Steamboat Attraction Remains Strong

“When you are discontented you always want more, more, more. Your desire can never be satisfied. But when you practice contentment, you can say to yourself, ‘Oh yes – I already have everything that I really need.” (Dalai Lama).

I vividly remember my first visit to the Rocky Mountains. It was Spring Break, 1982 and I needed desperately to gear down from my stressful life as an inner city teacher in Miami.    A family friend of my wife had invited us to stay in their studio apartment near Steamboat Springs, Colorado and we graciously accepted. This beautiful, Western town would soon become a regular stop in our vacation travels.

I have always appreciated the opportunity to experience the quiet peace of the Rocky Mountain winter in Steamboat. My senses seem enhanced to the deadness of winter as I took morning walks through glistening layers of snow. Only a soft crackling of ice or a lonely howl of a wolf could break the silence to remind me that survival is a difficult one in this austere environment.

The onset of darkness in the Steamboat Valley was equally magnificent. The silhouette of nearby peaks framed by the fading presence of a pink and purple sunset were always worth the wait. In the absence of city lights, a symphony of glittery stars would fill the clear sky each evening. I felt fortunate then to be alive to witness these spectacular displays of nature’s glory.

Steamboat, at its heart, remains a resort town for downhill skiers, marathon runners and white water rafters. Never imagining myself as a competitive, outdoor athlete, I have taken a less serious interest in the area as an outdoor enthusiast. In winter, I survived numerous falls as I learned to cross country ski and snowshoe there. In summer, I clumsily made my way, traversing steep, Rockies trails and gained confidence as a novice hiker.

Rarely finding the true solitude of nature at home in densely populated South Florida, Steamboat remains a powerful attraction in my life. Taking the time to research the area on our road trip west, this summer, my wife and decided to book a one month condo stay there on Air B@B for Fall. The challenge to”downsize”my possessions as I get older means I will pack less this time and avoid the pricier, tourist temptations that I have always witnessed there.

 

 

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