The Toaster House in Pie Town provides a place to sleep for the night, and books and maps to keep us entertained for hours. The house is full of stories of other bikers and CDT hikers. We can’t not stay.
Dirt roads lead us south from Pie Town. Questionable and non existent water sources keep us on our toes.
We spend three hours boiling mud puddle water, and then searching for a cache a couple on a tandem tell us about. We don’t find it.
70 miles south and we leave the Divide for the final time, aiming for Reserve. Soon, water is flowing along the side of the road. It’s been ages since we have seen good, clear cold flowing water, I think. I guzzle a bottle just because I can.
Reserve has everything we need and want. We’re in and out and on heading down the road again, back into the National Forest to camp for the night.
We leave pavement again and climb up along the edge of the Blue Range Wilderness. Don’t take your bike in the wilderness though, just skirt the edge. Bear scat litters the road. It looks like bears here eat the flowers of the prickly pear. I assume they are small and inconsequential compared to Alaska bears. We don’t see any, so I’m not proven wrong, or right.
The road drops down to the Blue River, and into Arizona. Red rock spires frame the landscape. We climb out of the river valley towards Alpine, refuel in town and then pedal on. All the roads are uphill today. We haven’t showered since Albuquerque and I think it’s time.
Back in Apache National Forest we make camp. I fall asleep to elk bugeling in the distance, and coyotes howling.