I wake as the sky is turning orange and I lay under my quilt looking out at the grass of the plane. From this low elevation and in the predawn light I notice something I had not seen before. From this angle and in this light the green of the grass stands out and overpowers the golden colour of the dry dead leaves on top. From this view the plane is transformed into a green sea of life. The desert is full of life if you are lucky enough to see it.
I originally thought I would hitch into Pie Town but as Yeti is not due until tomorrow and I do like to walk, I decide to pull out my little speaker and do the highway walk with some music.
It was a pleasant enough walk for someone who walked the same 4 mile city park track everyday for 20 years. I had my music, my legs felt good and I was in no hurry.
It was a long straight road with a couple of rises and great views to each side. The one bizzar thing was a helicopter landing pad. There was a fenced in section next to the road, miles from anywhere, lights, windsock, the works. But right next to the fenced in section were hundreds of acres of land a helicopter could have landed in anyway.
About 10 I start to get hungry and start looking for a tree to take shelter under and have a bar. I set myself the goal of the next mile marker. The mile marker comes but no trees, not even a small shrub. I walk on, feet complaining, stomach complaining, looking for shade. When the next mile marker appears I give up and just shelter in the shade of my backpack and umbrella.
By 11 I make it to the Top Of The World Shop and RV park, 3 miles out of Pie Town. The day is hot. I have been walking under my umbrella and it is definitely time for a cold drink, ice cream and a foot break.
As I rest on the bench outside the shop, Night Watch, Paper Weight and Sas arrive looking as hot as I felt. A lady arrives in a car with three people that look like hikers. She walks up and says welcome almost to Pie Town, I am Nita. Are you going to stay at the Toaster House tonight? We introduce ourselves and the wonderfull experience that is Pie Town has began.
After a great hot shower with towel provided by Nita, I throw my clothes, along with the towel into the washing machine and start to explore the Toaster House. All the beds are taken but I found a long couch, that after a quick lay down test, I find I can fit on and claim it for the night.
The afternoon is spent in a resturant called the Gathering Place and slowly other hikers come and go. Halfmile and Deb arrive. Butter Fingers, who I met at the Toaster House, comes in. Ed, who is section hiking, comes in with his mother who is doing sag for him. Soon half the resturant is filled with hikers.
The evening is spent sitting on the deck of the Toaster House chatting with everyone. I fall into a great conversation with Hob, who we first met in Lordsburg.
Hob and his wife are also Tandem riders and have spent years touring all over the world. A year in Australia, a year in New Zealand, a ride from the Arctic Circle to the bottom of Africa. They have ridden across America 6 times in many different directions. They are still touring on their original Santana Tandem, number 22 from this now legendary maker. Hob says they have 109,000 miles of touring on this bike. He and his wife have also completed extensive walks in Europe and the US. 5000 miles of Camino trails, various GR’s in Europe, lots of NZ trails including the Routeburn which we hiked in 2014. It was a great night.
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