CDT Day 134: Pie Town to Ed Jones Rd – the Toaster House to Lightning Show Camp
Miles hiked: 18.5
Total miles: 2395
The Toaster House was a hard place to leave this morning. Thunder rumbled and rain pummeled, turning the dirt roads to mud, covering our feet and hiking motivation in a persistent, sticky ooze. But with miles to hike and a belief that a little rain doesn’t scare tough hikers like us, we barely managed to leave the comfort of couches and hot drinks behind. I was glad we did. The desert transforms in the rain, and the heavy shoes were worth the potent smells of damp earth and fresh pine. Plus, as an unexpected bonus, SpiceRack and I were treated to hot beans and a light show at day’s end. The trail provides.
I slept well in a real bed for the first time in a while. It was dark, it was cool. I woke up confused by a strange dream about the Toaster House, except it was completely different. There were some celebrities hanging around and a free soda fountain. A good dream? I was wide awake at 5am, and so found a couch in the dark and tapped away on my phone, feeling lonely and disconnected from the trail in the depthless dark. Spice came out to save me from my thoughts, not knowing(until she reads this) how much her warm, wordless presence comforted me.
Then it was spaghetti time. We boiled up some noodles and smothered them in oil, garlic salt, and vegan parmesan that my mom had mailed out to Grants. The breakfast of champions. We kept going back for more until we were left wanting more. Rain and thunder roared outside, unconsciously slowing down our morning tasks that would kick us from under the roof back onto the road. Spice made a run to the post office to gather our resupply boxes, and the dudes left with a ride to the grocery store in Quasimodo.
We cut up the contents of our box into messy piles of food that I wasn’t super excited to eat, except for a few homemade things sent in a care package. Same old bars, same old couscous, same old bean-flavored cookies. We left the beans for Crunchberry. The beans are not couple-friendly. We finished packing up, but were saved from the rain for a little longer when, Nita, the owner of Toaster House showed up to say hello. She was an amazing woman and answered all our questions about Pie Town and the seemingly random Hawaiian theme that appeared to be baked in. With many questions left to ask, Spice and I donned our umbrellas and left to brave what Nita called “peanut butter mud”, just in time to avoid the 24-pack of PBR that busted through the door. It was almost noon, we definitely wanted to stay longer, but we definitely needed to start hiking.
The rain was hard at first, but then tapered to just about nothing. It was warm too. I hiked comfortably without pants or jacket, but Spice won the fashion contest with her garbage bag rain skirt. The road kept us guessing with patches of deep goo indistinguishable from firm ground. Nita was right, it was just like peanut butter. Mmmmmm, peanut butter. Low cloud hung around and added to my feeling from yesterday that we were in some tropical, rainforest jungle place. I didn’t even need to squint.
The road sloped us into the hills. Spice found a New Mexico license plate on the side of the road to pair with the Colorado plate she’s carried since Twin Lakes. Sunset found us at Devila Ranch, another place for hikers that, like Toster House, I can’t explain. Enchantment. It seemed that a couple of shipping containers were converted into a kitchen/hiker hangout. Spice found some cans of beans that we heated up on the propane country cooker. I get beans anyway, ha! We were drinking tea when RoostBerry ka-kawwed from the road. We watched them eat beans and tubesteaks, then overcame the temptation to sleep in the shelter. It was only 6:30pm after all.
The bright moon and stars gave us all the light we needed to continue on the road. The sky overhead was mostly clear now, but all around us lightning flickered on the horizon. It was a magical time to be hiking. After two more hours we decided to call it a night, finding a flat spot easily in the pinion just off the road. With flat spots so abundant, we’ve started calling New Mexico “the Campsite State”. The tent is pitched just in case the rain returns, but with beans for dinner, Spice insists that we keep the doors open. As a huge fan of fresh air, that’s alright with me. A small dinner for second dinner, then sleep.