This journey is a mix of assiduous attention to detail for survival and contemplation of luminous landscapes for the soul.
After driving, sometimes for hours, to Porter’s drop-off trailhead, together we work for almost an hour to unload his mountain bike, Goat, from its vertical bike rack with its various locks and accoutrements, put on the front wheel, and orchestrate a careful assembly of frames and straps, bags including tarp, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, warm clothes and rain gear, repair kit and tire pump, cook-kit, food, handlebar feed bags, handlebar pogies to keep his hands warm, odometer, inReach satellite tracker, phone with case and shade to keep it from getting too hot, maps and directions, about six liters of water in water bottle holders, water filter, and flashing rear light. No panniers for Porter, aerodynamic ultra-lighter that he is–mostly home sewn cuben fiber bags.
Porter pedals off, and no matter how much water he carries, he drinks it all in the dry New Mexico desert. Between Silver City and Pie Town, he followed cows to lead him to water when it was time to camp. Who knew cows moo all night?! They surrounded his tarp, mooing all the big existential questions.
Amber has been planning for months what she’d eat in Pie Town, a landmark on the Continental Divide Trail and Great Divide Mountain Bike Route. She finally decided on cherry, blueberry, and apple-cinnamon-cranberry.
The only real mechanical problem the bike has had so far was a jammed thru-axle in the fork. Porter spent a whole day in Socorro’s EconoLodge parking lot getting it unstuck. That’s my man!
May your thru-axle never jam, cows moo you the meaning of life, and you get all the pie you want.
There is so much to be said for looking forward to and then consuming fresh, homemade, delicious pies. I hope Porter and you have a next gustatory treat to occupy your thoughts on your rigorous journey.
Marian, thank you, and we hope you have gustatory treats galore yourself! If you’ve never been to Pie Town, it’s worth a trip!
And the beat goes on–you two are out there DOING life, not just dreaming about it. I admire you so much. I had forgotten about Pie Town and now you’ve made me hungry. The rain just moved into Longmont and I could see on my early Golden Ponds walk that weather was moving in over the mountains, so I imagine the next phase of your adventure will hold new challenges! Take care my friends!
Rosemary, so you’ve been to Pie Town! We’re watching the weather and the snowpack as we move north toward Colorado, but there are snow patches as far south as the mountains above Cuba, NM. Fortunately, we have a lot of flexibility. You’re doing life too, and we admire you enormously.
Cows with the existential questions of life!!!! Yes!
You two know how to describe your adventures.
Jerrie, no doubt Oz speculates a great deal on the existential questions also!
that’s also a beautifully written passage. such a pleasure to read. thank you. rock on!
Dean, thank you from the bottom of my heart, that means so much coming from so profound an artist as you! Your own work reveals your radiance, which Porter and I deeply appreciate!
i too love the thought of cows mooing all the existential questions. my cat keeps me up at night meowing, but her only question is WHERE’S THE PIE? xxooo rock on you kids you!
Lisa, as your cat knows in her infinite wisdom, “Where’s the pie??” is the ultimate existential question! All else is illusion. Rock on you fabulous Lisa, you! Miss you, and hope to see you soon after our return. XOXOX
Cows leading Porter to water…brilliant. Who’d a thunk? Blessings on all of your heads and gear. Thank you for taking us on your journey too.
Kathleen, yes, cows gotta have water. I was so glad this water source wasn’t just the usual trough he finds. At one trough he had to shimmy out on a narrow pipe to get water out of it, thank heaven he didn’t fall in! We think of you and Jeff often and hope to catch up with you at some point. Hope your summer is going splendidly!
So glad to hear from you Gail! I love spreading the good news in class and your posts are always a welcome delight. How the heck does Porter pack up all of those items you listed, in such a small set of bags? He truly is amazing and I love his diligence with regard to the thru-axle repair. I love Amber’s post too! What a delight, and now I too have a yearning to visit Pie town. I also admire the wisdom of cows, guiding Porter to the watering hole. Thank heavens for their instincts, and I’m sure the constant “Mooing” was a small distraction when considering the importance of water while traveling. You two are amazing, and I truly look forward to your posts! Good luck and keep smiling! Happy Memorial day- we miss you at the pool!
Wonderful to hear from you too, Andrea, and thanks for your lovely comment! I think of you all at the pool so often and miss you all too! Happy Memorial Day! Love, Gail
Amber looks delighted! What a great adventure!
Pattie, how lovely to hear from you! Amber and I hope all is well with you and that you too are having great adventures!
“Pie Fixes Everything”
So true, David!
Unless they’re cow pies!
LOL, Rae Ann!
Sending love to Porter Amber and you. Lyra and I miss you both and look forward to one of our get together’s when you all return.
Charlie, lovely to hear from you! We miss you and Lyra too and will be in touch!
I so enjoyed reading your vivid recap of the trip, Gail. Happy, safe, inspiring adventures to you both!
Thank you, Jody! Hope your summer is off to a wonderful start! Hugs to you and Doak!
Safe and utopian travels, my dear ones. I’ll be thinking of you.
Thank you, Judy! We hope all is fantastic with you!
What a great post! The landscape (and pie) look amazing! Love you tons!
Thanks, Philip, we love you tons too!
Amber’s pie orgy looks fabulous!, Meanwhike, it’s wonderful that Porter is so clever at fixing things and that you are so supportive to boot!
Love you both,
Brenda, I hope your new book is going well! Yes, it’s lucky Porter can fix things! Last night he washed the electronic car key in his shorts pocket but took it all part with my eyeglass repair tiny screwdriver to dry the parts out and put it all back together, and it works again! Much love to you from Porter and me, Gail
I love it, cows mooing existential questions. Before, I just wanted to make steaks out of them.
Ron, that’s hilarious! One of the existential questions the cows kept mooing was on the meaning of life after steak!
Glad Amber hasn’t given up her love for pies!
May the cows moo you gently to sleep . . .
LOL, Nora–the mooing cows kept Porter awake all night, they were so close to crashing into his tarp! Hope all is great with you guys!
Hi, so good to hear about the journey, it’s beauty and challenges! I just got back from a visit to Austin and Houston. There is not a shortage of pie there. It was rainy in Texas and came back to rain in Colorado. Hope you guys are finding the good weather. Thinking of you and sending good thoughts.
Wonderful to hear from you, Deb! Lots of sun here, indeed. Glad to know Texas still is holding up its end in the pie department!
If it were me, I would also strap on waders, wading boots, three or four fly rods, and 20 pounds of flies and miscellaneous stuff. I do not know why you bother if you are not going to stop and fish occasionally.
Randy, LOL, you’re hilarious! In any case, we’re so looking forward to seeing you in Canada! And thanks very much for your recent kindness to Philip.