Monday, August 24, 2009

Steamboat Dreamboat

This past weekend we cashed in on an earlier trade of 4 nights at our place in Moab for 4 nights at a condo in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Cousin Milissa and hubby Christian from Loveland were able to join us for most of it. What a fun weekend of ridin' and relaxin'.

The drive over was sort of a snooze for Drew.

To get to Steamboat, we drove through Vernal, Utah. Dinosaur National Park is near Vernal, and the local businesses seem to be capitalizing on giant dinosaurs the same way northern Minnesota capitalizes on Paul Bunyan.

The condo in Steamboat was WAY nice and super comfortable for us and the cousins.

Day 1's ride was on a 19 mile loop up Diamond Park Trail to Scott's Run to Cutover Trail to Coulton Creek Trail. Milissa joined us for the first part of the ride, but bailed to go hang out by the creek and "study" while she recovered from a case of possible mumps. Mumps!
It was an excellent long-ish mildly technical, really fun ride.

(Overlooking Seedhouse Road)

(Totally ridable except for the amateur rider up front slowing us down. Ha.)
(Drew and Christian hiking-a-bike over a blow-down area. You can't smell the dead sheep.)
We gorged at Fiesta Jalisco Mexican Restaurant. Muy delicioso!!! Highly recommended.
Day 2's ride was a 30-mile shuttle (Thanks, Milissa, for shuttling us up to the pass so we could cruise down.) starting at Muddy Creek TH to Dumont Lakes to Base Camp to Lake Elmo then Long Lake. This portion of the ride was very high (10000 feet, huff, huff!) alpine meadows and the grasses had started to show spectacular fall colors.

(The tiny specks are Christian and Drew on the trail ahead of me.)

We continued to Mountain View Trail to the top of Steamboat Ski Area where we descended on Pete's Wicked Trail, Moonlight, and Valley View trails. We have forever renamed Pete's Wicked Trail as Pete's Wicked FUN Trail. Valley View was possibly the funnest trail we have ridden since Upper Porcupine Singletrack in Moab.
(Lucy, above, and Christian, below, near the top of the ski hill at the end of Mountain View trail.)
If you click on the picture below you can see Drew's track in Google maps. For a shuttle from a mountain pass down to town, we still managed almost 3000 feet of climbing and 3.5 hours of saddle time.

Here is a video of Lucy rolling along on the Mountain View Trail.
When we returned to the condo, Milissa had BLT+ sandwiches, yummy soup, and fancy dessert made for us. NICE!
Day 3's ride was on the maze of trails just across the river from Steamboat town on Emerald Mountain. (View from Emerald Mountain to Steamboat Springs.)
They were really fun twisty turny singletrack with amazingly few people. We lunched at the Boathouse Pub before saying goodbye to M & C until next time we meet in Moab. Day 4's ride was up Spring Creek, a multi-user trail leading from town up alongside a babbling brook. The trail was wide and mostly easy, a decent choice for a quick ride before heading out of town. What was really cool about this ride were the ferns lining the trail. I don't understand why this area gets so much more moisture than our local mountains at the same elevation, but it makes for nice lush understory.

Below is a video of Lucy riding through the fern forest on Spring Creek Trail.

What a great vacation!


  1. Awesome pictures and even better storytelling with this blog. I feel like I was there!

  2. Makes me wanna go with you sometime. But I don't have a bike or gear and have never ridden on a trail before...I'd probably slow you down!