Day 1910.5 miles to town is motivation to wake up early and get moving along. We were on trail a little after 7 wandering around searching for the trail using our GPS. I found it as they followed me and I lost it again. Once we found it again the trail led upwards so I let them go first as I moved slowly along. Hiking early and late is the best time of day. The sky explodes and my heart fills. The climb was straight up at times. I haven’t been on trail this early in a while. We all took a break together then split up busting it to town. The trail then dips down from the mountain onto a dirt road then onto open fields. Beautiful! Nightwatch and I waited for Paperweight two miles from the road where we would hitch to town. We ate a few snacks counting the cars on the highway hoping the hitch wouldn’t be too long. The three of us moved along on a nice gravel road then up a washed out path towards the pavement. We rushed across the street and got settled waiting for cars. In 45 minutes, only one car passed that could pick us up. The others were semis, state vehicles, or other work vehicles. It didn’t help that the one car was out of state. As Halfmile, Afloat, and The Beast were arriving, a car pulled up and dropped off Numbers. We all lucked out as they picked the three of us up and promised to come back for the other three. The hitch was over 30 minutes through beautiful New Mexico with great conversation. So many kind people. We got dropped off in Reserve as we made Nightwatch do the work of getting us a room. We ended up really lucking out and getting a trail with three beds for $125. It was amazing and recently updated. The Beast joined us and we even had a washer and dryer in our room. We relaxed for a bit cleaning up before heading to Ella’s for a delicious burger and hospitality. Yummy! First of many burgers on trail. We then moved along to the one place in town that sells beer, Uncle Bill’s. The four of us shared a few pitchers, played pool, played horseshoes, and had some laughs for over 4 hours. Yetti and Walkabout joined in the horseshoe game as well. The Beast and I made a perfect team winning every game. A wonderful day with great people!
I woke up in the most comfortable bed today in the small town of Reserve. The four of us enjoyed breakfast at Ella’s and shopping at the small store. Everyone in Reserve is very friendly to hikers including a 5% discount at the store. I would recommend a stop in this town even though it’s a long hitch. You eventually make it in and back out. It has everything a hiker could need on just one street and everyone waves hello as they drive by. We returned to our little oasis to all shower one more time and pack up. The Beast paid to take the 11:00 shuttle out of town while Paperweight, Nightwatch, and I decided to relax, eat, and update some things using the free wifi at the restaurants. We hung out at the Abode Springs BBQ Restaurant. We all enjoyed a huge cinnamon bun and they both got a free cup of coffee along with our 10% discount. We hung out at the picnic table outside as I slowly tried to update my blog. I mailed home my busted phone, some maps, and a pair of shorts that caused horrible chaffing. It was a perfect town morning. The boys ordered lunch as well which they enjoyed and we talked to the woman running the restaurant named Dorothy. She over cooked a batch of cookies so she wrapped one up for each of us to take with us. Thank you so much and best of luck with the new bigger restaurant they are working on across the street. Around 2, we walked to the edge of town and stuck out our thumbs. It took a while, but a nice guy in a red pickup drove us most of the way. I sat in front making small talk and learning about the area. I also got to play with Cowboy the little dog that nibbled my fingers the whole way. He dropped us off at the end of his driveway with another 8 or so miles to go. We waited at least another 45 minutes until a redhead girl named Lindsey rescued us in her van. The first thing she said “let me put my pants on!” I don’t know if I would of got in the vehicle if a man had said that to me. She travels around in her van with her two rescue dogs and works jobs as a peddle cart driver, unicycle and fire dance instructor. I joked that she is my long lost redheaded sister. So instead of paying to get a shuttle out we took two hours, but met two wonderful people. I still love hitchhiking! It was warm as we started the trail and fell in love with beautiful gates made of iron with a neat CDT symbol. I took it slow and steady on this section as we hiked over 10 miles after 4:00. The views keep getting better and I’m still enchanted! Lots of cows wandering about today as they ran off when we got too close. A few of the climbs had me wishing for PCT switchbacks. We could hear coyotes howling and a even a turkey. We camped by a damed lake near Halfmile and Afloat. I was exhausted!! My calves burned and I just wanted to sleep. I snacked quickly then passed out before the other two were in their sleeping bags.
We succeeded at getting on trail by 7:30. I warmed up quickly sweating on another steep uphill and walked the morning miles away chatting with Paperweight. Oh the things you talk about on trail. If you only knew. The three of us joined Halfmile and Afloat for a long hour and a half break at a cow tank. Hiding from the heat I even got chilly and put on my down jacket. I love breaks! The rest of the day was warm and on fairly even terrain with a few arroyos and rocky climbs at times. I even took out my umbrella for a few sections. We took lots of breaks along with Nightwatch and enjoyed the last few miles in the Gila National Forest. After the national forest, the trail got a bit hairy with just wooden posts leading the way. Lots of uneven ground that was tough on the legs. Nightwatch and I saw a coyote we believed off in the distance. We also saw a huge rabbit that I thought was a baby fawn. We pushed on covering a bit over 22 miles with a mini panic attack after not finding water on trail like we thought. We all went off trail to tank as Paperweight kept saying the rancher was going to shoot us. We filled up and continued on looking for flat ground finding nothing. We choose a campsite on the other side of a gate. Three donkeys came around wanting to join us. I may have pet them! Beautiful animal. We enjoyed a sunset in the big open field looking for miles in all directions. Love my life! Paperweight cooked a double dinner which was delicious. I fell asleep next to a barbed wire fence happy as can be. Day 22
We had about 4.5 miles of uneven ground towards the road. Paperweight and I jammed to music along the way. Then came the 13 mile rode walk along the highway into town. We choose to take this route which was the official CDT instead of a gravel road path. Roads are tough after 7 miles I start to get cranky and there was lots of broken glass along the way. We pushed along to mile 10 of the road which has the Top of the World store. We got there a bit after noon and didn’t leave until 3. It was a wonderful place to relax on the wood porch drinking soda, eating chips, and ice cream. The famous Nita, the owner of the Toaster House, was there with a few other hikers. Love her already. The three of us did the last three miles on the highway into the small town of Pie Town. The Toaster House was bought in the 1980s and five children were raised here. She now lives down the road and let’s hikers and bikers come and go as they please. Her neighbors asked isn’t she scared we would steal things. She laughs saying they won’t carry any extra! Lots of new hikers to meet and a few more women! Best of all Hob was here as well. I love hugs and stories from him. I enjoyed a shower and doing laundry. We cooked some food from the freezer and enjoyed chatting on the porch. Six of us played a card game that Patience, a woman from Israel taught us. Lots of fun and an annoying game. We did not go to bed until 11:00. Looks like tomorrow will be a zero day!
Zero day in Pie Town! Lots of great people and the Toaster House is a place worth spending some extra times. Nita, the owner and kindest person I’ve met so far on trail, picked us up and took us on a tour of Pie Town in her car. So appreciated! I picked up 3 boxes including a new sawyer filter. new bigger and nicer Osprey pack, and a big box of food resupply. I enjoyed breakfast at the Cafe with Paperweight, Nightwatch, and Walkabout. A few of us spent some time cleaning up the Toaster House. I always like to leave hostels better than I found them. Some hikers are disgusting. Enough said! Lots of people around including 5 bike riders as well! Time to rest, relax, and make lifelong friends. To many more days of happiness! ❤️Sass