There is luxury to cowboy camping. As you shed the protection of a shelter or tent, you leave yourself naked and vulnerable. However, you gain something else in return. As you begin to drift off into the first of many stages of sleep, your eyes flutter open and shut, open and shut. Each time your eyes rock open, you are greeted by a symphony of stars. Each time your eyes rock shut, a beautiful silence is bestowed. Next time, your eyes open the stars seem brighter and more full. Your eyes shut again but this time your brain leaves a sprinkling of its favorite stars on the screen. You are rocked to sleep by the stars, like a boat on a steady ocean. Sleep comes naturally and not so lonely, a luxury in a sea of simplicity. Morning arrives the same way. Instead of a sudden roar to life, you begin with a feeling. As the sun rises up, the feeling is one of warmth and energy. You can feel the sun rise before dawn has really set in, and the feeling of life gently returns to your body.
Or you can eat a slice of fresh Triple Berry Pie for breakfast.
We had finished our road walk into Pie Town, and there to greet us- Nita's Toaster House, a hiker (and biker) hostel.
After breakfast, we headed back to the Toaster House where we had dropped our packs by a bed for the next two nights. Nita had arrived to the house, and the first of many group shots under the Toaster Gate was taken.
Nita offered to give us a ride up to the Top of the World General Store, and we could not refuse. We loaded up in her car and headed down the road. Before reaching the store, we swung by her property to help her out with a few things around the house. Garbelly helped her dig a hole for her water pump, and Critter helped her out in the garden. We took a break for some delicious Lemon Ginger Echinacea from Trader Joe's. We went back to our projects, finishing them up, when someone mentioned something about a margarita. This simple comment led to the tequila tasting that happened next. Nita invited us in to try out her collection of tequilas in the most beautiful bottles. Each bottle had a story, and once the tequila was no more, the bottle would be added to the walls or attached from the ceiling. Nita's house was full of life, history, art, and so much personality. Even though we were strangers to her world, everything was so comforting and oddly familiar.
The tequila tasting wrapped up, and we headed back to the Toaster House. The General Store visit would have to be postponed until tomorrow. She drove us by the Windmill Museum and a large VLBA Radio Telescope.
Back at the Toaster House, more hikers had arrived for the night, while others had moved on.
The group from Gila Hot Springs was back together again, this time in Pie Town. Glimmer and Chris, Yee-Haw, TenneSteve, Charlie and Hannah, Thor, and the two of us shared stories of the Gila, the fire, the snow, and all the adventures since the last time we were all together.
Hiker's Midnight was far surpassed before we were finally falling asleep.
Cheers to Pie Town, and if you ever find yourself on Route 60, make sure you try the Pie.
Garbelly & Critter