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My Winter Break in the San Juan’s by Holly Ryan

| Holly Ryan | San Juan Huts Blog




 Monday, February 25th

So my family and I drove about 4 hours to get to a hot springs. When we were in the car, my dad drove about 3 hours and 30 minutes. My mom drove the rest of the way.  After that my dad and I went swimming.  My mom took a nap for 30 minutes. While my mom was sleeping, my dad and I played Marco Polo. The hot springs was in Ridgway. Where we went swimming was inside. My dad cut his hand on the wall trying to catch me. The water healed it because there is a rock that is deep inside the earth. They’re hot rocks. Then my mom came where we were we were swimming. My mom does not like swimming. So she only put her legs in. After 15 minutes we went outside.

In the deep pool, it was a lot hotter than I expected. Near the pool was the baby pool. Every 5 minutes, I would go in there because the other pool was too hot. There was a different pool that was the same deepnes as the other one. The only difference was the temperature. It was cooler. When I was in the pool I would go to the bottom and get rocks. I pretended I was mining.  I was trying to get my dad to do it to. He only did a little handfuls with the rocks. I did most of the rock mining. 

After that we went back to our room and got ready to go out to a restaurant with my uncle. I named him uncle Mooie. And one of my dads college friends. Her name was Kelly. She owned the hut we were going to the next day.  We had dinner with them. At 9:00 we left the restaurant. I was so tired that I didn’t pet uncle Mooie’s dog. Can you believe that? That was how tired I was. We went back to our room and went to sleep. But before I went to sleep I read The Wild Robot for 5 minutes. And after that I went to sleep right away.


Tuesday, February 26th 

         At 8:00 we left the hot springs and drove to the trailhead for the hut. It took 30 minutes. We put my bindings and skins on and hiked up to the Last Dollar Hut. It took us about 4 hours and 30 minutes. Because we left at 9:30 and we got to the hut at 2:00. So how about you do the math. Did you get 4 hours and 30 minutes to get up 3 miles? My dad carried the food, sleeping bags, and clothes inside a sled. We had to pass some avalanche paths. We had to go one at a time.



We didn’t bring Sioux dog. Sioux dog could only do 1 mile. Sioux was at Mamette and Nono’s house with Tanner and Dakota. After we crossed the avalanche path, we had to cross a creek that was hard to get over. After 2 miles my dad got tired with the sled.  My mom tried to help but she was not the right weight. The sled dug in her hips. It was a good thing it didn’t hurt her back. Then we had lunch. And we had to go through the trees on a ridge.  In the trees my mom had a idea but my dad couldn’t do it because he had the sled. I had a different place to go that was easier way. We had to go back in the trees a few minutes later. There was a place that my dad wondered if the hut was there but it was a cliff. At the last part before we go to the hut I broke trail. We got to the hut. We started a fire. My dad found the outhouse, and after that we melted snow for water. We had tacos for dinner.  I did not have the mood for tacos. We played cribbage. My dad won the cribbage game. 


Wednesday, February 27th 2019 

 So I woke up and did the sticker book. We had some breakfast, which was eggs, bacon, and toast. Then we had some quiet time so my mom and dad read, but I did not read. I did the sticker book. Right after that, we got ready to go skiing. My mom and dad let me ski some avalanche terrain because the snow conditions were safe and they said I was ready. We were a little too early because the sun had not softened the snow yet so it was slippery, but it was so much fun! It was my first avalanche terrain.

Then we put on our skins and ski toured up to a place that looked like a “U” or a horseshoe. It was SO powdery. Much softer than the first one. I had so much fun. I did a tumble and my hat and goggles fell off. My dad had to help me get up. After, we skied all the way down to the bottom where the creek was. We ski toured back to the hut. 


We had some quiet time again and I played with my stuffed animal named Maggie. My mom went to sleep. My dad and I made a snow cave. I dug out one side. I accidentally hit my dad’s knee with my shovel. After that, I got his knee pads. I didn’t wake up my mom, which surprised me and my dad. We kept working and after 30 minutes, we finished the cave and showed it to my mom. 


 We went back to the hut and had a snack and read.  Then we played “Exploding Kittens”. My mom won, and I got in second place. My dad got in last place.  Then we had dinner, which was spaghetti with elk sauce. It was so good, it was better than at home. Finally, we went to bed. 

Thursday, February 28th, 2019.


I woke up and read The Wild Robot. It’s about a robot named Roz that takes care of an abandoned gosling. It hatched the same day that she found the egg. Roz is the mother. After that, we had breakfast, which was pancakes and bacon. Then we got ready to go powder skiing. We left the hut and ski toured uphill past the outhouse. Then we got to a jump that someone made. It was huge! My dad and I did the jump. My mom was like the coach. She used to be really good at jumps because she did Freeski competitions. She had to practice tricks in the park jumps so she could do cliff jumps and tricks. Then we powder skied on the other side of the mountain. The snow was soft and powdery and clean. We were in the trees. When I was skiing through the powder, I skied under a log! It was the best skiing I ever had. Top 10 FUN. There was moss and we all made mustaches with the moss.  When we were skinning back up to the hut, there was a steep hill. I was better at getting up the hill than my dad. It took my dad 1 minute, it only took me 30 seconds. I stomped my heels and also I did little steps. We went back to our trail up to the hut and it was so windy and snowing so hard! 


When we got back to the hut, we had lunch which was tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. I wanted to move where I slept. So did my mom and dad. Then I started to bounce off the walls. For a half an hour, I had the giggles! It took a while to get me outside. And finally I went outside to play. My dad said “I will be out there soon.” So I started digging a pretend lake. Then I asked if I could have a block of wood for a highway bridge. Then I dug out snow from the bridge and made the lake deeper. There was a waterfall and there was pretend water. My dad came out and chopped wood for the fire. When I finished, I helped bring the wood in for the fire. Then we went inside and played cribbage and “Exploding Kittens”. I don’t remember who won because I was so tired. Then we had butter chicken for dinner, which was so good! Finally we went to bed.


Friday march 1st 2019

We got up and got ready to go powder skiing all the way down to the truck. When I was skiing down I face planted because the crust broke and made me unbalanced. A crust is made when the snow gets warm from the sun in the day and then at night, it freezes. We had to cross the creek. We had to put on our skins the rest of the way. There was a point where my dad took off his skins because he thought the rest of the way was downhill. It was not. My mom and I choose to keep on our skins on. 

We drove back home but before that we stopped in Telluride for lunch and drove back home. 



Best Hut Trip Ever!!