Walking New Mexico // Weeks 31 and 32 // Family calls, I find out there is no nowhere, and a side trip to Denver

It was the first time on my trip I had wished I wasn’t alone. The Toaster House, Pie Town, New Mexico. I am just off a two week stint of not walking. One week spent in Nashville on account of my ill Papaw. One week in Denver on account of my good friend Brittney living there and the prospects of legal marijuana.

Day 211 // Datil was a strategic town, the post office was supposed to be holding a package for me. My AT&T phone was no good in the Southwest, so my sister sent me a Verizon prepay. I got the phone and called home after not having service for a few days and found out my Papaw was ill. (Papaw is southern Grandfather. I had a tough decision to make, family is always first, and I was about to be without service. I asked the woman at the diner where I was having breakfast if she knew how I might get to Albuqueque, NM, that’s the closest airport and it’s about 250 miles away. She recommended I ask the owner, I did, and he said his wife could give me a ride if I could be ready in 10 minutes. So, I was on my way. All of a sudden the realization hit me, There is no nowhere. I thought I was in the middle of nowhere, but at 8am in the morning I made a decision to go to Nashville and 10 hours later I was picked up at the airport there.

I spent one week in Nashville hanging with my family and am glad to report Papaw seems to be recovering well. I also got to do some comedy which is always a good time. Thanks Chad Riden for always throwing me up!

A oneway ticket back to Albuquerque was $500 and still brought the question, how would I commute the 250 miles back to Datil. Another option sprang into my mind. I had been wanting to visit my dear friend Brittney in Denver, Colorado. Flights to Denver were super cheap and then she could drive me down to New Mexico. I passed the thought to her, and she was down for the game plan. So there it was, side trip, Denver!!

In Denver I was able to hop on several different shows and perform before my friend Dave Ross recorded a comedy record! I went skiing for the first time and went on a beautiful hike in Boulder. Also I was able to legally buy pot and that was very liberating. Although I really wanted to stay longer, I knew I had to get back to the trail and get this walking lady a moving.

Brittney drove me down and dropped me where I left off. I stayed the night in Datil and the day before Thanksgiving I walked to Pie Town, New Mexico. The first I heard of Pie Town was when I was in Harper’s Ferry, WV about 6 months pryer. It was just a few weeks into the walk when I stayed in a hostel where AT hikers pass through. One hiker commiserated with my friend Dan about this awesome town with lots of Pie and a place called The Toaster House that has beer and frozen pizza in a fridge on the back porch.

Dan had given me the contact info for Megan who works at Pie O Neer. I texted with her and she told me to meet her at the pie shop and she would let me know how to make it to my lodging. I got to the shop just before closing, it wasn’t hard to find, because it is the only place in town open this time of year. I set at the bar and was greeted my the two owners Kathy and Stan. The town is located along the Continental Divide so they are used to getting people passing through. I imagine cross country walkers are the ones they get the least, especially the solo female walker. As Stan expressed “you don’t look like a walker”.

They soon realized I would be alone on the holiday, and they sent me on my way with a selection of 6 different kinds of pie. LITERALLY THE BEST DESSERT I HAVE EVER PUT IN MY MOUTH. If you have a day to spare it’s worth the trip.

Down the street, around the corner, and to the wood cabin with toasters hanging everywhere. The house was cold and empty. I turned on a few lights and soon realized what a special place I had found myself. The sign on the door as you enter reads “nobody lives here, make yourselves at home”. Ran completely from donations, and the kindness of a trail angel named Nita.

Normally there are other hikers and bikers at The Toaster House, but it looks like I am the only one here on this Thanksgiving Eve. Holidays have no real meaning to me. I enjoy the outcomes, family, friends, good food, good booze. But I don’t understand why must we celebrate in such consumeristic methods.

So here I am in this hiker biker museum. Every inch covered in something left by a passerby before me. I can’t help but think this might be the perfect place to spend Thanksgiving. For now I am solo, sitting by this fire which took we what felt like hours to build. I have had a couple of beers, a frozen pizza, and a slice of pumpkin pie. I feel ready for bed, hope this fire keeps the house warm enough, I guess I am supposed to wake up and keep it going? wtf

All alone in Pie Town, New Mexico. The realization that this journey is far from over, but a since of completeness takes over this moment for me today.

I’m lonely but free
I’m homesick, but right where I’m supposed to be

I know the world keeps moving on
but I’m stuck in the moment and I can’t let go