Pie Town

July 9, 2010

How do you explain a place that is so special, that it just may be beyond any words in my vocabulary.  Yes, that is how I feel about Pie Town, NM.  After hearing so much about this place, I was very excited to finally see it.  The story goes…a Mr. Clyde Norman from Texas moved to the area in the 1920’s, seeking gold.  As he needed to pay for his operation, he started purchasing items from the nearby town of Magdelena to sell, including donuts.  The baker he was purchasing the donuts from eventually found out about Norman’s deal and told him to “make his own donuts.”   Since Norman wasn’t very good at donuts, he began making pies instead and the word got out how good they were.  People came from far and wide to taste the pies, prompting Norman to turn it into a proper town.  In 1927 he applied for a post office, but the USPS thought the name Pie Town was “beneath the dignity of the Postal Department.  Norman wouldn’t budge and eventually both the town name and post office were allowed.

Now the town sits humbly on the Continental Divide, offering a unique refuge for travelers of all sorts.  There are two pie shops in town, a park, the post office and a couple houses.  One of these being the Toaster House, one of the most amazing places I have visited in my life, and I think most people would agree.  The doors remain unlocked at all times, the sign by the entrance stating “Welcome travellers, make yourself at home.”  There is a share box with all sorts of gear and food people hiking or biking through Pie Town via the Divide will take from and add too.  The guest book boasts of folks from all over the world and offers a warm shower and even a washing machine.  The openness of the space is incredible and it is easy to feel relaxed and at home.  I felt very lucky that we got to meet Nita the next day, provider of the Toaster House.  She still lives in town, just not at the house, preferring a quieter space off the beaten track a bit.

Kurt and I ended up staying 2 days, prepping our gear more after receiving a box containing all sort of spares and replacements that Kurt had mailed ahead.  We are carrying 4 seasons of gear and enough stuff to get ourselves or anyone else out of a jam on the road, whether it be paved or dirt.  Some people choose to go ultra light, which certainly has its benefits.  We prefer to carry everything we need or may need instead, knowing bike shops will not be as accessible once we cross the border.  I also received a wonderful package from my friend Carina in NY which just made my day.  After adding some slime protector to our tubes, we spent the night at the house with Kent and his grandson Cyrus.  Kent had originally framed out the loft which sits above the house.  This was his first time returning in 17 years.  It was an honor to meet him and share all sorts of stories and opinions with both him and Cyrus.  The next morning we excitedly repacked all of our things and officially headed out on the Continental Divide Mountain Bike Trail, leaving right from the Toaster House’s doorstep.

Welcome to Pie Town, New Mexico...

Living and letting be...

Blueberry pie. Just one of the many amazing things made with love at the Pie-O-Neer Cafe...

Packages on the road are so extra special. Here I received my first one from my good friend Carina, complete with mini journals (after I was just remarking that morning how I wish I had one for my handlebar bag- amazing), wildflower seeds to spread around the world, a felt heart and a heart-felt note. Thanks a million Carina xxxo...

A baby rattler napping on the porch while it rained...

The ever luminous and kind Nita, provider of the Toaster House and great big hugs...

Morning wake up call...

You can't miss it. Just turn left and look for the...

You can't miss it. Just turn left and look for the...

Jersey pride...

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One Response to “Pie Town”

  1. Taylor said

    my jealousy grows daily. have a blast (as if you need encouragement)

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