Monday, December 22, 2008

Winter Solstice in Steamboat Springs

We returned to Steamboat Springs five days ago just in time to experience the beauty of winter. Experiencing snow here is different. The lighting at this time of the year enhances the shadows and provides contrast of the whites and grays. Sometimes I find myself just sitting at the window, watching the patterns the snow has made on the pine trees.

Saturday Murray and I enjoyed a brief walk outdoors near our home. Despite the fact that the temperature was in the teens, we weren't cold. At one point I went to make a snow ball, but the snow was so powdery it just fell apart.

We suffered through a Steelers (Wrecklessberger) debacle on Sunday after which we worked out at the Health Club. For a grand finale, we went outdoors (17 degrees F) and into the Hot Springs (103 degrees). It is an amazing experience to soak in the hot sulfur water with lots of steam, surrounded by the snowy landscape.

Steamboat's economy depends on tourism and skiers enjoying the slopes. The city plows the roads efficiently and at least the locals know to drive slowly and respect the conditions. We live on a hill 900 feet above the valley. The road has lots of curves but is plowed regularly. And people celebrate snow falls because that means fresh powder! We are not skiers but our snowshoes are in our mud room and we have a trail right across the street that is calling us for a excursion before we fly off to celebrate the holiday with our family in Atlanta.

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