Saturday, July 2, 2016
Day 18: Ranch to Toaster House, Pie Town
Pie. We woke early, thinking of pie. We thought about pie as we hiked.
Pie Town is a tiny town "3.14 miles from the middle of nowhere" in New Mexico. The town is known for its delicious pie restaurants, which are open, more or less, whenever they feel like it on the whim of the owners and/or bakers. As they tend to feel like it at lunchtime, we woke early, hoping to finish the remaining miles to Pie Town by lunch.
The Tour Divide, an endurance bike race or ride that overlaps with the CDT as it follows the Continental Divide, also passes through Pie Town. Although the front runners have already completed the event (the rider we met a few days ago would have already finished, with a completion time of 20 days and some number of hours), lots of riders are still coming through. We would talk to many of them over the course of the day.
First stop? The Toaster House. Owner Nita raised her family in this eclectic little house in Pie Town, and now makes it available to hikers and bikers who are passing through town. We explored the house, stashed our packs, and then walked down to the restaurants.
After a quick meal at the Pie Town Cafe (tasty hand cut fries!), we headed up the highway to the Pie-O-Neer. Kathy ("the pie lady") and Stanley served us up two delicious slices and welcomed us like family. We really enjoyed talking with them, and the pie was so delicious we took two more slices to go!
Returning to the Toaster House, we chatted with passing Tour Divide riders as we completed town chores. We even had enough time for a nap up in the warm and sunny "penthouse suite" upstairs. Later in the afternoon, Nita stopped by. She greeted us with hugs and instantly made us feel like family.
None of the local restaurants are open for dinner, but Nita keeps the freezer well stocked with frozen dinners and ice cream, and also dropped off some fresh corn. We talked to the bikers while we ate, and topped off our meal with our last two slices of pie.
The Toaster House is always open. Everyone was sound asleep when the last Tour Divide rider of the day rode up by headlamp. Bleary-eyed, I clumped downstairs to direct him toward an empty room, showers, laundry, and food. I left him marveling at the kindness and generosity of strangers, as do all of us whose journeys have been touched by Nita and the Toaster House.
Posted by Heather and Sierra at 11:30 PM