Tales from the Tread: 43rd Annual Yule Log Hunt

Tread of Pioneers Museum
For Steamboat Pilot & Today
Can you find the Yule Log this year? Clues will begin on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2022.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today

It’s that time of year again! This year’s 43rd Annual Yule Log Hunt, presented by the Tread of Pioneers Museum, begins on Wednesday, Dec. 7.

Each weekday’s clues will be posted on the museum’s website and Facebook page, air on local radio stations, and will also be printed in the Steamboat Pilot & Today and its website. A new clue will be released each weekday for up to eight days, unless the log is found sooner.

Last year, for the third year in a row, the mother-son duo of Mirko Erspamer and Lynne Romeo found the log on Dec. 15, 2021 at 9:10 a.m., in front of the Art Depot, home of Steamboat Creates.

Their secret to winning now three years in a row? Getting up early to get the newspaper, careful research into Steamboat’s history, and creative problem solving.

“We do quite a bit of research when we look at the clues; we don’t just wander around and look,” Erspamer said. “That’s what makes it fun. You get to learn so much history that you maybe wouldn’t have otherwise.”

Important note: Every year, the clues take you on a path toward the log’s hiding place; the clues do not describe the hiding spot itself until the last few clues of the hunt. The log will not be physically in its hiding place until after the release of clue No. 6, in an effort to prevent hunters from randomly stumbling upon the log.

The 2022 hunt starts at the site of last year’s hiding place: The Art Depot on 13th Street, home of Steamboat Creates. Clues written each year by museum staff often include information that refers to community history, or place names or events of the past. Unless the log is found sooner, the eighth and final clue will be released on Dec. 16.

Background: The Yule Log Hunt has been a traditional holiday event in this community for 43 years! The three-foot long, 25-pound log is hidden within the city limits of Steamboat Springs. It is distinctively marked with the words “Yule Log” (in RED letters) and at least a portion of it will be visible from its hiding place. The log will not be on personal private property, inside of buildings, or in areas that charge fees to enter.

When the log is found: When the log is found, the lucky winner should immediately call the Tread of Pioneers Museum at 970-879-2214. Museum staff will announce the end of the hunt so that others on the hunt do not keep searching. The log must be physically presented to Tread of Pioneers Museum staff before the winner will receive the $150 Steamboat Chamber gift card, generously donated by the Steamboat Chamber.

Solve the clues, find the log, and join the winners’ circle of Yule Log fame!

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