept secret in Steamboat Springs!

Signature Cocktails

Blended Pina Colada: $13 Rum, pineapple, coconut, banana, almond milk Guava Mojito: $12 Rum, guava, aloe melon mint liquor, soda water Organic Real Fruit Margarita: $13 Dragon fruit, guava, mango, strawberry, pineapple or raspberry Ring of Fire: $12 Vodka, orange juice, raspberry puree

Happy Hour | Garlic soy edamame: $3.49 | Kalua pork lettuce wrap: $3.49 | Teriyaki chicken slider: $3.49 | Mini rice bowl: $7.49 teriyaki chicken or tofu, curry chicken | $3 off all signature cocktails | $3 off wine by the glass | $2 off mimosas | $5 beer

Two for One Dinners with purchase of Drinks from November 11th to December 11th


| Teriyaki Chicken Thighs & Rice | Island Curry Chicken or Tofu & Rice | Garlic Shrimp & Rice | Bulgogi Tofu & Rice

* These items may be served raw or

Kalbi Bison Short Ribs: $33 Slow braised short rib in a sweet and tangy garlic Hawaiian style sauce organic jasmine rice, charred baby bok choy

Spring Noodle: $14 Wild arugula, rice noodles, carrot, cucumber, avocado, red peppers, cilantro, sweet chili sauce | Tofu + $4 | Wild Shrimp + $5 | Seared Yellowtail *Tuna + $8

Kids Menu

Teriyaki Chicken Rice Noodle Bowl: $9 Grass Fed Cheese Burger Slider with Fruit: $9 Lil’ Plate : Chicken or Tofu, Rice, Avocado, Salad: $11 Cheese Quesadilla with Fruit: $ 7

For those who live here and for those who wish they did.


1117 Lincoln Avenue Steamboat Springs, Colorado

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