OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES - THE HIKE

The hike to Margy’s will start at 8:30 a.m. on Friday from the Lenado trailhead, half an hour from Woody Creek (an hour from Aspen). We will return to the Lenado trailhead mid-afternoon on Sunday. Be ready for a weekend of plenty of outdoor activities!

The starting elevation is 8,640 feet. We will climb to 11,300 feet over 6.5 miles of moderate trails. The distance takes about 5 hours at a casual pace, with rest stops and a lunch/discussion at Sawmill Park (5.5 miles).

The hike to Margy’s Hut is on a wilderness trail that follows the riparian ecosystems of two pristine creeks – Woody Creek and Spruce Creek – through some of the most verdant undergrowth in the Roaring Fork Valley. The brush along the trail is often damp with dew or rain, so rain pants are a benefit to keeping dry during our outdoor activities. (Jeans will get you soaked and cold.)

We will travel light, but daypacks should contain rain gear, warm clothing, water, snacks, lunch for Day One and readings. (Please carry your readings in a waterproof cover!) Overnight gear and supplies for the hut will be shuttled in by vehicle from the Lenado trailhead, so pack a duffel for the hut. For those who choose not to hike the distance, a ride to Margy’s can be arranged with the transport vehicle. Those who ride will meet the group at Sawmill Park for lunch.

While there are stream crossings over logs, and the trail is rough with rocks and roots, risks are minimal.

Margy’s Hut – Home-Base for our Outdoor Activities

Margy’s Hut is named for the wife of Robert McNamara, former Secretary of Defense and architect of the Vietnam War. McNamara loved the mountains and personally funded construction of this, the second hut to be built by the Tenth Mountain Hut System in 1984. The hut is rustic but comfortable, requiring a communal state of mind and a willingness to forego certain creature comforts. The 82,000-acre Hunter-Frying Pan Wilderness Area is literally right out the door, accessed by a beautiful wooded trail. (The Geologic Survey quad map is: Meredith, Colo. The Margy’s Hut can be viewed at here)

The hut kitchen is equipped with a wood-burning cook stove, propane range top, pots, pans, and table service, but no running water. All water will be hauled in by vehicle, which means we will economize. The hut includes a deck, living room, wood-burning heat and cook stoves, several separate bedrooms, and a communal bunk room. Margy’s Hut accommodates 16 guests. Tent camping beyond the hut boundary is available for those who prefer a removed, wooded setting.

The outhouse is quaint and rustic, and solar showers may be available. Electric lighting is provided by photo-voltaic solar panels and a battery storage system. Meals, beverages, appetizers and other necessities will be prepared at the hut. A campfire circle makes a perfect venue for stargazing.

What Our Vets Have to Say

This trip was far more amazing than I ever could have imagined. The mountains were absolutely amazing and serene, and make you not want to go home. The leaders and exercises really made you think, and it helped a lot to prioritize life, which can be very difficult to do with PTSD. I highly recommend this trip to any veteran who has returned home physically, but is still trying to find their way back mentally.

Eric Dickson

Army, Iraq

Dear Paul,

You have a gentle soul, which is exactly what I needed. When I was preparing for this trip, I had no idea what to expect. Anxiety overtook my body and mind. Upon meeting you at the airport, I knew everything would be okay. That I would be okay.

Thank you for giving me your time and knowledge. You are such an inspiration. Your patience and thoughtful words are something that I strive for.

I’d be honored to come back as a mentor if I’m the right fit. I love the sense of family and belonging of the staff and volunteers. Your openness and no-judgment attitude are traits rarely found even among biological families. You all are more than that. The love that radiates between you all can be felt by anyone that pays attention.

Jen p

 

Hello Paul,

As you can imagine, life did not stop while we were out in nature and I really had to hit the ground running coming back to the “real world” My kids started school, preparing for when my wife leaves for Airforce Bootcamp on the 26th of this month, and making challenging business moves. Safe to say I plan on “visiting” the pictures often!

I wanted to thank you first for the amazing experience during the whole Huts for Vets program, and being out in nature. I cannot even begin to tell you how honored I am to be apart of this trip, I am grateful for the knowledge gained, but most importantly for new friendships and spiritual connections, I made with everyone. The whole program itself is such an amazing concept, I am blessed to have experienced the curriculum first hand. I would like to stay in contact any way possible, and hopefully have the opportunity to help assist in future events (given that I do not get stationed in another country!) Thank you so much again for your time, energy, and shared memories that I will forever cherish.

With Thanks,

Faustino Bermudes

 

I came to Huts For Vets expecting to be available for wounded souls. I didn’t expect to learn how talented, dedicated, and just plain great vets are. Yeah, they suffer problems, but their courage and motivation to continue to give to others has been a revelation. Reach out. Get to know a vet and you’ll find a quality person who has more to offer than you could ever imagine. Thank you, guys!

Dr. Gerald Alpern- “the shrink”

Army, Korea

 Thank God for all the wonders He has created and Huts For Vets for providing a conduit to return me to these wonders. Semper Fi!

Matt Broker

Marines, Iraq

This has been a great program that is a catalyst to healing and becoming whole again. There is no better place to start this process than with nature. Thank you!

Cornelius Gaye

Army, Iraq

Experienced great time with fellow vets. Learned that life is about living the moment, with no fear of retribution. Fear only controls emotion which creates hostility and anger. Being outdoors has broken me into pieces by realizing pain. Thoughts that were buried I brought to the surface. On the walks these thoughts consumed my every breath. Memories are always going to remind me of where I was before deployment, during deployment, and currently. I am not a horrible person. Only to get better.

Clifford Campbell

Army, Iraq

This was an amazing experience. The connection I possessed with this band of brothers, military or not, is sure to have a positive impact on myself and those in my presence. I have found the tools I need to make it happen. Now, all that is left is Action! God speed to Huts For Vets and all of its successors.

Thomas Prater

Army, Iraq

I am a person that spends time outdoors, but my time here has been different – the perfect “reset.” I will take the tools I have gained and better myself.

Keith Garner

Army, Iraq

Being in this wilderness has helped me understand the value, quality and significance of these wild places. “The further man’s feet are from the earth, the less respect he has for living, growing things.” The men here have taught me that I must improve myself in order to enjoy the freedoms that we all fought for. The Huts For Vets staff is an amazing group of guys with an exceptional program that can give the combat veteran tools to be able to cope with transitions and the issues associated with PTSD, TBI, etc. This program exceeded all my expectations, and the talk, the laughter, music and general BS were truly a gift and proved that camaraderie and brotherhood cross the lines of military branch, unit, and years. Thanks for everything!

Chris Barker

Army, Iraq