Groundhog Day (Again...)


Was this telling me to stop and visit the Pie-O-Neer, or to stop worrying about leaving Pie Town?!

Day 23: May 16, 2019

Destination: Pie Town, CDT Mile 424.6

Today’s Miles: 0

Start Location: Pie Town, CDT Mile 424.6

Trip Miles: 348.9


Hellllllooooooooo from Pie Town! Yep! Still here!

I went to The Gathering Place to have coffee and breakfast today and to check email, etc. The tracking information on my tent piece was updated and said delivery expected by 8pm Saturday. SATURDAY!? 8?!! These were my first thoughts. You see, the post office here is only open for a few hours Saturday morning, so unless it arrives early, I could be looking at a Monday departure.


I was starting to feel like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day. I’ll just keep waking up in Pie Town every morning now and the tracking will continue to say the same thing: SATURDAY BY 8. Only it will never be Saturday!


I had a little trouble with acceptance on this, which was complicated by some other news: I ordered a few things to be shipped to Grants, including a new pair of socks, and I got a notice from Amazon saying UPS couldn’t deliver it to the Post Office there. I learned that UPS will only deliver to SOME post offices. Further, they took the unilateral action to change the shipping address to somewhere in Cuba, NM. That’s a week north of Grants.

The Gathering Place

Anyway, I reeled a bit at this news and set about trying to contact UPS. I called a hotel in Grants to get permission to ship my socks there if I could change the address. I finally got through UPS’ automated robot phone service and talked with a human. They told me they might be able to change the address.


At this point, I am still not sure if they can, but I have accepted that it is what it is. Worst case I will get my new socks in Cuba. Worst case I will leave here sometime Monday (probably). Maybe I’ll get lucky and be able to leave Saturday.


Meanwhile, my feet are benefitting from the rest. I have to remember this. My blisters have time to dry and heal. Also, waiting just means there is more of a chance that I will be able to hike straight through Colorado without flipping, which is another positive. Pie Town is a cheap place to zero - another positive. There are lots of reasons that these mishaps and delays aren’t bad at all. But, if I’m honest, it does feel a little like Groundhog Day. Memories of my time sitting and eating in Damascus haunt me. I feel like I’m not performing well, yada yada. These feelings are false, but I still have them.


Nevertheless, I’m at a point of acceptance. It is out of my control and it is what it is. The adventure will unfold on its own schedule. I need to be patient. I just suck at being patient, and I’m even worse at sitting still.


If you read my AT journal, you may remember that I like to learn and think about songs on the trail. I haven’t been doing as much of that yet in the CDT, but listening to Eric play guitar yesterday made me think of a few songs to ponder. One of them is somewhat fitting now.


Coldplay is definitely one of my favorite bands, and I was thinking about their song “We Never Change” on the Parachutes album. I hate the saying “people don’t change,” because people change all the time. And yet, there is a lot of truth to it in that changing things like character defects takes a lot of work, and even with years of practice and hard work they don’t always go away forever. It’s like a game of self-improvement whack-a-mole. Speaking for myself, while I have not been able to get rid of character flaws like impatience and needless drive, I can at least recognize them when they pop up now. In the song, there is a part that goes: “I want to live in a wooden house, where making more friends would be easy. I want to live where the sun comes out.” That pretty much sums it up for me. I want the structure and ease of everything to fall into place the way I want it to. Of course I do! The song also has a verse that says: “I want to fly and never come down. I want to live life and have friends around.” Again, I often catch myself in that bucket. I want to walk 30 miles a day and never have blisters. I want to take off and hike for 6 months and then have life let me just pick it back up on my terms.


I thought about this song. I might not change, but I can recognize my character defects and try to change. There’s a big difference. Some might say progress, not perfection. So today I recognize that I was frustrated because things didn’t go MY WAY, but that’s ok. Things don’t need to go my way. Things will just go and I have to be ok with that. The sooner I accept that, the sooner I can stop fighting the universe and maybe eat another piece of pie. I’ll leave the wooden house for someone else.

This afternoon I went down to the Pie-O-Neer cafe, which is only open on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. It’s a cute place. It’s supposed to have the best Pie in town, but since I have been to all of the restaurants now, I have to say it doesn’t! Their pie is good, but so far the best food, best pie, AND best prices in town are at the Pie Town Cafe. If you come through town, hands down that is the best place for pie. Also, thru-hikers get a free slice! I’m excited that they will be open again tomorrow. Regardless of where you go, the people that run these three cafes are all really nice, great people. They’ll take care of you.


I soaked my feet in salt water again today. They are healing nicely. I’ll keep you all updated on my departure date. I did pick a route out of Pie Town and plan to combine a few alternates with the main CDT to maximize my landscape variety - canyons, arches and lava fields await!

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