As I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten more spoiled. I like nice hotel rooms with pillow-top beds and Starbucks coffee. I notice when sheets have a higher thread count. I enjoy hot baths with lots of lavender scented Epsom salts and a glass of wine on the side.
These are things I didn’t care as much about when I was younger (well, I’ve always cared about the wine part). In fact, I’ve slept in some interesting youth hostels throughout Europe – you know the kind where you share a room with 25 other strangers…)
This weekend I chose to forgo these luxuries. My two dear friends, Julie and Erika, and I schlepped on our 30ish pound back packs and hiked up to 11,300 feet in the Rocky Mountains outside of Breckenridge. Here in Colorado we have a bunch of huts that you can hike to. I’ve only lived here 21 years and I’ve never done it. Now was the time.
Just a little snow. NBD.
Did I mention the huts don’t have heat? Or water? (you use snow and boil it – yellow snow is not advisable). You also use compost toilets and carry out all your trash. Feminine hygiene products included. SWEET. Oh, and no phone/internet service < for some that’s harder to deal with than no heat.
We didn’t start out until 5:30 p.m. on Friday. A sizable snowstorm had moved through and there was about a foot of the fresh stuff.
It was only a 2.1 mile trek up to the hut, but it was also 1,800 feet of climbing. If that doesn’t mean much to you, just know that is f’n steep. Plus, oxygen is in kind of short supply.
So, just guess how long it took us to trudge up 2.1 miles? 1 hour, 45 minutes. I am proud of that 50 minute mile. We earned every step. When we got to the hut (Francie’s Cabin) it was dark. And, I could not feel my hands. Like I said, no heat, so we gathered around the fire. I put on 45 layers.
If your inquiring minds want to know why our packs were so heavy it was because we had to carry the essentials (bottles of wine, Bailey’s, Fireball, bacon, pancake mix, Gouda, Triscuits, trail mix, pretzels, fajita makings and chocolate). No matter what, I don’t go anywhere without a book. Even if I have to carry it up a mountain. No, I did not read one page.
Our space was small, but cozy.
We even had some friends (ewww):
We were in the hut master’s quarters, and upstairs there was another section that slept 20 people. Party. This is the sexiest I have ever looked.
We spent a fair amount of time in this place (the sauna):
There might have been enough wine consumption that I thought my empty (small) bottle of wine was a flashlight. I was so pissed it didn’t work. But, the wine was good.
If you visit Colorado, you have to make a hut trip. You can do it in the summertime too (July to September). Just book way ahead of time. And try to plan around you period (I have such great words of wisdom).
More info on the huts and booking online HERE.
Would you rather camp in a beautiful spot in the mountains or stay in a luxury hotel?
Ever done a hut trip?
Are you a winter sport person? (skiing, snowshoeing, etc)? Not really. Even though I live in Colorado, I don’t ski. I had an accident once and was carried down the mountain on one of those stretchers of shame. Kind of scarred me. Plus, I like to be warm.