Day 21: Zero in Pie Town
Sunday, May 15, 2022 10:10 pm
Location: Pie Town / Toaster House (333.5 miles)

After three weeks on trail, I took my second zero day, in the very quiet Pie Town.

Pie Town
Pie Town

A “lazy” day deserves a lazy list:

  • At Plus One’s request yesterday, since she didn’t have service and I had Noodle?’s number, I sent her a message asking how her R&R was going. Shortly after waking up, I heard back from Noodle?. It turns out she’d gotten off-trail and went home after being diagnosed with Giardia. She suspects she caught it as a result of going through the beaver-infested water in the Gila River, and symptoms were accelerated due to the stresses of thru-hiking. She hopes to be able to resume later this year southbound, but if not, will attempt again next year. Rest up and come back strong, Noodle?!
  • Hungry, I walked to the Pie-o-neer restaurant. I got there shortly after nine, only to find that they didn’t open until ten. So I waited, and took the opportunity to relax in quiet away from the hiker crowd.
  • While I waited, several cars drove up, saw the posted hours, and drove away.
  • Tiempo, Mr. Freeze, Patches, Dog Bite, and Plus One arrived via car just before ten.
10 am Selfie Day 21: Hikers Waiting For Breakfast
10 am Selfie Day 21: Hikers Waiting For BreakfastLongstride, Plus One, Patches, Dog Bite, Mr. Freeze.
  • Someone from the restaurant then let us know that because it was Sunday, they weren’t opening until 11 am. We walked to the nearby Ohana Cafe and got breakfast there instead.

  • We were discussing the possible trail and forest road closures up ahead that would limit our access to the CDT beyond Cuba, the trail town after Grants. I suggested we should get bikes in Grants and bikepack around the fire closures. The idea was met with a mix of enthusiasm and skepticism. Either way, it would be an interesting twist to this adventure.

  • I ordered a breakfast sandwich (actually two). I was still hungry, so I got a slice of pie and a second sandwich. I was overstuffed, but it was all very delicious.

  • We returned to the Pie-o-neer and got pies. Tiempo and I decided to split an apple pie and a strawberry-rhubarb pie. We returned to Toaster House and put them in the refrigerator, too full to contemplate eating them now.

  • We did a pack shakedown for Patches, and potentially lightened his pack by 2-3 pounds. (I thought he did quite a good job in general, this being his first thru-hike.)

  • Tiempo, Patches, and I went to Nita’s house and raked the dead brush and tumbleweeds out of part of her yard for an hour. She gave us each a beer. (Nita is the owner of the Toaster House. We offered to help out as thanks for being able to stay and use the Toaster House’s facilities.)

  • We returned to the Toaster House. Stumblebee (Bumblebee), Sprouts, and Pale Ale had arrived, having hitched up from Reserve to avoid a long roadwalk. They, and Nita, went to Pie-o-neer for dinner and the live music that was being played.

  • Around 4, most of us decided to walk back to Pie-o-neer for dinner. There seemed to be more clouds out today than on any other day of hiking.

  • Nita bought Tiempo, Patches, and I dinner for raking her yard, which was a welcome surprise. Patches missed out because he didn’t come to the restaurant, and we had no way of contacting him.

  • I reserved a room at the Lava Flow Hostel in Grants. The current plan is four days to Grants, and then a zero.

  • Walking back from the Pie-o-neer, the weather was excellent, with a light breeze and the sun partially mediated by clouds. It would have been perfect weather for hiking.

  • I opened the box I sent from Silver City, and repacked my food. I’d sent five days of food, and had three days left over. The current plan to Grants is four days, so with an extra day of food as a contingency, I have three days too much food. I gave some of it to Simple and Sprouts, and put the rest in the hiker box. (More of a hiker food cabinet.)

  • Tiempo and I attempted to eat the pies we got earlier today. The apple was good; the strawberry-rhubarb was excellent. We couldn’t eat very much, we still have over a full pie between us to eat tomorrow morning.

  • Simple told stories of his time as an audio technician on Real Stories of the Highway Patrol. They were both hilarious and terrifying.

  • A hiker brought out a can to collect soda and beer can pull tabs for Nita’s friends’ project. Patches pulled the tab off his can and then promptly (accidentally) dropped it into his can.

  • There was a lunar eclipse tonight, which we got to see.