Steamboat Springs is a town in North Central Colorado known primarily as one of Colorado’s prime ski resorts. Historically the town dates to the year 1900 established as a community with its roots in cattle ranching. It sits at an elevation of 6,700 feet with the Yampa River running through downtown. Commercially the town is divided with the historic downtown remaining and flourishing, and also a commercial area with the ski resort of Mt Werner at its center just several miles to the south. Below is a photo taken in the middle of the historic downtown which is 12 or so blocks long – it is full of shops and restaurants catering to visitors.
A photo taken from downtown Steamboat looking across the river at the historic Howelsen Hill which is the oldest operating ski area in North America – operating since 1915 – named after Carl Howelsen, a Norwegian immigrant who established it. At the right of the photo is the famous historic ski jump area which has been the training ground for many American Olympians in that sport. The Mount Werner ski area sits on the other side of the river and to the east and is the primary ski area for wintertime ski visitors.
The photo below was taken at Fish Creek Falls near Steamboat of our family gathered there during the week of September 17, 2018. From left to right is Aria, Christine, Aaron, Dave, Darlene, Sierra, Maverick, Joe, Jessica, Noah, Ashley, Matt and Maddie. Maddie is in a backpack at the right strapped to Matt – you can’t see her but she is there for sure. The only missing family is Micheal who is taking the photo and our son Matthew who had to leave earlier that morning.
Below a photo of grand daughter Ashley, great-granddaughter Maddie and father Matt taken on our walk down to the base of Fish Creek Falls. Ashley is our second oldest grandchild and Maddie is about to turn one year old. I don’t really know how to describe the feelings watching these great-grandchildren and remembering back not so long ago holding their mothers in my arms when they were born, and watching them grow up as toddlers and children.
Below a photo of Maverick – 2 ½ months old along with his mother, Sierra – our granddaughter and a proud, happy great-grandfather. Sierra is our oldest grandchild – I remember well holding her the very morning she was born just over 22 years ago.
We spent 4 nights in Steamboat at the Wyndham timeshare resort. There were 15 of us total sharing a 3 bedroom, a 2 bedroom and a 1 bedroom unit all located next to each other. We had good meals together at various local restaurants and enjoyed a day of golf and the visit to Fish Creek Falls and other things, but the most enjoyable part of the 4 days for me were the evenings that we just spent together laughing and talking and spending time that we don’t get often because we live so far apart.
James in chapter 4 of his letter describes life as “a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes”. As we get old enough to have great-grand children the truth of that description begins to get very real – we begin to comprehend our own mortality. There are not enough times like the few days in Steamboat. But still God has also told us that though this mist of mortal life as we live it out that vanishes in a little while is dear and important it really is only a beginning. Life is not a birth and then a few years and a death – life is birth that continues in eternity. Ecclesiastes has this to say about it,
Ecclesiastes 3:11–14, 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13 That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.
We enjoy these times as we should – they are a gift of joy – a product of our toil. Although at the age with great-grand children we feel the body diminishing day by day God is faithful setting eternity in our hearts. Though this life is a mist that vanishes, times like these few days in Steamboat are a gift that endures.