03 December 2011

Hut-to-Hut: September 7 (Day 3)

Today's leg was 34 miles and the start and finish huts were at basically the same elevation: 9,100ft. Our endpoint for the day was the Columbine Hut.

Snack time!
We started the day under cloudy skies and on soggy dirt roads from the previous day's rain. The route was basically up-and-down with very little flat. However, none of the grades were too severe. The road cut through the Uncompahgre National Forest heading northwest across the plateau all day long.

As the day started, I wasn't feeling that great and felt like I was having to work harder than the previous 2 days. My mood wasn't super but at least Gina was having a good day, sprinting full speed on all the downhills. The iPods were out today and I think that helped the miles go by quicker.

We took a snack break after an hour or so and the sun was starting poke out. That meant it was time to break out the portable solar panels and charge the iPhones/iPods. The device we have can only charge the iPhone & iPod, but they do make a bigger panel that can charge an iPad too. In the end, it worked pretty well. Here's the one we used: Nomad 7

Although in theory there were a few scenic overlooks in the first part of the day, the clouds obscured everything and we didn't get any good pictures. Also, as the day was basically level and the road tree-lined, there weren't many opportunities for expansive views.

Kickin' up the legs and having some lunch!
We arrived at Columbine fairly early in the afternoon and had time to relax while the sun set. Of course no relaxing was done until the beer was located! Apparently we had a group of vets in front of us that had some recovering alcoholics, so the San Juan Hut folks, as a courtesy, had the beer out of plain sight. Thus, I am captured here diving for beer hidden behind some trailer tires under the bunks.

Where did they hide the damn beer?!?

Despite my not feeling super, this was probably one of the easier days. Gina definitely was having fun today. She determined she liked downhills, as long as they weren't too steep.

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