“Hey, do you want to go on a hut trip?”
The text flashed across the screen of my iPhone as I stepped out of the shower an afternoon early in June. My heart immediately began to race at the thought. San Juan Huts, a local company, runs a series of huts traversing the San Juans, offering multi day mountain bike tours; and a hut to hut trip was on the top of my wish list for the summer but I couldn’t make the dates line up…until now. My friends had a mid August date held for the Telluride to Moab route, and room for me to join in. I accepted on the spot and figured I would line up the details later.
I blocked off the date for work and tried hard to get in some extra miles, but other than that, between work, and travel, and travel for work, the summer flew by. And before I realized it, the start date of August 18 was rapidly approaching. I would awake at 2 am realizing I had barely even glanced at the “Biker’s Bible” provided to me, let alone begun to amass the laundry list of travel gear and bike parts….and I won’t lie, I undertook that trip with less than listed, even on the “minimalist travel list” and basically relied on dumb luck and better planning on the behalf of my fellow riders. Beyond a busted backpack zipper and a flat tire, we were free of mechanical or travel issues, but that I will touch more on that in posts to come.
Over the next few days, I will cover everything from the gear I did bring to the breathtaking scenery to the ass kicking climbs and heart pumping descents to the amazing hut system that offers a one-of-a-kind experience in bike touring. In the end, I returned home today, 8 days later, my legs 243 miles stronger, to my daughter Hailey ensconced in new pointe shoes, short 2 teeth and in my estimation 2-3 inches taller, with a whole new perspective on cycling and life.