A holiday in a holiday


The title for this post makes me think of inception. When I arrived in America Beth wanted to book a little get away for the two of us. For me this trip to America feels a little like an extended vacation mixed with learning so this trip seemed like taking a vacation within a vacation.

Anyway with a lack of sporting events last weekend due to the NHL lockout we decided to go to a ski town in north Colorado called Steamboat Springs. The downside of this decision was that it was about three hours drive away but it was heading through the mountains so it was to be an attractive drive.

It turned out that the drive was very pleasant and I drove us the whole way. I was also able to knock twenty minutes off the expected journey time provided by google maps. We stayed at the Steamboat Hotel because it was cheap and had breakfast. We could have gotten into the more expensive hotels as it was the offseason but the breakfast swung it for us.

On arrival we went for a walk around the town, working out our way around. We found the town ski jump in operation even without snow. I don’t think that is something I would ever have the balls to try – too many opportunities for broken bones – so I just admired the folks with the bravery for a while. We also walked past the town rodeo which unfortunately was closed and continued down the main street where pretty much of interest was situated.

For dinner that first night we went out to Big House Burger on the edge of town which served great

 homemade burgers, we both went for the buffalo option. On the way back we stopped at the hot springs in town for a little swim, it was great as the temperature outside the pools was very cold. On returning to the hotel I still didn’t feel like I was on holiday but that we had just travelled three hours for some reason.

The following morning we found out that the hotel no longer offers breakfast. When we complained they told us that, oh, we can go and get breakfast next door if we want to. So we did but felt mislead by their ad on hotels.com and by their in room literature. In the adjoining ranch we found maps of the surrounding area and planned out our day.

We drove about five miles out of town to the top rated hike in the area called Fish Creek Falls. You basically start at a waterfall then walk two and a half miles (all of which is up a mountain) to a second bigger fall. It was a lovely if strenuous walk with great views of the surrounding area, we hung around at the second falls for about twenty minutes before starting our much faster descent. When we were finished we ate our packed lunch and headed to the out-of-town Strawberry hot springs. These were much bigger and better than the in town springs offering a more natural feel. We enjoyed our afternoon there.

In the evening we found Beth’s favourite pizza place Beaujos in town. I’m still not sold, I think their pizza needs more tomato sauce. I then fell asleep watching football (the real English football but starring subpar American teams).

Sunday we hiked the mountain to the West of the city, the walk was straight up the whole way but gave us views of the town below and the surrounding area, well worth it. In the afternoon we went to the small (largely dead) botanical gardens and ‘Johnny be goods’ diner in town. For dinner we went to a Thai restaurant serving great food and then went back to the town hot springs. The drive home the following day was much the same as the one there.

looking out over steamboat

I definitely grew into the holiday spirit as the weekend progressed. I suspect this was helped by not bringing my laptop along with me. We both had a lovely time even though Steamboat was clearly between its two seasons. There was not yet any snow on the ground but neither was there anything growing. This may have lowered the prices for us but it also meant there was no green around, just brown. The town and countryside were still pretty but you could tell we came at the wrong time of year to see them in all their glory. It was a nice getaway and we did some good walks and ate some great food. I also clocked up another three hundred miles of America driving. All in all a successful and enjoyable trip.