Steamboat Springs is my favorite mountain town.

It's a transparent but intricate place, an organic high-country collision of cowboys and ski bums who found common ground over beers at the bar.

Unlike other alpine municipalities that have priced themselves into out-of-stater exclusivity, Steamboat Springs has tempered its slow slide into toniness with a sense of humor and welcoming attitude that keeps it accessible, relaxed and just untidy enough.

It is the anti-Vail.