Transition is in the air as the still hot, hazy afternoons give way to chilly evenings. This Labor Day weekend was the perfect last hurrah to another beautiful Steamboat summer.

The undergrowth on Mount Werner is already turning yellow, though only a few aspen leaves are changing. As soon as I feel this shift in the air, I think of spectacular colors to come, sporting sweaters and anticipation of ski season. The shift is palpable. Somehow, looking forward always brings a sense of hope and inspiration, though the farewell to carefree summer days is bittersweet.

A moose taking an evening break on Sunshine Trail

Moose are congregating in large groups at the prelude to their rutting season. Our neighbor saw about 10 of them resting in an open field behind our house the other night, and they tend to hang out on Mount Werner’s Sunshine trail in the evenings.

The seasonal shift also brings favorable winds for hang gliders and para gliders. Local enthusiasts take off from Storm Peak and play on thermals before landing in open areas like Whistler Park.

A hang glider and para glider ride the Steamboat skies

What better sendoff to a new season than the End of Summer Jam at Howelsen Hill on Sunday night? If you were there early enough to brave the heat for One Small World, you had the chance to see some of Steamboat’s best local talent. We were also loving the New Orleans-based Soul Rebels. Their big brass band sound and covers of The Eurythmics’ Sweet Dreams and A Tribe Called Quest’s “Can I Kick It” had the crowd rockin’. Headliner Fruition’s unique mix of bluegrass and rock brought the house down. A personal favorite of mine was their Beatles cover, “I’ve Got a Feeling”.

Soul Rebels rock at the End of Summer Jam at Howelsen

The haze that descended on the valley, even raining ash for a time this Labor Day, was largely because of the Deep Creek fire, which started in the Wolf Mountain area between Steamboat and Hayden. Many fires are blazing across the west, causing smoke to blanket half the country. The effect of the smoke created a fiery red sun like I’ve never seen and the beautiful, albeit alarming moon glow.

Lately, I lament that time is passing too quickly, and summer was just a joy-filled whirl. Riding the wave, going with the flow. What more can we do than roll with this passing of time and metamorphosis to all things fall?

Some events to look forward to this weekend: The Run Rabbit Run and Enduro X races are always impressive. Or just find a spot to watch the changing colors: from the top of Hahn’s Peak, Mount Werner or your favorite vista. We can’t stop time, but we can revel in its spectacular moments.


Jessica Berg is a freelance writer and Suzuki Violin teacher. She first moved to Steamboat after college in the mid ’90s and, after a long hiatus, is happy to call Steamboat home again. She runs a private violin studio out of her Steamboat home and teaches violin with Boulder Suzuki Strings. She holds a degree in magazine journalism from Ohio University and loves blogging about mountain life.