Steamboat Springs

This weekend, this glorious weekend, marks the end of our Must See List for 2010. Might I add that we hit the jackpot? The mutha of all loads.



We were warned, by those who know us well, that we would fall in love.

I think that Hank just had our mail forwarded here.

Friday morning, we piled bags and coolers of food and gear and a pack’n’play into the 4runner, and off we went. We made one big stop here, which is a gas station, believe it or not.


I half expected the butt of a gun to bust out one of those windows and a good old-fashioned gunfight to ensue. But no, seems as though this part of the Midwest at least has been tamed. There was this remnant, though,


Just skimming the edge of the parking area of the Mercantile building. Oh, but do I have a soft spot for old broken down houses and barns. They just have a wisdom about them or something. Maybe a piece of what was there before all of this rushing around stuff that we do. I wish I could sit and listen to the stories those old pieces of wood and tin could tell.

But I probably couldn’t hear the stories over the loudness of our children anyway.

Speaking of children, hunger struck. I think we made it into the town of Granby before they actually started gnawing on the backseat. We found a pretty yummy spot. And they served our water in really tall bottles with a very cool Grolsch-like lid contraption. They also had markers for kids in lieu of the standard crayon selection, and Ewan, for one, was an extremely happy boy.


Holden occupied himself differently.

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And Hank, well what else is there to do in this situation, really?

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Gotta go with the flow, baby.

How cool is their serve-’em-up bar?


I think that was my bun-less burger. Some kind of yummy feta cheese, grilled onion, pepperocini creation that made my heart sing praises. Served with a side salad, of course.

We were back on route after this pit stop, and soon at our destination. Just rolling into town took our breath away. Steamboat Springs is the perfect marriage of western and rustic and modern and artsy with a splendid side of not-too-hippie. How do we gage all of this? By the local bike shops. This one, in particular.


Holy cow. Looks like a hobbit house. Just wait.


It gets better.

This bike dude told us the story of the building. Evidently, it was an old sawdust burner. And the old owner got the building for free, but had to move it from a different location in town. He busted out a bulldozer, paid for a $100 permit, flattened out a spot for the building, and then he and all of his hippie friends (no joke) dragged the building to this spot. See? This is the bike dude telling the dragging part of the tale.


Eventually, it became the place where they manufactured Moots bicycles. Just check out the hinges on the hobbit door.

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I felt the urge for second lunch and tea and my feet grew bigger just being in that building. I swore to myself that I would pick up the kids and run for it, though, if I heard anyone say, “my precious.”

Gollum’s a freak.

Having no weird fears of Gollums himself, Holden sat on a stool for a while and listened to bike dude.


And then Hank and long-haired bike dude mapped out the mountain bike plan for the next day, while in the hobbit house entry way.


I decided to chase Holden outside. This shop, by the way, is Orange Peel Bikes.


You won’t find a much finer establishment.

As a bonus, they have big metal swings out front under one of their many trees, and they attract Holdens.

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Right across the street was a park (thank you, Jesus.). And oh I almost forgot. There’s a very smelly black and bubbly sulphur spring not far from the bike shop and park. Smells like a big toot there all the time.

I felt so at home.

The three main men in my life took this opportunity to school me on the monkey bars. Even Ewan has figured it out!! Ugh. Someday! Someday I will do pull ups and beat you all!!




And  right beside that park is a miles-long trail trailing along the creek. There’s no way to describe to you the beauty here. The aspens and oak trees are the most brilliant yellow and gold, and jutting up every so often are the darkest-green evergreens. There are fallen leaves everywhere…it really feels like fall. So many times here in Colorado, it seems like we move directly from summer into winter. If you blink at all, you miss any leaf falling and crispy breezes. But here…

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No picture that I take can show you. You just have to come here.


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What I can show you is this some-kind-of-handsome.



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And this some kind of goofy fish face making.

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Have you ever seen Hank, for one, look so happy? Or Ewan look so confused, as in “Why oh why are my brother and Dad so weirdly trying to look like that fish?!”

Yeah, that’s what I was thinking.

By now, that golden sun was sinking and the boys were zoning from our day of travel, so we headed to the grocery store and back to our condo. This is what Ewan feet look like after a really good day.

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Blech-ola. I think Hank had to scrub the tub after scrubbing the Ewan.

And Holden? He surprised us by making the guacamole all by himself.


But then he ate every bite.

There will be another installment soon. This barely saw us through day one of the SS Adventure. To bid you farewell ’til then, i leave you with a little Yeats:

We must laugh and we must sing,

We are blest by everything,

Everything we look upon is blest.