Tune down in Pie Town

October 14, 2012 at 8:45 am

Grants to Pie Town was going to be one day for me if I was going to catch up with the others. Click “Read More” to find out if I did…

A very short stretch went along the old Route 66.

It was slightly more than 70 miles to Pie Town if I would follow the paved “El Malpais” (spanish for “badlands”) alternate. It was a pretty boring ride but that’s what you get with pavement. I really have become addicted to these dirt roads. My interest was piqued by a few rock formations and by the millions of locusts hopping about on the tarmac. After finishing the El Malpais alternate there was nothing left but sandy roads and nasty headwinds towards Pie Town.

Rock formations in El Malpais National Monument.

More rocks (and headwinds).

Cow convention on the road towards Pie Town.

Water stop. Nice!

That road into Pie Town brought back the worst memories from Wyoming. Heavily washboarded roads, up and down all the time, but now with added sandiness. Fortunately, I had the tire tracks of Colin, Ben and Mat for comic relief. And apparently, tracks of a few others whom I hadn’t met yet…
Anyway, I felt much better after my recovery day in Grants and I was determined to make it to Pie Town. It is reported to be a very nice place. And boy it was.
One of the main attractions, besides pie, is the Toaster House: a guesthouse run by Nita, who has raised five kids there and now lives a couple of miles down the road. The Toaster House (you’ll understand the name when you’ll see the picture of the front entrance) is now available to cyclists and hikers doing the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route and/or the Continental Divide Trail.
So I arrived at about half past five, making the total number of cyclists staying there at the moment… seven. Seven? Yes, besides Colin, Mat, Ben and me there were Anders from Denmark and Kate & Lee from England! Seven!! Boy, the Great Divide sure gets busy. Lee was the flat-tire champion of the bunch, he had so many flats he lost count. Patching patches with patches and all that… he was using his third pump on the trail (broke one in a fit of anger, another one just broke down of sheer exhaustion). He was in a bit of a tight spot so I gave him one of my spare tubes (still had another one left) to get them to Silver City.
So imagine this: a guesthouse, full of travel paraphernalia from all around the world with a very distinct hippie-like flavour, filled with seven cyclists completely in relax-mode, playing Jimi Hendrix, lounging on the porch… man that was SWEET.

Pie Town itself has about 50 inhabitants, everybody helps keeping the Toaster House going. One guy brought pizza’s, Megan (who works at the Pie-O-Neer Cafe) brought beer & more pizza’s and Nita herself brought even more beer. There is a donation box where you can leave whatever you have to offer, to keep the place going. What a place.

The Stool Bus in Pie Town.

And the passengers ;-).

Left to right: Mat, Ben, Anders, Nita, Colin, Kate, Lee.


The whole crowd. That’s me in the left.

The other pie joint, the Pie-O-Neer Cafe.

One of many, many, many locusts.

Toaster House, front entrance. See?

Toaster House porch.

Occupy Toaster House 2012.

The rest day in Pie Town was spent eating pie, blasting music from the speakers mounted on the outside of the house and drinking prodigious amounts of beer on the porch. In the evening we were joined by cyclist number 8, a guy named Johnny who was utterly penniless and riding a post-apocalyptic cheap-ass bike using parachute cord as spare spokes, having fetishes such as a skull, a piece of antler and a hawk’s wing hanging from it. I felt a bit silly for having such expensive kit & bike but then again, I’m not really into sleeping on the ground without any shelter. To each his own.
It was the most relaxing day of the entire trip, so far. We did absolutely NOTHING productive and loved it. What a wonderful little community Pie Town is. I hope it will stay that way for many centuries to come.

Day 58 (October 4th): Southwest Motel, Grants – Toaster House, Pie Town
Riding time: 7:28:22
Distance: 114,62 km
Amount climbed: 902 m

Day 59 (October 5th): Toaster House, Pie Town
No riding. Sucked into the Pie Town vortex…