After trying to spend as much time as possible in Steamboat Springs, CO over the past few summers, we decided we wanted to start our adventure by living in Steamboat for a whole summer. James and I both enjoy mountain biking as our activity of choice and I’ve yet to find a place that I like to ride as much as Steamboat. There are so many trails to choose from and they suit my preference of smooth, forested single track. They are also low on the technical spectrum which means I usually never have to get off my bike during a ride.

Get it Sara! Going all the way to the top of the Gondola

Alpen glow on the Aspens during sunset

Sunset from the Ski Mountain, Mt Werner during one of my rides to the top

Gah, this place is so pretty even when things start turning brown.

James and I got to participate in a team relay Mountain Bike race. We each did 25 miles and 4000 ft of climbing. We came in 16 out of 45. Not bad for our first race.

I was pretty tired after the Honey Stinger race. It was fun but not sure how badly I really want to race again. It was hard and so much adrenaline I don’t really remember most of it.

One of my favorite stretches of single track is on Rustler’s Ridge on the Ski Mountain.

James’ parents visited giving us a chance to ride together for only the 2nd time all summer.

One of the many moose we saw during our rides. I never saw a bear though. Apparently you have to get up really early to see those.

That’s a lot of bikes and a lot of $.

Our kids also had so much fun this summer. Besides playing with friends and going to the local playground,  I found it was harder in Denver to come up with something to do with them that didn’t involve crowds or a 45 min drive to the mountains. In Steamboat, there are so many outdoor options at our door step. A few favorites were exploring the mini trails in the Botanic Gardens (or Pochantic Gardens as Silas calls them), playing in the sand and stream at the base of the ski mountain, the many different playgrounds, and exploring the trails that led straight from the house. We also enjoyed visits from dear friends and family.

Bitter sweet final photo in our empty house in Denver.

Hike at Buff Pass. Heidi seems to be going the wrong way

Soon he’ll be mountain biking with his parents.

To the pool!

Cuties playing in the sand at the base area.

I never get tired of that belly

We ate lots of icecream this summer!

Roasting marshmallows with grandma during one of our camping trips in the van.

playing at the base area of the ski mountain.

Silas took swim lessons this summer at the Hot Springs. It was by far the best way to get cheap entrance for the whole family.

She’s so fashionable

snacks by the pool

Visits with grandma and grandpa

Grandma and grandpa stayed in their RV at the KOA in Steamboat and the kids had fun visiting

We had a few special visits from grandma and grandpa this summer.

Silas helping Heidi across the street

They like each other sometimes.

I took the kids to Freshies for their giant cinnamon rolls. I had no choice but to finish it for them.

Heidi is getting the hang of it.

Lots of bike riding this summer even for the kids

Witnessing the eclipse the old fashioned way

Climbing the ladder is a favorite.

Some good friends from Denver visited

Good friends

When we left Denver, Naomi and Silas’ age difference was more obvious. Not anymore.

More visitors. Our good friends visited us. We are really going to miss them while we’re traveling.

Peek a boo. We took a few weekend trips in the van. We don’t really blend in with all that red.

Silas is a pro now that he’s been a few times.

Heidi’s first dentist appt. She did great.

James’ parents visited us in Steamboat. It was so nice to have some time away from the kids. James and I got to go on a few rides together and out to eat. What a treat

Icecream treat from Nana and Papa

Heidi and Papa

Heidi surprised us by mostly potty training herself by her 2nd birthday. Can I tell you how awesome it is to not carry a diaper bag anymore??!!

When you gotta go, you gotta go.

Silas loves his overalls!

Lots of exploring streams.

She just looks so grown up in this picture

One of the sand areas at the base of the ski mountain is a favorite. Don’t mind Heidi’s dreadlocks and backwards-too-small-shirt.

My little dragon and owl for halloween. We thought we would have left Steamboat by Halloween but I’m glad we got to spend it here. They shut down the main street and the whole town comes out.

Silas has been telling me that he’s going to be a rock climber when he grows up so I took him to a local rock gym. He seemed to really like it. We had some issues with the auto-belay where you use ropes. He was a little to light and the auto belay kind of pulled him up the wall. We need to get our gear out of storage so James or I can belay him. He had fun on the bouldering wall though. There’s a huge mattress below him in case he falls.

We ended up deciding that we wanted to call Steamboat home someday. Everything is connected by bike paths throughout the whole town. We never needed to car to reach the mountain bike trails. And you see 8 year olds riding their bikes to soccer practice or riding the free bus through town BY THEMSELVES!  Everyone is outside even on the coldest days and there are more sports and activities than you could imagine. It’s a kid’s (and adult’s!) dream place to grow up.

Towards the end of the summer, we found a house that we couldn’t pass up. We’d been on the hunt for something that would help produce income that we could still live in. We found a duplex up on the Ski mountain that was set up for short-term vacation rentals on one side and an unfurnished “apartment” on the other side. We are continuing the vacation rentals on one side and are working on getting a long-term tenant on the other side. Our hope is that when our vanscapade is over, we can move into the apartment side and manage the vacation rentals ourselves. If you’re planning a vacation with a large group of friends or family, this place is perfect! http://www.retreatia.com/vacation-rental-home.asp?PageDataID=140281

Our two homes

The views don’t dissapoint

We started taking pictures every evening of the sunset until we realized we pretty much get beautiful sunsets every day.

Hot tub? The kids are obsessed

We didn’t think we’d still be here in time for the snow, but here we are.

The vacation rental side