A nice, quiet January weekend found us amid the towering pines and snowy mountain tops of Steamboat Springs, Colorado. We decided last minute to head east for the weekend, rather than stay in Salt Lake. The lack of snow at home urged us towards new horizons and fresh powder.
The drive was nearly in complete darkness, with the last twenty miles or so of slow weaving through forests on snow covered roads. We had no idea what kind of winter wonderland would await us in the first rays of daylight the following day. It was magical to say the least. We stayed at a ranch about twenty miles outside of town, up the old county road toward Hahn’s Peak. We cozied up next to a wood burning stove in a quaint cabin flanked by snow covered pines and bare aspens. Just down the road was a general store that sold warm vegetarian breakfast dishes and hot coffee, the perfect fuel for our day’s adventures.
We spent Saturday morning snowshoeing around Steamboat Lake. We found solitude and peace among the trees, expansive views over the lake, and fresh snow to plunder through. We then headed into town for some lunch and hot chocolates before heading up to Strawberry Hot Springs.
Strawberry Hot Springs is incredible, an odd warm oasis surrounded by snow. The springs are siphoned into pools of varying temperatures, allowing each person to find their unique preference. The springs are at the end of a long and winding mountain road that can be quite treacherous during the winter. It didn’t seem to stop many people as the place was quite packed, and for good reason. The place is magical.
On Sunday, we again strapped on our snowshoes for a hike near our cabin. The trail took us through forests to a lookout over the Elk River. We even spotted a female moose! This past weekend was the perfect getaway before starting a long stretch of ICU shifts, which means no travel for us. I’m so thankful we decided to explore Colorado a little bit more. The memories will surely sustain me through some long nights on call.