Joel Reichenberger: Making it my place
January 3, 2010
It can be easy to grow frustrated with Steamboat Springs this time of year.
I don't want to be the guy who complains about tourists, so I won't. Instead, I'll complain about people who just stop: Those who stop while in their cars in the middle of the street because a snowflake fell; those who stop in the middle of the aisle because they're lost in the grocery store or the lift line because they're lost on the mountain; and definitely those groups of eight who stop in the middle of an easy-but-narrow catwalk on a ski run because … well, just because, and then don't move even as other skiers and snowboarders go flying into the woods to avoid the kind of massive collision their grandparents would feel.
It's frustrating when your favorite restaurant all of the sudden has a 45-minute wait, when the college basketball game you really want to watch isn't available on any cable provider in a 500-mile radius and when the two-minutes-closer grocery store always seems to have everything you need minus one really important item.
I talked to a friend over a beer last week and asked him whether he'd gotten the chance to hit up the mountain.
"Not with all these tourists," he said.
Oh. OK. But we've had some pretty nice snow the last couple of days, right?
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"Eh. It all just gets pushed into piles," he said.
Oh. OK. But look right now; it's snowing. Want to go up tomorrow?
"Call me when we have a 100-inch base."
Steamboat's not necessarily a town that lends itself to New Year's resolutions.
Want to join a gym, lose weight and get in shape? The Old Town Hot Springs is prohibitively expensive.
Want to meet that girl and move on with life? Yeah, you and the 1,324 guys wedged into Old Town Pub.
It is a town that can be plenty miserable for the miserable and that can be an easy attitude to let slip in and a hard one to get rid of.
I'd like to think I'm not there.
I'd like to think Steamboat, just like anywhere else, is what you make of it.
Last year was a good one for me. Not great, but I love what I do, and I love where I'm doing it. That's as true today as it was Jan. 1, 2009.
But 2010 could be a whole lot better. It could be great. So call me a dope for skiing when you might have to wait in a few lift lines. Call me naïve for thinking I can make myself work out on the trails and tracks around Steamboat in the summer and the winter and insane for thinking that girl by the bar, the one all 1,324 of us have noticed, might be single.
My New Year's resolution is to make Steamboat what I want it to be, and for 2010, that means a happy, active and dynamic place.