Going West: New Mexico to Arizona

Day one finished with 543 miles on my odometer. It took much of those miles simply to get out of Texas.  I pulled into a Wal-Mart in Hobbs, New Mexico. Seat leaned back, pillow behind my head, and windows slightly open, I barely remembering falling asleep.

At 2:00 A.M. I’m awake. I walked through a sea of grocery carts left in the parking lot into the store. Bananas and cheese sticks in hand, I walked out.  No sense wasting time waiting for morning; I set off on day two.  My destination was Pie Town, New Mexico.  I found it on a map of back roads heading to Sedona, Arizona.  Back roads because interstates will get you to your destination, but on a roadtrip…the trip is part of the entertainment.

I had a list of ‘what to see along the way’ on my Roadtrippers app, but being curious and willing to stop for anything is what makes road trips fun.  Driving in pitch blackness, except for headlights, makes that rule impossible.  I drove about an hour or so, when sleepiness crept back upon me.  I pulled into the next rest stop, grabbed my pillow and blanket, and reclined my seat. I awoke to the beginning of a new day, but the sun wasn’t up yet. It was day #2 of my summer adventure.

Back on the road, I had a wonderful surprise!  I had been driving across a road that on each side of it had sand, small cactus, and low scrub bushes.  I came across a public land site for ATV riding.  Yes, exploration!

 

 

 

It wasn’t White Sands, but I was thrilled.  I watched the sun rise over a dune of sand and climbed it.  My feet sinking into the sand as if it was water.  Jack Rabbits kept popping out of bushes startling me.  One ran across the sand leaving his foot prints along with my own deep holes where I kept sinking.  I admired the scenery for a while and then moved along.  I did have a deadline.

My deadline? Make Pie Town before the pie shop, Pie-o-neer, closed at 4:30.  It was about a six-hour drive and I do like to stop. I was driving the Billy the Kid scenic byway.

My first town passing through in daylight was Roswell. I didn’t have any stops there, but their welcome sign was precious.20180623_070933.jpg

Onward to the next town of Lincoln, New Mexico.  It’s a quaint town filled with history.  I walked, read historical markers, and looked at different artisans booths that were being set up.  One of the friendliest couples I met was from Gun Barrel City, Texas.

Texas friends…both of us named Becky.  The post office was a tiny little thing…but cute.  I talked with the post mistress.  She only works there 4 hours a day because that’s the only time it is open.  None of the stores were open yet because it wasn’t but 7:15.  They were getting ready for a festival, so the church was decorated.

 

 

 

On the drive, I stopped by the Capitan Mountains where the real “Smokey Bear” was rescued.  The small town of Capitan, New Mexico referenced him everywhere from a motel to a diner where I had lunch.  I passed through a place called “River of Fire” it was lots of lava rock from an ancient lava flow.  Interestingly, there was lots of satellites set up in a T formation called, “The Array.”  I drove two miles to check it out.  It had something to do with broadcasting.  They blocked my data from my phone while I was on their property.  I chose not to do a tour.

 

 

 

Finally!  I arrived in Pie Town and the Pie-o-neer did not disappoint!

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Pie Town sits near the Continental Divide Trail in New Mexico.

The owner was a lady named Kathy Knapp.  She made the pies and greeted the customers.  She asked everyone where they were from and what brought them to Pie Town.  When I told her I had driven over 900 hundred miles to eat her pie, she said, “There’s a whole lot of crazy going on in here today!”  Their motto is, “If you bake it….they will come.”

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The counter of the Pie-O-neer held many delicious choices.

Kathy was adorable.  She took a spiral tablet to every table and ask them to write where people were from and what brought them through the town. We also wrote down what pie we picked and what we thought about it.  She sat and visited with me for a while.

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Tanya, Me, and Kathy in front of the pie counter.

I had Peanut butter cream pie with a glass of milk.  My second piece was an apple, pine nut, chili pie and it was delicious.  I had to take part of it to go because I simply could not finish it.

 

In the next dining room over, a man begin playing his guitar for the customers.  While I was eating my pie, the pie shop was busy.  There were already people sitting on the porch eating pie.  Then about seven forestry firefighters came in to eat pie.  A family with three kids came in.  A man who was with his father came in and then went to the car and got out a big bag of balloons.  His elderly father blew up large balloons, drew faces on them, and gave them to the kids.  It was a neat place to hang out for a while.  I could have sat there for hours, but more driving needed to take place.

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Forestry Fire Brigade

Next door there was a windmill museum that closed, but Kathy said they still let people in to roam the yard, so I did.

 

 

 

 

Full of pie, glad I made my goal of getting there in time to enjoy the pie, and stretching my legs, I continued my drive to Sedona, Arizona.  My first official stop on this road trip.

I still had over four hours to drive, so I took Interstate 40 that would take me through towns that historic Route 66 went through.  I tried to see as much of it as I could.  I exited in Holbrook and came out right by the dinosaur rock shop and stopped to see the WigWam hotel.   I drove through Winslow, but that part of Route 66 was depressing with all the run down and out of business buildings.

 

I came into Sedona on 89A and I certainly wasn’t prepared for the switchbacks that brought me into the canyon.  I wish I could have taken some pictures, but the best I could do is ooohed and ahhhed as I watched the beauty around me and concentrated on driving.  It was breathtaking.  The canyon walls were loomed above me and the trees were beautiful.

The people used to driving that trek were able to drive faster than I could and at least six times, I pulled into the pull-outs to let cars pass me.

I did take a deep breath and stop when I came into the town.  I parked in one of the free parking lots and took this beautiful picture.  The sun was setting.

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Sunset in Sedona, Arizona

I walked around the town, people watched, and listened to someone play his guitar on the sidewalk.

I couldn’t find any decently priced hotels, so once again, I found a parking lot to park my car.  I grabbed my blanket and pillow, cracked my windows, and reclined my seat.  I listened to a dog bark as I closed my eyes, looking forward to exploring tomorrow.  Day #2 had come to an end.

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