Up the road

Day 18: the Toaster House to Wild Horse Canyon Road, ~22 miles, ~337 miles total

Pie Town is hard to leave! Amazing people. Great hiker community. And the pie! Walking away from Pie Town on gravel road did make it physically easier. Still, road walking TO something is mentally different than road walking FROM something.

But tomorrow we’ll be somewhere and the unknown splendors of the CDT pull us northward.

A few more minutes visiting with hikers. I really enjoyed chatting with Smudge,  Groceries and Lucy. Such a wonderful couple! Smudge is hiking the CDT; meanwhile Groceries and their golden retriever, Lucy, tour about local and regional attractions and meet Smudge at the end of each leg. They travel in their camper, aptly named Marshmallow. (Big, round and white on the outside and sweet in the inside.)

image

Smudge, Lucy, and Groceries in front of the Toaster House.

Then we were off to connect our steps at the Pie Town Community Center and walk to the Pie-O-Neer. Chatting with Kathy and Stanley was a fitting bon voyage. We hope they have fun in Hollywood next month. (Check out their website.) They even sent us off to the trail with a beautiful and delicious slice of blueberry starry night pie. Thank you Kathy and Stanley!

image

A little slice of Pie Town love to take with us.

Now really on our way, walking down 53 we saw our first pronghorn antelope of the trail! So cool!

image

Distant pronghorn antelope. Alas, I wasn't fast enough to get a picture when they were close by.

Road under foot. Pinyon and juniper on either side of the barbed wire fences of private ranch land. Packs loaded with four days of food and water for 15 miles. Warm afternoon.

It was a bit of a push. But we wanted to make miles. Gabriel recounted highlights from the Wizard of Oz. (There are some interesting differences between the books and the movie.) We made up the types of signs we’d post along the road if we could counter-or temper-the many variations of no trespassing signs posted every few hundred feet along the road. Posted no trespassing. Duly noted.

image

Shock! The first cattle guard without a single beer can.

image

Interesting building along the road.

We’ll keep walking. Backwards. Sideways. On opposite sides of the roads. Fist bump on tops of rises. Whatever it takes to get to hiker friendly country.

image

View looking backwards at the Sawtooths.

We stopped a few times for breaks. Once at the Thomas Ranch for water. They kindly help hikers with a faded note on the backside of an old no trespassing sign that welcomes CDT hikers and Great Divide cyclists to go through their gate and get some water. Generosity and amazing trust. Oh so very appreciated. Thank you Thomas Family!

image

A nice gate sign.

image

Thank you Thomas Ranch!

Toward the camping hour (after 7:00), Voyageur caught up to us as we finished a break. The main road still had no trespassing signs posted, so we veered off the main road and onto an alternate in hopes of finding a spot to camp; without violating the wishes of the signs (and their owners).

image

Gabriel and Voyageur discuss our options.

image

Well. These signs don't say anything about camping.

Cowboy camping amid juniper and pinyon pine. We eat dinner and watch the sunset colors that silouette the juniper.

image

Dinner time view.