adventure, Colorado, cool stuff, Durango, endurance, fun, Hut-to-Hut, La Sals, Moab, mountain biking, mountains, mt biking, nature, outdoors, photography, recreation, San Juans, scenery, trails, wildlife
Day 3 stats as listed on the hut-to-hut site:
35.2 miles, 2061′ ascent, 5457′ descent, max. elevation 11,066′
Loud thunder boomed overnight, lightning lit up the inside of the hut repeatedly, and the rain came. Thank goodness for earplugs or I would never have slept.
When morning arrived, Cresen created a delicious breakfast of pancakes a la bananas foster, and bacon. I was thankful for her willingness to cook so creatively for all of us.
Before we could even begin the day’s journey, our gear got doused by another quick rain shower and we ended up starting our ride a little later than usual.
It was another beautiful ride and although it was only 2061′ of ascent, it still felt like we climbed quite a bit.
We rode through some showers on and off throughout the day but all were very light, not requiring us to don our rain gear. We saw a deer in a meadow and Jo Jo saw a bear somewhere on the way as we neared the hut, otherwise just lots of chipmunks, small birds, and a hawk or two.
We missed a turn here, even as we stopped and chatted with some ATV riders who actually questioned where we were going and our route to get there. DUH! We ended up having to backtrack a mile and a half or so.
We rode a wonderful section of muddy, rocky, downhill double track. It was a little bouncy and rough, slippery in many spots, but super fun.
We eventually dropped down to a reservoir that Jo Jo had been gushing about for days. Apparently, the last time they rode this route they stopped here to bathe, eat, and wash their clothes. While they were there he ended up riding his bike off the dock into the water. All he could talk about was doing it again.
This time around it wasn’t very feasible to ride down the dock so he chose to barrel down the boat ramp instead. When he hit the water, he sailed over the handlebars into the water and came up laughing like crazy. We took photos and videos as he did this and he spent the following few days watching the videos again and again, laughing like a maniac each time.
We washed up in the reservoir and did some laundry. As we sat there drying off and eating, we couldn’t help but notice the dark clouds building across from where we sat, in the direction we needed to go. Only 7-8 more miles to the hut from there and it looked like we were going to get stormed on.
The bad part about that was the fact that we had to cross a plateau, not so fun if there was lightning. Bad part #2 was that the last little section from the road to the hut was all clay. Sticky, heavy, nasty when wet clay.
We hurried to get to the hut before the rain came but we didn’t exactly make it. It came down lightly and then the thunder started up. We had a strong headwind and were trying to get over a pass and onto the downhill before the rain got worse. But after all the climbing we’d done the past couple of days, I struggled and ended up walking my bike up the last hill.
We all flew down the hill the last 4 (I think) miles with raindrops splattering on us and the storm coming right at us. We got onto the clay road, which was already damp, sticky, and a little clingy but not yet BAD.
At the hut, we unloaded our bikes just in time as a nice little downpour took place and then quickly passed. Mother Nature was having a grand ole time messing with us on this trip.
This hut was great! There was no stove but we were at a much lower elevation and the temperature felt great. It was a little chilly with the sun starting to set but comfy dressed in pants and a light jacket. There were flies and gnats but no mosquitoes! There were also tons of cacti, along with juniper, pinyon, sagebrush, and such.
The hut overlooks a beautiful valley. Across the valley I could see a dirt road, a tiny strand winding steeply up the hillside. I pondered whether that might be where the next day’s ride would take us. (Thankfully, no, that wasn’t our route.)
Glenn and I made a stir fry dinner tonight. Mostly Glenn but I chopped some things up for him. It consisted of canned chicken and rice in a sesame vinegar with garlic, onion, carrots, cabbage,asparagus, corn and green beans — and it was really good!
This was the first night we were able to sit outside. The first night was rainy and on the 2nd night there way too many mosquitoes.
I found it very peaceful here as I sat on a crazy, twisty tree root, the wind blowing gently through my hair while the sun set in a soft glow.