Snow. It's white, cold, crisp, clean and no flake is alike. Wow, sorta sounds like the first 20 or so Presidents of the United States. Ha - seriously though, SNOW.
Living in a ski resort town, nicknamed "Ski Town, U.S.A.", the white stuff holds the starring role in the play known as Tourism. Steamboat has produced more Olympic athletes than any other city in the United States. (Steamboat.com ). We rely upon the snow gods to deliver phat, white fluffy Champagne Powder to this pristine valley. Sometimes the gods hear our prayers and deliver it in abundance. However, this year the snow gods have been on a budget of sorts. Up until Wednesday February 8, 2012, the mountain was looking pretty sparse, and so were the tourists. Apparently, gods know that the economy is in the tank, so they have been a little stingy on delivering the tourist dollars - the green snow - in the state of currency.
The patron saint of snow is Saint Eulalia of Merida. Legend says when she was thrown naked into the streets, snow fell to cover her. Up until February 8th, there wasn't enough snow to adequately cover the slopes of Steamboat's Mt. Werner, let alone the main drag running through town, Lincoln Avenue. Of course, this being winter carnival weekend in Steamboat, the possibility of someone being dragged in the street can be counted upon. Alas, those poor souls will be clothed, skiing, behind horses, while thousands of bundled tourists cheer them on.
I no longer ski. My old bones gave up on me a very long time ago. The thought of falling, and possibly breaking a hip deter me from clicking on skis, and letting myself fly through the skies above Steamboat. And really, truth be told, I have actually grown weary of the white stuff. The past few days have been heavy snow, slick as snot, wet and I have already taken a "digger" while getting out of my car. I detest stomping through the stuff, to retrieve steaming piles of dog poo. My pups can't take the dump right next to the sidewalk, where I can easily scoop it up - no! They go to the middle of the yard, and lay it down. Ugh. Thank goodness for Uggs...the comfy boot of the north!
Right about now - mid winter - I am dreaming of warm wind. I actually sat, mesmerized by the History Channel and a segment on the geology of Death Valley. All of a sudden, the thought of becoming a geologist sounded more exciting then being a wife, mother and grandmother. I miss the beaches of my old home in Ventura, CA. Walking along a sandy shore, just as the sun is setting on the Pacific, pants rolled up, mid calf, while carrying my flip flops; this is how I see myself...yes, there's the rub; the stuff dreams are made of!
Back to the snow. With snow reports coming in, and the tallies of how much we got, hopefully the tourist dollars will flood this valley with prosperity. Skiing and winter sports are an industry in this valley. And, if you ask a local, they usually will say they came for the skiing, and then stayed for the summer. The opposite of the phat snow, are the spectacular summers in Steamboat. There is nothing like them. Blue bird skies, cool winds, wild flowers, and mountain rivers full of rainbow trout. The mountains come alive with green, and a hike to the top of Rabbit Ears Pass can often leave a wanderer spell bound with the beauty of nature. I'll take summers over winter, any day of the week and twice on Tuesdays.
Alas, I should probably sign off for now - as its time to venture out with the dogs again, and a hunt for the steaming brown pile!