Some Winters have snow that is consistent. So consistent that one would think that it is a constant event. Some Winters are full of sunshine and just enough snow to make skiing worthwhile. Any winter can get long.
It doesn’t matter what the days are made of – snow or sun – the season is still winter. Just like the rest of the world in winter, this season can get old. February is the most common time to feel the pressures of being inside all the time. And snowy winters, they can be even more of a problem because of light deprivation. Powder days help with this, yet it’s hard escape the reality of cloudy days.
Awhile ago, Steamboat Springs Schools came up with the idea of Blues Break. Blues Break happens in the third week of February. Residents who do not have kids in the school system do not really notice the break kids take at this time. Residents with kids definitely do. The town empties out with families taking short vacations before wrapping up the winter.
Some families stay here and be on vacation at home, ‘staycation’. This year was a good one because new snow happened most of the week of break. Those families who are vacationing, leave as soon as work ends and the car is packed. This is a good time to use your Ikon Pass and visit places like Jackson Hole or the resorts around Salt Lake City. Many folks take time to go somewhere in Arizona or Texas. A good number of people go to Mexico.
This year my wife and I made it out of town to the great shore of Cancun, Mexico. This is the first year in awhile that we have been able to get out of Steamboat during Blues Break. Often, work gets in the way. Even though it seems easy to get out of the valley when free time comes up, free time may not be more than a day or so. This year we made the commitment and went.
Living at 7000 feet elevation and vacationing at sea level was a new experience. Temperatures were 80 degrees with a breeze. In Steamboat, temperatures reached -16 degrees, and on the third day of being out of town, Steamboat was hit by a major blizzard that shut down Rabbit Ears Pass for the day.
It was good to be out of our element, especially because the elements of Mexico were excellent!
Blues Break is a Steamboat thing. Many areas have a Spring Break that falls in March. Steamboat Springs does not have Spring Break until after the mountain closes. Spring Break for us is commonly the third week of April. Waiting for the middle of April to escape can be more than a person wants to wait!