What do you do when your immune system gives into a weird bout of the stomach flu and cancels your weekend yurt trip? You watch a lot of movies in the comfort of your own home and reschedule that yurt trip with a hut trip a few weeks later. Or, at least, that’s what I do! I spent this past weekend at Uncle Bud’s Hut doing my best to make up for the weekend my body vetoed in mid-March. Along the way I learned a thing or two about taking the long way and making the most of the situation you’re in…

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…if you’re going to get “lost” on the “wrong” trail take Robb + Jeremy with you. While they may very well be the reason you’re not exactly where you’re supposed to be they’ll make all of your misadventure fun! [also, bring caffeine so you can keep up with them!]

…when you’re headed into the backcountry for a luxurious weekend in a gigantic cabin that has all the amenities as “real life” [minus electricity + running water] it’s important to make the most of the amenities. In our case that meant packing four bags of jelly beans to eat while playing card games and the fixings for breakfast which included maple sausage + eggs + Bloody Marys for the group. And when you’re hauling in that much extra fun you need to be resourceful and put the snowtubes to good use! [it’s all in the name of training…if the terrain isn’t rough enough, add weight! that’s what friends are for…right?!]

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…it is advisable to fully research the map + route BEFORE leaving home. This includes the act of actually packing a legitimate map rather than relying on cell phones when you know you’re headed into the backcountry where service is spotty. Oh, and it’s also helpful if you actually put someone in charge of navigation. Not only will this increase your chances of going the right way it will give you someone to blame when you realize you’re clearly not on the right trail. We skipped all of those steps…but we did perfect our skills at playing the Blame Game! [it was definitely not my fault! probably. maybe.]

…after hiking uphill for two miles, then backtracking back down those two miles only to realize you were actually going the right away from the get go it is important to take one for the team and lighten your load a bit…by busting out the Fireball and jelly beans! They’ll make the 6-turned-10 mile hike more fun. [yup, we got that “lost” and don’t judge, it was 10am by this time so our beverages were totally acceptable]

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…when you want the Chatty Cathy in your group [aka, me] to shut up for a while tell her 1,000 steps = 1/2 mile and when she questions you challenge her to prove it. She’ll probably shut up for the next 1.5 miles in the name of counting and attempting to prove you wrong! [totally worked on me…and yes, the math was accurate according to our GPS + my counting!]

…it might take you 6 hours to cover the 6 mile hike [+4 miles of backtracking, twice] into the hut [on the wrong trail…] but you’ll eventually get there! Just in time for some sledding shenanigans, a late lunch and an afternoon nap. Up next…card games, Fireball spiced cider and a dinner you don’t have to cook! [hut life sure is hard…it’s like the comforts of home without the looming guilt of being lazy in the name of fun!]

…go outside, breath the crisp mountain air, shiver outside the outhouse and stare at the world around you! This is Colorado, this is where you live and this is where you play. This is why you spent all that time tromping around the woods. Take it all in, capture the moment like a firefly in a Mason jar and hang onto it. It is about as close to perfection as you’ll ever get! [then ease up on the Fireball before you get too poetic!]

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…good food is always worth the sacrifice of a little extra weight in your pack and time in the kitchen! At the 10th Mountain Division huts you have access to a full kitchen with a stove + propane burners and more cookware than you know what to do with so get creative and make chili or scrambled eggs or cinnamon rolls or quesadillas or…anything imaginable! [if you hut trip with the right people you’ll NEVER go hungry!]

…when someone doubts your ability to have fun doing something that isn’t quite the easiest option don’t give up, prove them wrong. There is something freeing and refreshing about the simplicity of flying down a tree-lined trail on a snowtube you have very little control over. If the tree gets too close you bail out. If the trail gets too flat you pull the tube. If the road runs out of snow you ditch the snowtubes and fetch the pickup truck. It’s simple and that’s why it’s fun! [seriously, find your inner child…they know how to truly enjoy life!]

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…embrace the dull ache you feel in your muscles after a weekend full of hiking. During our treks with the packs + pulling snowtubes my body felt great and my muscles were happy…until I sat for a bit. I felt the tired ache in my muscles as I climbed the stairs to the bunk rooms and it was amazing! It felt so good to have really worked my quads + glutes after weeks of focusing on my stabilizer muscles! [#runnerproblems]

Needless to say, it was a good weekend. Uncle Bud’s Hut wasn’t my favorite [of the three I’ve been to, including McNamara and Eiseman] simply because the nearby terrain wasn’t steep enough for extreme sledding and with the nearly snow-less spring weather I opted to leave my snowboard at home. However, the group of hut trippers on AT skis seemed to have a blast skiing the nearby couloirs.


2 Comments

lynne @ lgsmash · April 13, 2015 at 9:06 pm

have i taught you nothing about the 10 essentials?! 🙂

glad you guys made the best of a situation that could send others in a tizzy – there’s fun in mis-adventure, too!

    Heidi Nicole · April 14, 2015 at 8:39 am

    We are not that smart…I mean, we had maps…they were just for the wrong area.

    That said, when we were “lost” we were less than an hour from the car so no one was going to die. Probably.

    In my defense I’m diligently reading that mountaineering book! Do you think you can make me navigationally smart over dinner this week!? 😉

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