Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Pie Town, New Mexico: CDT 2013 (November 13-14, 2013)

The Toaster House in Pie Town, New Mexico
After leaving the canyons behind, I began the dusty road walk towards Pie Town, New Mexico with (what else?!) pie on the mind. The route into Pie Town follows a jeep road flanked by private property, barbed wire and "No Trespassing" signs.
Unbelievable! (Sign on Nita's side door)

Cindy and Todd planted the Continental Divide Trail seed in my mind almost 15 years ago. This entry was from 1998.
The night before entering town, I was looking for a comfortable spot to set up camp along the side of the road. Pickings were slim. As the sun was setting I found a spot that seemed doable. As I was looking for the best spot to pitch my tarp, I felt a presence behind me. As I turned around, I was startled to see the gigantic head of a donkey inches from my face!
 Someone had a dream and made it happen!
This was the friendliest donkey I have ever encountered. As I pondered whether to set up camp, the donkey just stood there and watched. After a few minutes, I decided it wasn't the best spot since I was too close to houses nearby. As I picked up my pack and continued down the road, the donkey followed me along the fence, jumping and running and braying, all the way down the property.  Too bad I couldn't take him to the border. Eventually I found a spot that would suffice, a few feet from the road. The next morning I hiked into Pie Town. What a neat little place! In particular, I was blown away by the kindness of one particular lady named Nita. She was not home during my time in Pie Town, but she has offered her old house as a free hostel for hikers and bikers who pass through the area. Nita has been hosting hikers and bikers since the 1980's.

Her house has been dubbed the "Toaster House" for obvious reasons. I was the only one there during my visit but didn't really mind. It was a nice, quiet refuge from the cold. With hiking friends, a stay at the Toaster House would be memorable I'm sure. I bought some cherry pie in town, was able to do laundry, shower, and prepare some hot tea at the Toaster House. On the kitchen table were several trail registers, where hikers sign in and maybe write a few comments or a leave a poem or drawling of some sort. Looking through the registers, I found a post written by a couple named Cindy and Todd who hiked the CDT in 1998 with their two young children Bryce (age 6) and Sierra (age 9?). I had the privilege of meeting Cindy, Todd, and the kids at their home shortly after they had finished the CDT in the winter of 1999. One of my college professors named Joe Gilbert took me along with the rest of my classmates to meet the family and take a tour of Cindy and Todd's cabin, which they had built themselves, and to hear about their CDT hike. It was the first time I had heard of the CDT and the seed was planted in my mind. I felt very fortunate to make that dream a reality almost 15 years later!
Thanks again to Nita for making my stay in Pie Town comfortable and memorable!


  1. Congratulations, Flyboxer! I wish you copious off-trail good foods, central heating, and all the hot showers you can dream of wherever you are right now. Thanks for sharing your journey via words. I truly enjoyed reading your insights. Can you send me your email by sending me an email? -Chinchilla

  2. Hi Chinchilla, I sent you an email.