Many of you know that I’m an avid snowboarder. Not many folks know that I started snowboarding around the time that Burton was becoming a national brand. My first snowboard was a giant K2 HC169 Darkstar version. (It had an awesome graphic of a black …
The weather is clearly changing in Steamboat. Temperatures are cooler. We are experiencing more rain. Along the riverway, some cottonwoods have begun to change color. And the number of tourists visiting has dropped off. This all adds up to the Fall Shoulder Season beginning. In …
Over the seasons, it’s easy to get caught up in activities, vacations, and people visiting. The sun is out, the sky is blue (or snowing), and the days are filled with things to do and smiles. And me, I’ve got a bit of farmer deep inside and watching the seasons has become second nature.
Summertime is the easiest, in my opinion, to get distracted. The sun is up forever every day. It’s warm out. And the waterways call our names for swimming and fishing. Summer has many more things to do as well. Being outside for Summer is much different than Winter. In Summer, there is golfing, hiking, and more. In Winter, most activities are short.
In any season, it’s good to watch for changes. This Summer has been a good example. In June, temperatures soared into the 90’s, before Summer Solstice. Then fires started. This weather lasted for a few weeks, then, winds came along and temperatures lowered- monsoon rains started a week later. This weather has lasted July and August, much to our pleasure. We were anticipating brown hillsides and received a consistent green. (Though, now later in Summer, most of these plants have lived out their lives and are now browning.)
The farmer in me gave notice this week- a much anticipated cooling off is about to occur. Since June, we have not seen many days over 90 degrees. Now, the weather is shifting to be in the mid-70’s to the mid-80’s. Over the past week, things have been shifting. Clouds are moving differently. California smoke is not as prevalent. And nights have been getting cooler. The forecast for this week has proven my instincts correct- cooler weather is expected as well as rain.
This cooler weather is different than just cool weather moving in. This is a clear shift from Summer to Autumn. The hot days of Summer are about to conclude and the brisk, fresh air of Fall is beginning. I realize that Autumn starts next month, but nature doesn’t always pay attention. Plus, living in an alpine area, cooler weather is more expected than not.
Farmers locally are putting away the last of their hay. Many folks have been gathering firewood for a month now. Winter is on the way! But first, we get to enjoy the changing of Summer to Fall and all the the colors this brings to Colorado!
I don’t think there is a spot in America where Summertime hasn’t taken over. Summer is a great season, except maybe in the northwest. The fires that have occurred nearby have been small, and even luckier, mostly contained from monsoon rains. The forecast looks like …
We can definitely feel Summer in Steamboat! Blue skies and warm temps have made us all a bit giddy. The river has peaked and folks are enjoying kayaking and paddle boarding. Bike trails have opened up. The only thing that slows us down is occasional …
Steamboat Springs in Spring is an excellent season! Flowers are up and things are getting green. We have just had several fronts move through that made sure that we remembered that this is still ‘Mud Season’. Today, the skies are blue and it’s 68 degrees.
Here’s the current Daily Occupancy Report:
It’s a bit boring. It reflects our shoulder season well. Being a forecast, I find that it has represented the past weekends well enough. Many residents can tell that there are more visitors than usual right now. I don’t know if this is a COVID related trend or the way tourism is going to be from now on. Next Spring, and even this Fall, will give us more data to work from to understand further.
Many of the customers I am working with right now are buying land. This is a newer trend. I suspect this comes from much of the same drive for purchasing second homes and sometimes relocation.
There are persons who are looking for a place to escape to and a remote location is often top of mind for some folks. In the Stagecoach area there are lots of locations that provide seclusion and beauty as well as land that is smaller and affordable. Having up to a few acres provides space and a place to escape to.
That being said, Steamboat has very few lots available. Builders struggle to find places to build homes. Hayden has some lots, and those are being purchased at a higher rate than anyone expected. In Oak Creek/Stagecoach, parcels with utilities are hot right now. Persons are able to get out to see these lots and decide if they are fit for their new home. Builders are flocking to this area too. Availability is good and there are many near the lake that are easier to build on than others located towards Lynx Pass.
Interestingly enough, Stagecoach HOA is in the process of changing their covenants to allow ‘tiny homes’. The current regulations require a minimum house size of 1000 square feet. The new criteria would allow homes of 500 square feet. There are both persons and builders looking forward to this change because it fits what they like to do.
What’s up with the market?
Nothing has changed since I last wrote. The biggest difference now is that sales continue to be strong through what is typically a slow time of year. Inventory is maintaining a historic low in all price ranges. Trying to find a place to buy or rent now is very frustrating.
The Summer doesn’t look much different than today. Without more building or higher interest rates, housing will continue current trends.
What will happen at the end of COVID? That’s a good question. With the amount of money the government is investing into the country, the increase in wages persons are getting from workforce shortages, and the great savings families have from not spending for a year, the US economy looks great. When we all get back to the new normal, maybe this Fall, that’s when we will see some changes in spending patterns.
A close friend of mine is turning 50 years old in the near future. We have spent many days together and are over 400 days snowboarding together. We also have done other things frequently, like rafting and camping.
When I asked him what he wanted to do for his HBD, he didn’t give me an answer right away. We debated adventures from Copper Mountain and Solitude to Wolf Creek. Eventually he told me. Snowmobiling. I told him I’d set it up.
The first person on my mind was Clay Hockel of Thunderstruck Adventures.
I met Clay when he was looking for a place to house his snowmobile rental and guiding business. Reaching out to him, I found a day later in February that would work and signed us up.
One of the things I really like about Clay’s snowmobiles is that they are sexy! In the past, the snowmobiles I rode were more like Cadillacs. Also, we spent much of our time trail riding, often to catch powder turns in secret stashes. In this case, there wasn’t any trail riding and Thunderstruck Adventures lived up to the name.
The day I reserved was a Tuesday because most visitors are traveling to or from Steamboat and everyone else is working. This makes the middle of the week a great time to escape. Plus, posting photos of doing epic things on a workday makes my friends jealous.
After cursing a short distance, we came across the ranch Clay leases each Winter. 10,000 acres of pasture, hills, and huge views of California Park and the back side of Steamboat Lake. The snow was a couple feet deep and new, which made for high speed riding and big powder turns.
I can go into several stories of the day, from me ‘accidentally’ dropping a cornice to Clay getting every snowmobile unstuck without a shovel. One of my favorite things to do was to watch Clay. He is an incredible expert and can ride up a 40% slope, wheelie at the end while turning his sled around to go back down the same slope.
For a birthday celebration, this was an excellent idea. For me, the challenges were unlearning old snowmobile habits that were gained from well-intentioned advice and understanding how a sport snowmobile handles over a cruiser. To me, cruisers are more like Cadillacs, big and heavy. These snowmobiles are more like sports cars, fast and light.
And the views? Outstanding.
Would I do it again? Heck yeah! Getting out and being in the middle of nowhere with three other people was amazing. Most men enjoy power sports of some sort. Add a motor and eyes light up like a child’s.