Needing to get away for a few days, I decided I would chase a winter storm up to Steamboat Colorado, a place I’ve never skied. The pass I bought this year included 5 days of skiing up there so I really wanted to take advantage of it!
Originally there were plans to take a guys trip but everyone I know seems to be a little too busy with life these days. Still wanting to go, yet not wanting to shell out $100 a night for a hotel room, I logged onto the old CouchSurfing account I created before traveling abroad in 2009. I never ended up officially surfing anyone’s couch as its much more useful in developed countries where people can actually afford a roof over their own heads and possibly a little extra space for guests.
Initially I was disappointed that none of the 10 people I contacted responded but the day before my planned departure I got an invitation to stay with a couple who lived in a little house in Milner, a mining town 10 miles past Steamboat. So off I went!
I ended up having a wonderful 3-day getaway. The ski conditions were incredible, the mountain received over 18 inches of snow in 3 days, most of it on the last morning. Colorado Powder Forecast is fantastic resource for any Colorado skier if you’re interested in finding snow. I was proud of my scouting abilities, hooking up with an ambassador and a couple of ski instructors on the first day to learn the intricacies of the mountain and to find the knee-deep tree skiing Steamboat is famous for!
After my second day of skiing I needed to soak my legs. A quick trip to the liquor store and a 20 minute drive later I was at Strawberry Hot Springs, one of the gems of Steamboat. It was uncrowned and I still have a vivid memory of laying back in one of the tubs as heavy snowflakes fell on my chest and head like little pinpricks contrasted against the warm water around my legs and warm whiskey in my belly…
The couple I stayed with were fantastic. They lived in a rustic old cabin with a furry cat and a futon mattress in a loft above the kitchen. You had to be a climber to get in and out of the oft so thank goodness I am! They were very gracious, allowing me to go to their house before even meeting them and allowing me to hang out there while they were at work. Because most of my time skiing and hanging out in town were alone, it was wonderful to have social connection in the evenings. All in all, a great CouchSurfing experience and I’m looking forward to take part in this community more often.