Toaster House(424.6) to Side of Dirt Road(445.2) 20.6 miles Total miles: 348.3
I’m not really sure what to say about today. I spent another 20.6 miles walking along a dirt road. The only difference between today and all of my other escapades is that I didn’t do it alone. I left town later than I would have liked so that I could hike with Turtle, Shiloh, and Mangas. It was well below freezing last night. I think it got down to 22 degrees. I was super glad to be sleeping inside of a house. I slept on a proper bed inside of my sleeping bag. I stayed completely warm. It was a nice change from the last 7 days. Nobody was looking forward to striking out early since it was so cold. The local cafes didn’t open until 9, so we lingered long enough to eat more town food and to wait for it to warm up a little. Dixie and Aaron left early so they could catch up with a friend. I’m sure I’ll run into them farther down the trail.
We went to the Pie Town cafe for breakfast. The food was just ok, but it was really cheap. I had coffee, two eggs over easy, bacon, potatoes, and toast for $7. It is hard to beat that.
Since my hiker hunger isn’t full blown I skipped the pie
After breakfast we went back to the house to grab our things before heading out. I’m not very excited about this stretch of trail into Grants. Almost all 84 miles are on dirt or paved road. I think we get about 7 or 8 miles of actual trail. The dirt road we hiked on today had a few views, but mainly we just hiked past private property signs. The juniper and pinion pines were nice, but I’ve been seeing those for miles now. I was very thankful for the company. It really helped the miles fly by. With the monotony of road walking cured I focused less on the discomfort from my ankle and knee. I really like the dynamics of this group. We talked nonstop for the first 16 miles. We discussed a wide variety of topics. Books and favorite authors were talked about. All of us have varying interests, but we all seem to be avid readers. We talked a lot about different trails we have hiked and reminisced about our experiences. We talked about modern media, environmental concerns, corporate America, different jobs we have worked, and Miami other subjects I can’t remember. We relaxed during a few medium breaks and really just enjoyed each other’s company. I really needed a day like this. Road walks are much more enjoyable with company.
Mangas pointing something out
Our first water source was 16 miles into the hike. A nice old couple, The Thomas’, allows hikers into their property for water and camping. We stopped just to grab some water. John and Angie are in their 80’s and very talkative. They were also extremely sweet. We offered to help with some chores, but they didn’t have anything that needed doing. John gave us advice on where to find the next water source. What should have been a two minute conversation took about 30 minutes. We politely managed to disengage ourselves after about 45 minutes. With their advanced years I worry about them living alone in the middle of nowhere. John and Angie are hoping to sell the ranch soon so they can move closer to family and I hope they manage it soon. They really care about helping hikers out and I’m glad we can provide them with a little bit of company. Hikers are instructed to ask them if they need help with anything and I hope they allow others to assist them.
I forgot to take their picture :-(
It was getting late in the day, we didn’t leave Pie Town until after 11am. I really wanted to hike 20 miles today, so when Mangus and Shiloh stopped for the night Turtle and I continued on. We hiked for about another 50 minutes, got our miles in and setup camp. This is the first night I have camped with anyone since day 3. I enjoy Turtles company and we had a nice dinner together. Tomorrow will be another long day of road walking, but hopefully I’ll have some company again.
Pinion, Juniper, and hiker trash
“On the path to greatness, life teaches you to walk with stones in your shoes.”
- Matshona Dhliwayo