Yule Log found Wednesday after eighth clue
Steamboat Springs — Call off the hunt!
After eight cryptic, history-themed clues were released to the public, the Yule Log was found Wednesday morning, putting an end to the annual hunt.
Steamboat Springs resident Paul Brown found the log after the eighth clue led him to believe it might be near Casey’s Pond.
Although that particular clue was actually describing another body of water, a place along the route to the final hiding spot, Brown found the log near the “Welcome to Steamboat Springs” sign along U.S. Highway 40, adjacent to Casey’s Pond and the Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue station.
Brown found a sliver of the log poking through a pile of powder along with some help from the Pete Lien and Sons Concrete Plant crew.
“It was just a sliver of it showing, maybe a half-inch,” Brown said.
He said the group searched for about 20 minutes Wednesday morning before finding the log.
“The experience of finding it was pretty cool,” Brown said Thursday. “It’s one of those things I never thought I would do.”
Brown, who has lived in the area for 32 years, said he enjoyed seeing the signatures of past Yule Log hunt winners written on the log.
Brown also noted that as a former parks and recreation groundskeeper for the city, he’d been to the log’s hiding place before to trim branches or change out lightbulbs.
If not for Brown’s discovery, two more clues would have been released to the public this week.
This year’s hunt was the longest since 2012, when nine clues were revealed before three-time winners, the Petrillo family, found the log. Last year’s hunt came to an end after only two clues were revealed, and the 2013 hunt was over after three clues.
Tread of Pioneers Museum Executive Director Candice Bannister said she was pleased that the hunt lasted a little longer this year, meaning more clues were revealed.
Bannister said that because of the recent snowfall, she checked on the log to make sure it was visible and still in place but was careful not to draw attention to the spot by walking up to it and leaving footprints behind.
“With the huge snows, it was pretty covered,” she said.
Brown’s prize for finding the log is a $150 Steamboat Chamber gift certificate and a historical photograph from the museum’s collection.
This was the 36th year Steamboat Springs residents and visitors searched for the 25-pound Yule Log.
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Time seemed to stop for Matthew Engle for a few seconds after he heard crunching metal last week while he was in downtown Steamboat Springs.