Steamboat Living: Steamboat Scuttlebutt |

Steamboat Living: Steamboat Scuttlebutt

Backcountry Deli owner Peter Boniface.

Betja didn’t know
Backcountry Delicatessen co-owner Peter Boniface is from — wait for it — Sandwich, Massachusetts!

Get Routty!

Freshly christened name of a 46-foot Leopard catamaran purchased by locals Ren and Heather Marten, which they plan on sailing the Seven Seas, starting this fall in the Bahamas out of Jupiter, Fla.

“If stepping out like this was easy, everyone would be doing it,” said Ren, adding Get Routty already has some blue water under her belt, sailing stateside from its home berth in South Africa. “But we’re super excited. We’re leaving paradise to search for paradise. So far, I have the lingo and the flip-flops.”

By the numbers

27: Number of F.M. Light & Sons signs between Kremmling and Steamboat Springs. (Yes, we counted.)

10: Routt County’s rank as one of Colorado’s healthiest counties to live in, according to the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps Report.

$114,000/$150,000: Amounts raised at this spring’s STARS Mountain Challenge and given to the organization by Denver’s Daniels Fund for its Ranch Capital Campaign.

Spring Recycling Drop-Off Day (Yampa Valley Sustainability Council):

• 34,234 pounds of electronics

• 8,300 pounds of scrap metal

• 888 wine corks

• 157 pairs of shoes

• 147 gallons of motor oil

• 147 tires

• 93 bike tubes,

•57 mattresses

• 42 bags of clothing


Sign of the Day

You gotta’ love the effort, if not the entrepreneurialism, of this neighborly sign benefitting canines off the bike path near Emerald Park. Business bonus: low manufacturing and distribution costs, and plenty of walk- and ride-in traffic.

Out with a bang

After the closing day of this year’s ski season, some skiers called it “the best mediocre year we’ve ever had.” Much of that had to do with a 10-day surge of snow in April, which almost equaled the mountain’s totals in the entire months of December, January and March.

December: 45.5″ mid-mountain, 44.25″ summit

January: 45.75″ mid-mountain, 50″ summit

February 60.25″ mid-mountain, 63.5″ summit

March: 36.25″ mid-mountain, 47″ summit

April: 35.25″ mid-mountain, 45.25″ summit

Season total: 262″ mid-mountain, 291.5″ summit

Happy birthday to me

How would you celebrate your 70th birthday? If you’re longtime local Todd McMillen, you put in April 8 for a five-day, solo raft trip through Yampa Canyon, contemplating life and rapid lines at the same time.

“I didn’t see a soul the whole time,” said McMillen, who’s been down the stretch 25 times but never alone. “Being solo gives it a whole new dimension. I’d thought about it for years, and then, turning 70, I realized I’d better do it while I can.”

Rowing a 14-foot raft while dealing with the likes of weather, Warm Springs rapid and Whirlpool Canyon, McMillen put in in the rain and made 27 miles to Harding Hole on Day One, getting out only to scout Big Joe rapid.

“It was beautiful, with clouds clinging to the cliffs, but cold so I just bundled up and pushed down,” he said. “The rain, river and raft were my three companions.”

His biggest concern, he said, was getting hung up on a rock, so he kept a Z-drag system handy. But he never needed it.

“I know the run pretty well, so it was pretty straight forward,” he said.

After six days of self-contemplation in the canyons, he made it to the take-out at Split Mountain Campground near Jensen, Utah, where he then drove straight to California for a better-attended family celebration. Then it was back home to Steamboat, where, as a present to his daughter, Ali, he built a porch for their house.

“All I know is that building a deck at 70 is much more difficult than rafting the Yampa solo,” he said.

15 minutes of fame on 60 Minutes.

60 Minutes with Tom Mangelsen

Local photographer Thomas D. Mangelsen is known far and wide for his captivating animal photos, from polar and grizzly bears to elk and bison. Now he’s known farther and wider.

Last summer, a producer from 60 Minutes came into his gallery downtown on Lincoln Avenue and was taken by his work. Next thing you know, he starred on the show.

“One thing lead to another, and he was featured on 60 Minutes in April with Andersen Cooper,” said Todd Savalox, owner of Mangelsen — Images of Nature Gallery at 730 Lincoln Ave.

On the show, Cooper quizzed the celebrated photographer on everything from how he got involved in photography to the waiting required for the perfect shot. To the latter, Mangelsen replied: “You wait long enough, it does pay off.”

Savalox has already seen the exposure pay off.

“He was featured on the Today Show a number of years ago, but this was huge,” he said. “It should help promote our business for sure, and our social media sites have had a great response to it.”

Watch at

Storm Peak unveils Earth Day brew

On April 22 (Earth Day), in conjunction with nonprofit advocacy group Makin’ Noise, Storm Peak Brewery brewed up a special beer called Makin’ Noise, benefitting local nonprofit Friends of the Yampa. The brewery made 20 barrels of the dark, Belgian-style table beer, a 4.4 percent patersbier brewed with monk ale yeast and grans of paradise.

“The group works with various breweries to help them support local nonprofits,” said the brewery’s Zach O’Neill. “We chose Friends of the Yampa. It’s a brown beer, but is light and subtle, with a spicy finish. You can crush it on the river.”

Big Agnes unveils new sleeping bag collection

Now you can sleep on U.S. Forest Service Trail 1101 in an 1101 bag.

Steamboat’s Big Agnes has introduced its new 1101 sleeping bag collection, inspired by the 3,100-mile Continental Divide Trail, which passes near Steamboat on Forest Service Trail 1101. Each bag — made with 80 percent recycled PrimaLoft Black Insulation Hi-loft Ultra, a new synthetic with optimal heat retention and compressibility — is named after a location on or near the 1101 trail: Dumont Lake, Newcomb Creek, Upper Slide Lake, Lake Katherine and Lake Victoria. A portion of sales from the collection benefits the Continental Divide Trail Coalition.

“We’re excited to launch a bag series inspired by such an incredible trail that’s right in our backyard,” said Big Agnes President Bill Gamber, whose company also adopted 75 miles of the CDT near town and will help with its maintenance and protection. “The donation is to further our support of a trail that’s used by many of our employees, locals and customers.”

Arts Council launches Steamboat Creates website

The Steamboat Springs Arts Council has launched a new website for the Steamboat Springs’ Creative District, while rebranding it Steamboat Creates.

“As a creative community, we’re stronger and our outreach greater if we work together,” said Arts Council Executive Director Kim Keith, who led efforts to earn the Colorado Creative District designation in 2017. “One of the big picture things we’re doing is to help people recognize Steamboat as a world-class cultural destination before they even arrive here.”

Receiving a $10,000 grant last year to implement the group’s strategic plan, the intent of is to give artists, creatives and creative businesses the exposure they deserve and to help connect them to other creative endeavors. The new website includes a searchable directory and map of music, dance and performance venues, visual arts and galleries, authors and poets, creative businesses, public art and history and heritage sites. People can also use it to access information about arts and culture volunteer and job opportunities.

“It’s about giving the creative sector here the relevance that we know it has,” said Keith, adding production company Cinema Raven is also producing a video capturing Steamboat’s creative sector through various businesses, restaurants, galleries and events.

Read more

This article is from the summer issue of Steamboat Living magazine.

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