Checking in from Pie Town, NM (again) …
For a little town of only 62 inhabitants, Pie Town is a unique place. Take for example, the RV park where we have stayed for the last couple of nights. It is owned by Jay and Penny Carroll who are also in the septic cleaning and port-o-let business. They also have a sense of humor. Parked next to our RV is one of their signature septic cleaning trucks, painted to look just like a school bus, complete with caricature kids looking out the windows. It is called Stool Bus #2 and carries slogans like “Be a Regular” and “Follow the Movement.” The kids are named Turdy, Pu-Wee, Stinky, Skidder, Corny, Loosey Stool and Deuce. Check it out at www.stoolbus.com.
The Toaster House gets its name from the fact that the front gate is decorated with toasters hanging all about. The house was previously occupied by a kindly lady named Nita, who after raising five children in the home, opened it to Continental Divide hikers and bikers, whose donations keep it maintained. Since the 1980’s, no one has lived in the house but there is a caretaker and the townspeople of Pie Town monitor it’s use.
And, of course, there are the pie shops. Pie Town has had pie shops, off and on, since the 1920’s operated by various individuals. Now in a village with a post office, an attorney’s office, one RV park and a volunteer fire department, there are two pie shops—Good Pie Café and Pie-O-Neer Café. Both are great visits, but we really took a shine to the Pie-O-Neer and its owner Kathy Knapp. Kathy, her mother and daughter started the shop in 1996 after driving through town and finding that at that time, there was no pie in town. Disappointed but sensing the opportunity, they all moved to the area, purchased an abandoned trading post and created a wonderful establishment. Kathy’s pies are homemade and fresh every day, each one a delight. Brenda loved the chocolate; the cherry for me. One of her specialties is New Mexican Apple Pie made with local apples, pinion nuts and mild green chiles. You can’t go wrong, however, with any choice. Never ride through Pie Town without stopping for pie.
Pie Town sits right atop the Western Continental Divide at an elevation of 7,796 feet. The Divide, which intersects the US from north to south, is the point where rivers and streams break either east or west toward the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic or to the Pacific. At Pie Town, waters head to the Rio Grande on the east side and to the Colorado on the west. Very near the divide early on Friday morning, Brenda and I got a thrill—we came across a small herd of elk crossing the road. Big, elegant animals.
My walk will continue along Hwy 60 for the next few days, to Quemado, NM, the Arizona state line and Springerville, AZ.