Steamboat Springtime Seclusion

“Nature gives to every time and season some beauties of its own.”(Charles Dickens)

Ruth and I enter the latter stages of our first U.S. road trip in 2021, feeling fortunate that the end of winter’s frozen wrath in Colorado seems inevitably “in the air.” So it seemed to be good timing for us to slow down our traveling pace and enjoy once again a satisfying stay in the Rocky Mountain Alpine jewel of Steamboat Springs. Yes, for the next five days, we would no doubt face muddy hiking tracks “slickened” by melting snows at this time of year. Further reality would surface in us” because of the high altitude crossing into Steamboat Springs via Rabbit Ears pass which might also prove risky to traverse by car without four-wheel drive. The current state of the Corona pandemic in this quaint Colorado village obviously lingered in our mind as well as we weighed our options for eating out or browsing in shops downtown.

Yet in staying optimistic about the re- emergence of wild nature’s glory expected during this period of springtime thaw, we thus remained determined to spend the bulk of the weekend strolling time-tested routes outdoors. For Steamboat proper, we embarked then on some level ground walks along the Yampa River Core Trail which follows along this gently flowing river amid this town’s scenic valley to and from downtown. Additionally, we would admire the seasonal existence of springtime snowmelt and resultant flower re-emergence with a short paved walk along the upper trail of pristine Fish Creek Falls.

On Sunday, we sought to find more glimpses of spring solitude in the higher elevations of Rocky Mountain surroundings on two car excursions out of town. So that morning, we headed southeast out of Steamboat on State Road 40 and made a glorious return to the Grand Lakes region, near Rocky Mountain National Park. Know that less than six months ago, our late autumn vacation in this area would end stressfully as we escaped the fast spread of wildfires encroaching on millions of acres to the immediate west of our hotel. As a new week began the next day, we re-experienced another promising region of secluded Rockies paradise as we traveled north from Steamboat along scenic Elk River Road to the snowy heights of Steamboat Lake State Park near the Wyoming border. How excited we felt as well that Monday to observe a closeup sighting of two moose feeding on the side of the road near our hotel.

On a related note, I recommend to my readers the award winning novel, “Lab Girl” by Hope Jahren as a very readable source of earth/plant science information to supplement this blog. For I enjoyed reading in my Steamboat spare time, this fascinating, inside look at wild nature from an expert who has spent her life studying trees, flowers, rocks, seeds, and soil. My next blog will take place as we cross the Great Plains into Sandhill crane country along the North Platte River heading to our next destinations of Kearney and Lincoln, Nebraska. Enjoy the photos from our latest Steamboat Springs adventure. For a further challenge , you might try to share the names of tree/flower specimens of photographic display here.

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