Zen On Dirt

Day 9 – Zero Day in Pie Town


Day 9 – Zero Day

We were talking to the thru-hikers on their long road walk in yesterday and they were saying that they had to average 20 miles a day in order to make it border to border in 5 months. This prompted us to examine our daily milage – if we average 50 a day (which is what we’d been doing), we’d finish in 60 days. Seeing that we’re homeless for 120+ days, this was entirely unacceptable.

So we decided to spend the day in Pie Town. We’re learning this art of touring. If you have a good place to stay with good company, you should probably stay. Anyhow, we had a day of wiggle room with the storm moving it, and we decided we’d rather spend an extra day in idyllic Pie Town instead of 3+ days in Grants.

This decision was aided by the fact that the six hikers had talked the Good Pie Cafe into cooking us breakfast, so we took James and his wife (two wonderful people who’d we’d met in town and were offering shuttles to bigger towns to buy beer and food) and Nita (Toaster House owner and wonderful soul) out for brunch.

Bacon, eggs, giant pancakes, oh my.


Two hikers, the Professor and Sunset took off after eating, and the rest of us returned to the Toaster House. Tootsie’s been nursing some shin splints and blisters, so the crew, including Kipper, Spork, and Chimp, decided to stay an extra day as well.

I’d love to know where the day went, I had some writing I wanted to do, I wanted to finish reading the last 30 pages of On the Road so I could leave it here. I wanted to take a nap.

Before I knew it, it was 2:30 and Scott was asking me if I wanted to go get one last slice of pie before they closed for the day. None of the above had been accomplished. Somehow, I’d spent the whole morning sitting in the sun socializing and listening to stories from Nita. We also hung a bunch of the shoes from the Shoe Exchange on the wall.


We found a Salsa Mukluk sitting out in front of the Good Pie Cafe, fully loaded with bikepacking gear. We found Rick inside. He looked worked. I’m telling you, the Gila is rough!

We brought him back to the Toaster house (after a slice of pie, of course) and pointed him in the direction of showers, snacks, and a bed. It was awesome to see his eyes light up at the idea of a bed and warm shower, and even an internet connection if you’re willing to walk a little ways.

We chatted. Two more hikers showed up who we’d passed two days ago. More chatting. More trail stories. More directions to showers, laundry, and frozen pizza in the fridge. Nita even brought over some sweet potatoes. We sat on the porch. We watched the sun set.

My book isn’t finished. All I’ve written is this blog. It’s been an absolutely fantastic day.


2 thoughts on “Day 9 – Zero Day in Pie Town

  1. Nita is a hero. Pie Town in amazing.

  2. Hey Eszter, I’ve been following Rick’s (Salsa Mukluk in Pie Town) adventure on crazyguyonabike and have been reading your notes to him, encouraging him, helping him to keep going. Rick and I have been friends since we were kids and this kind of trip is soooo out of the box for him; it’s great! I just wanted to thank you for your words of encouragement and the great tips you’ve given him for the route. We’re all pulling for him to make this happen and to finish what he’s started. Your words are helping immensely, I’m certain. Have a great ride over the CDT and thanks again.

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