San Juan Huts Day 2

When we last left our intrepid adventurers they had just completed an epic day of riding the Colorado Trail and were fairly wiped out……..

Day 2 Bolam Pass Hut to Black Mesa Hut

  • 28.38 miles
  • 3,097′ elevation gain
  • 11,383′ max elevation

I woke up with a pretty good headache due to the altitude, I was not the only one either.  I also attribute some of it to dehydration from the day before and just how dry it was in general.  That being said, I took an Aleve and within 30 minutes the headache was more of a dull thud.  Getting some coffee and food in me greatly helped too.

Troy readies the magical potion..AKA Coffee!
Oatmeal with apples, cinnamon and brown sugar

Today was the laziest/slowest day we had of the whole trip.  We all got out of bed around 6AM and didn’t roll out until around 9AM.  After yesterday I think we were all a bit groggy and trying to psyche ourselves up for an almost 30 mile day.  Turns out that it was light years better than day 1 and to start it all off we had a nice 7.5 mile long downhill!

John readies to roll out

The downhill started out fairly rocky and rough and you had to choose your line.  John got the first flat of the trip (1 of only 2 for the whole group) just towards the end of the rocky stuff, at which point it turned into a super fast gravel downhill this then intersected with paved highway 145 for less than a mile and then a nice long, but gradual climb up to a rolling plateau.

Nice rolling gravel and stellar views

We had a regroup before the 2nd to last climb of the day which turned into an impromptu lunch on the side of the road.  I didn’t really need to bring it, but I had my snow peak stove in my frame bag which allowed me to have some cup o’ soup.  The sodium content was super high, but I also think it was just what I needed.

Dean had his stove too
roadside lunch

The next section was a longish climb, but again nothing super steep.  Dean and I were the last to get going after fixing his flat tire (2nd and last of the whole trip!).  I’ll most remember this climb for the random cows and then the 100+ sheep grazing on a hillside.

We had another very quick but short descent that was made trickier than it should have been because of the dude grading the road.  I squeezed as far to the right off the road as I could.  If I had been in a car, I am not exactly sure what I would have done because there was no way I could have gotten by.  This was followed by another climb up to the Black Mesa Hut.  I believe we were all accounted for at the hut by 3pm.  This allowed us to all chill out and relax a bit compared to the late arrival from the day before.

Soda and peaches instead of pears today
More salt and lots of water too (sparkling, flavored…fancy)
Plenty of beer for those who wanted it too

The Black Mesa Hut had probably some of the best mountain views.  Take a look at what is behind Dean in the picture above.  Pretty sweet and well worth the climbs today.

Just enjoying the scenery
John and Dave relaxing

Overall the mood was greatly improved this afternoon.  Everyone was feeling a bit better and it was nice to spend several hours just sitting around and relaxing.  This would be the tone for the rest of the trip too.  Start pretty early, ride, stop for lunch, finish up at the hut in early afternoon and then hangout.

John and Dean took dinner duty on night 2.  They made bacon and grilled onion grilled cheese sandwiches for everyone.  Excellent choice!

I was asked to post this as proof that John can help cook
Cheese, bacon, onions = goodness

Just before sunset we had the pleasure of a beautiful buck coming to visit the hut.  I didn’t get a great shot of him, but I did manage to get a couple.

Pretty cool way to end the day

I don’t know exactly what time we all hit the sack, but I doubt it was even 9pm yet.  I read for a bit and then it was lights out for me too.  Tomorrow was one of the days that I was looking forward to……..around 5,000′ of elevation LOSS!

All the day 2 pictures here

Thanks for reading,


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