You are currently browsing the daily archive for July 14, 2010.

After Kelsea had refreshed herself, we went swimsuit shopping.  (Note to self: Telling your 13-year old what to pack over the phone does not necessarily ensure that what you told her to pack will actually get packed.)  I justified it by telling myself she needed a new suit anyway, but I hate spending more money on a suit for her than I would on a suit for myself – she’s just going to outgrow it anyway.

At any rate, we found one she actually liked (a minor miracle in itself) that was under $40 (miracle number two) and I had a Moment of Motherhood upon discovering that she now fits into an adult size 7/8 – the days of the kid’s sizes are behind us now.

It was a beautiful warm day, and we followed the Yampa River path to the park for the Art Fair. 

As with last year’s Art Fair, I was only moderately impressed, but we had a pleasant time wandering around, and the Raptor Society had a lovely golden eagle on exhibit. 

Parched, we split a drink with our feet in the cool of the river, watched the tubers (that sounds like potatoes, doesn’t it?) and discussed what to do with our afternoon. 

It had taken us some time to identify the slightly putrid smell that we experienced while walking up the path.  It was familiar to us both, but neither of us could place it.  When we came to the small spring in the park, I recognized it as sulphur, one of the predominant naturally occurring minerals in the healing waters around town.

One of my (and now our) favorite things about Steamboat is that it is such a dog-friendly town.  Dogs are allowed in shops (not restaurants) and are constant companions for their owners – on the streets, in cars, on the riverbank, even in the river itself. 

As we headed back to the car, we saw an adorable Great Pyrenees mix puppy playing in the water – he reminded us of our Roscoe so we stopped to watch him for a while (and we joined by another woman as well).  Cuteness overload set in when a toast-colored golden retriever puppy came down to the riverbank to join him.

We wended our way up into the mountains to Strawberry Park Hot Springs.  Kelsea had only been to one other hot springs; last year, when we were in Montana, we stopped at one, but it was a manmade swimming pool fed by the spring – not what I had hoped to show her for her first hot springs experience.  (I’ll admit to being rather a hot-springs connoisseur.)  I thought Strawberry would be much more her style, and I was right.

I hadn’t been to Strawberry for many years.  On my last visit, it was still pretty wild – no landscaping, no buildings, just the stream running down the mountain into some haphazardly carved-out pools.  It still retains its undeveloped natural quality, but it has been updated significantly.  Lovely bathrooms, a small snack bar, a large stone fireplace are part of a beautiful dark wood building above the pools. 

The pools themselves are tiered, both hot and cold, with sandy bottoms and carved stone niches for sitting.  Underwater stones can make moving a little slippery. Water falls into several of the pools from the source high up on the mountain.  The quasi-hippie dudes who work there will yell at you if you head out of bounds up the hill to the spring’s source – I suppose that’s a liability issue as the water there is so very hot.

We spend a couple of relaxing hours soaking, switching from pool to pool, watching a bridal party, a watsu session and some European tourists.  The pools were fairly busy, but still not raucous – a lot of kids, but not nearly as many as we might have found at the in-town Hot Springs.  Kelsea is finding that she’s less of a water person than I (which is easy to be).  I could have stayed all day, but she was ready to go after a time – it didn’t help that I’d forgotten sunscreen and the ivory skin on her neck was turning red as a brick.

As we headed back to town, stopping to take pictures, we both realized we had a tremendous craving for sushi. 

Kelsea’s appetite had been off, in part due to a lingering, gagging cough, so when she gets hungry, it’s important to take advantage of it.  There are two sushi places in Steamboat – one on mountain and one in town.  We didn’t feel like going up the mountain, so we ate at the one in town – Noodles and More Saigon Cafe – the food and service were both just fine.

Craving satisfied, we walked on to the rodeo.  Kelsea’s not a country music fan, so she had to endure about 30 minutes of pre-show wailing.  We visited with the livestock before we made our way into the stands; the horses were aggressive even with a gate between us, which means they’re going to be pretty rank with the cowboys who ride them. 

Our seats were three rows up in the upper grandstands, just above the bucking chutes. Kelsea had a good view of the cute security guard, which made her happy. 

The rodeo is much small and more hometown-ey than the National Western, and we really enjoyed it.  Hardly anyone stayed on for 8 seconds, and cowboys were running in, riding, and running back out with saddles and backpacks slung over their shoulders, on to the next rodeo in the next town. 

The long day over, we retreated back to the Rabbit Ears and our beds.

Today’s guest poet —  Amy Lowell

At Night

The wind is singing through the trees to-night,
A deep-voiced song of rushing cadences
And crashing intervals. No summer breeze
Is this, though hot July is at its height,
Gone is her gentler music; with delight
She listens to this booming like the seas,
These elemental, loud necessities
Which call to her to answer their swift might.
Above the tossing trees shines down a star,
Quietly bright; this wild, tumultuous joy
Quickens nor dims its splendour. And my mind,
O Star! is filled with your white light, from far,
So suffer me this one night to enjoy
The freedom of the onward sweeping wind.

July 2010
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