A trip to Pie Town
September 13, 2003
This particular adventure was quite a lot of fun.. and exhausting. Funny how those two go together so often!
We got up pretty early, snarfed down a pretty tasty breakfast, fed the critters, and hit the road around 8:45 or so, en rout to the Pie Town Pie Festival. Mmmmmm. Stops along the way for gas included Mountainaire (at 9:40) and Socorro (at 11:00). Then there was a brief pause at the VLA, for a wonderful Photo-Opp. Oooh, Science! And continuing on, we traversed the Continental Divide.
We got to Pie Town itself just a little before 1:00, 184 miles later. We pulled into the long side-of-the-road parking lot, just past the "Pie-O-Neer" pie-house, and across the street from the Piiiiieeeeee festival.
Of course we headed over to the Pie-O-Neer for coffee and pie. A long perusal of the small attached gift shop, where obligatory commemorative postcards were purchased... and then into the diner for PIE! Blueberry for me, Peach for
. Very Good Pie. Then we wandered across the road to the festival itself, and were greeted by a delightful variety of vendors. Everything from the usual pre-packaged made-in-china random toys to exotic spices to church-cookbooks to books about the area by a local writer/historian to ... pie. Mmmm. Pie.
As we stood munching our brief adventure away from pie and into the realm of meats, the regional country & western band gave up the stage in exchange for... a CD player, and a small troup of belly-dancers? Yes... diversity prevailed. And for more of that... we wandered off out into the (free?!) campground behind the festival, and located the muchly-reccomended fiddler jam. At the moment, it was five or six "ol' fellahs" sitting in a loose circle, with a line of (as Bfly called them) elderly Fiddler Groupies in lawn chairs... and a scattering of other appreciators. The fiddling was Damn Good, and we sat back-to-back in the grass and listened for quite a while.
Really a mighty fine way to spend an afternoon. If we hadn't had all these CRITTERS back home to take care of, we'd have just pitched the tent and stayed. But... we do. So we made our farewells, got back on the bikes, and went searching for Gizmo pass.
Sadly, though we spotted several trees that looked promising, we really didn't know just WHERE the Golden (brass) Plaque was, beyond a cryptic idea that it was a short distance beyond Pie Town. Which implied to us that it was NOT further than the next town. The next town being Omega... a sad little cluster of mostly burned-out buildings, with an apparent population of about 4.
About this time Yvonne was really low on gas, and had to switch to Reserve Hmmmm... this was a problem we hadn't considered - we didn't recall seeing a gas station in Pietown. Only Pie. Mmmm... Pie. But even lucious wonderful Pie couldn't take the place of Refined Petroleum, so on our way back from Omega we stopped at another eatery - "The Daily Slice", where we had Cranberry Apple Crumb Pie (me) and Cherry Pie with Ice Cream (she)... and asked where the nearest gas station would be. Erk... about 20-25 miles away. That's a LONG way to go on reserve!
Fortunately, I still had a fair amount of gas left, having both a larger tank and a smaller (550cc vs her 750cc) engine. While she might run out on the way to the station, I'd probably make it, and be able to bring guzzle back. So... off we struck, toward home. At about 25-30 mph, to make that precious fuel stretch as far as possible. And stretch it did - she made it! Yay! There was much relief and rejoicing! And we put more gas in the bikes than I think we ever have. I don't remember the price per gallon, but we poured over $10 into 'em, so it must've been outrageous.
The trip homewards was really wonderful, as we caught the most spectacular sunset - driving toward hills that were lit up in these wonderful shades of purple, red and violet. There was a long, strange stretch of 60 that seemed to be the Mobile Home Burial Gournd... young and old and ancient, they lined the road in various states of disrepair. Some fairly near, some a couple of miles away. Some in quite good shape and obviously in use, some barely habitable (and in use) some only marginally intact, and many literally falling apart. One appeared to have been rolled over on it's back, with it's bones bleached pale in the harsh desert sun. Who knows what kind of scavangers had been at work to leave it so utterly gutted.
We toyed briefly at stopping at a very neat looking tavern that we've passed several times on our various trips, but the realization that the gas station might close if we lingered too long kept us going. Which did allow us to see some wonderful rugged terrain lit up with the wonderful late evening and twilight colours. But... dopey me, I'd forgotten the station in Mountainair had switched over to the card-reader type, so we could have stopped! Mrhmph. We'll remember that next time. This did give us the opportunity to stop at the main eatery in town, which had recently moved into VERY neat new digs - the old Hotel. The dining hall was really amazing, the walls done in a very nice textured plaster, the entire ceiling painted in wild and wonderful designs, and the wooden chandeliers carved and painted in bright, wild shapes, characters and colours too. The service, however, was spectacularly innatentive - once food was delivered, our waiter never came back to our table again... instead sitting at the bar wrapping silverware, chatting with someone, and occasionally glancing over toward us.
By the time we got on the road again, it was night, so I took the lead again, since Bfly's night vision isn't so hot. I tried to keep slow enough to wet a pace that would be easy and comfortable for her... succeeding for the most part, but sometimes leaving her behind for a bit. Ooops. My visor was so bugsplattered, and my headlight so dim, that my night vision wasn't all that hot either, but I do tend to push it a bit.
The last 20 miles or so were a little tough, as we were both pretty saddle-sore. Some kind of improved padding must be acquired for long trips, I think. It got pretty cold as well, though not enough so to be truly unpleasant... just enough to make you very aware of how nice it would be to get warm.
We dragged into the driveway at 9:15, after a grand total of 417 miles on the road, and immediately fed the dogs & cats... then fell over into the hot tub for a little while. Ahhhh... that felt SO good! We were in bed by 9:45, and asleep by 10.
And now... the photo gallery!
That's one HUGE antenna. It's probably a quarter-mile away from this spot.
STOP! it said
So STOP we did! That's the Pie-O-Neer in the background.
Ooog. What a pun.
Stuff at the Pie Festival.
The winning pies! Mmmmm... yummy!
Fiddlers doing what Fiddlers do.
We just had to pose with this one! But only 1 mile? C'mon... our local chapter of ABATE does a couple of miles. But maybe it's just Ted on his lonesome. That would explain the singular form of sportsman.
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