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Steamboat Magazine

Indoor Diversions

11/24/2020 01:34PM ● By Jennie Lay

Castle Peak, featured in John Fielder’s book, “Colorado’s Highest.” Courtesy John Fielder.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS- Dear Pandemic Warriors,

Do not despair in your cabin fever. Gorgeous books are still being published. Documentary filmmakers are out capturing the stories of our landscape. Dancers are creating exciting choreography on film. Zoom theater has shown it’s compelling. Podcasters continue unraveling deep, complex stories. You can still road trip – and cook. And Instagrammers continue to share the wonder … and laughter. 

Lap up the world from your living room. It’s always interesting – and fun.



“Colorado’s Highest: The History of Naming the 14,000-Foot Peaks”

Put this book at the top of your holiday wish list. Author Jeri Norgren and nature photographer John Fielder have published a stunning new oversize hardcover filled with history, photography, oil paintings, maps and historical sketches for all 58 of Colorado’s Fourteeners. It’s a show-and-tell show-stopper, featuring deeply researched stories about how each peak got its name and engrossing imagery to match. Travel back in time to when the Utes were defending their territory, the Hayden Survey was marching across the landscape on behalf of the United States government, miners were making their first forays into Rocky Mountain resource extraction, and intrepid explorers were plotting their first wilderness ascents. Fielder contributes previously unpublished photos along side oil paintings by noted Colorado landscape artist Robert L. Wogrin and sketches made by Hayden Survey artists during the 1870s as they climbed each of the state’s loftiest peaks.


“Rio Rica” 

Local director Cody Perry and his savvy whitewater filmmaking team at Rig to Flip have made a gorgeous new short documentary about the Little Snake River. Following another summer of drought and calls on the Yampa River, the moment is ripe to pay closer attention to a lesser-known tributary that delivers essential water, silt and species to our watershed. The Little Snake braids its way through sage and high desert along the Colorado-Wyoming border. It’s a survivor of the last dam era, running its natural order, but threatened by a modern dam era and a controversial Wyoming water project. Let Rica Fulton be your guide as she paddles you along a beguiling wild river. Watch the 16-minute film on Friends of the Yampa’s website. 

Zoom Theater 

It didn’t take long for out-of-work playwrights and actors to put their heads together and conjure new magic with the tools at hand in their living rooms. Digital theater is different, for sure. It’s shorter and the setting is sparser, but the emotional experience on Zoom can be intense. Over the summer, The Public Theater (you know, the New York theater that first gave us “Hamilton”) presented “The Line,” an astounding play ripped from lines of essential workers. Last spring, they gave us the drama of a family check-in with “What Do We Need to Talk About?” These are poignant human dramas, and they just keep coming. At press, they are streaming “Play At Home,” a series of short plays commissioned for this time of isolation and connection. 


Wild I-70 Audio Tour 

Take a GPS-triggered audio tour along the I-70 corridor through Colorado. Delivered in the style of a podcast, and designed to play automatically on your smartphone via the izi.TRAVEL app, it illuminates travelers about wildlife, environments and migration corridors along the 144-mile stretch of road from Golden to Glenwood Springs. Listen to quirky stories, unusual facts and the science behind how different species move along pavement that’s a lot wilder than you might imagine from inside your speeding Subaru.


The Do-It-Yourself Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DIY DEI) Toolkit

The 2020 Leadership Steamboat class capped off its nine-month program by designing a free, practical resource to help awaken every kind of organization in the Yampa Valley as we pursue a more diverse, equitable and inclusive community. A detailed toolkit self-guides reflection of power structures and biases. The assessment process offers new lenses for review, resources for expanded perspective, tips for troubleshooting, and instruments to promote diverse, equitable and inclusive transformation in business and personal lives alike. Don’t miss the excellent glossary – words matter.



High Country News gets into the podcast game with a six-part series that attempts to untangle the complex world of mustang management in the West. Reported by Anna Coburn, the story of free-roaming wild horses comes to light in its full cultural, environmental, biological, financial and mythological conundrum. Stuck in the middle, the Bureau of Land Management is tasked with protecting and sustaining both a feral species and its rangelands. Meanwhile, the federal agency’s management dilemmas continue to grow exponentially. As Coburn takes listeners from Northwest Colorado’s local herd in Sandwash Basin to the terrain of Australia’s brumbies (the Down Under rendition of the Western American mustang), you’ll hear a wide range of perspectives about how to move forward with a species that is growing beyond the land’s carrying capacity. But as the herds grow, so does the controversy. 

“Going Viral: The Covid Sessions” 

Mark Honigsbaum (author of “The Pandemic Century”) created the “Going Viral” podcast to commemorate the centennial of the 1918 Spanish Flu. Now he’s picking up on the current crisis with a new series of episodes called “Going Viral: The Covid Sessions.” The podcast brings ideas in his journalism to wider audiences, “not all of whom are well-versed in virology and epidemiology,” Honigsbaum says. He sees it as “a forum for interdisciplinary exchanges between the medical humanities and the life sciences, and a format that encourages ‘informed’ debate, which I’m afraid is not true for much of what transpires on other forms of social media.” 

“Nice White Parents”

Serial does it again – a podcast that begs you to binge-listen. For “Nice White Parents,” the podcast standard-bearer has teamed up with The New York Times for a five-part mini-series by reporter Chana Joffe-Walt, who previously won a Peabody Award for her reporting on education and school segregation. The new podcast delves into 60 formative years at one New York school. Following everything from district policies to PTA meetings, she uncovers how decades of school reform initiatives are failing to fix inequality in education. The data, interviews and insights are cringe-worthy and beg us to reconsider “what is arguably the most powerful force in our schools: white parents.”


The road sign at El Arroyo

An Austin taco shop’s advertising might seem like an odd obsession, but its ever-changing message is an epic display of sage advice and bold human truths delivered in block-letter belly laughs. This is unrepentant pop-up humor that tickles your pandemic Instagram feed daily.

Food exploration with Gastro Obscura

From the wanderlust masters at Atlas Obscura (You’re already following them and reading their books, right?) comes a slate of infinite marvels targeted at your taste buds. These are wonders from the food universe that will test your cooking skills, taunt your palate, and open your consciousness to global culinary tales and intriguing new ingredients.