CDT Day 18

23.9 miles hiked, staying in Pie Town!
It was a cold tossing and turning windy night. I haven’t been taking my magnesium powder at night and my legs have started cramping horribly so I really really need to get on top of that. Oops. Sometimes things are just really hard to do at night time.
I continue the descent down down down the hill, stopping for some water from a pond and ending up in the sunlight on a road where the trail flattens out.
I’m keenly looking at the trail in front of me, listening to more podcasts and daydreaming when I see some wolf-ish tracks. I check my handy little guide and they are not wolf-ish, it’s definitely wolf! So exciting  – whoever this guy is, he was just strolling along the CDT all night long.  The tracks look fresh (but I actually am clueless about how to determine that), and I wonder when the wolf was here – maybe Slip saw it when hiking yesterday?  Then I see some of Slips tracks UNDERNEATH the wolf tracks! Freaking awesome! Depending on how far Slip got yesterday, this wolf could be really close!  I keep my eyes peeled, staring down the road and hoping I see something cool.  The usual lizards, a few bunnies, but no wolves 🙁  The tracks continue for so long!
Today’s water is from a windmill that aparently we can turn on by opening a breaker box. The box is now nailed shut, so I guess they got sick of hikers taking water. The tank is still pretty full, and although there is a fair amount of algae it is pretty clear, so I sit myself down and start filtering. Then I notice that there is a power outlet on the outside of the breaker box! WOOHOO! I charge up my phone while sitting there and manage to nab an extra 20%. These are the amazing things that excite hikers! This means music and podcasts for the rest of the road walk. YAY!
There is an animal refuge that has an esky out the front with a few gallons of water for CDT hikers and bikers. Oh yes, bikers. This section crosses over with the Continental Divide bike trail, that my friend Alex has just started from Banff! I grab a litre, leave little thank you note, and get out of there quickly as there is a sign asking us not to loiter too long as it stresses out the dogs. No worries! And thank you! Hooray for thoughtful kind people!!!
A bit more road and then houses start appearing! YAY Pie Town. Behind my knee starts doing something strange. Twanging painfully. This is new. This is no bueno. I think it just needs some good stretching so I vow to stretch it well as soon as I get to Pie Town if it will stop hurting now please. It kinda listens.
There is no question when I have finally arrived at the Toaster house – a house literally surrounded by decorative toasters! It is owned by an awesome lady named Nita who leaves the house open for hikers and bikers to drop in. We can send packages there, sleep there, shower there, laundry there, and generally hang there. Thank you Nita! There is no one around when I arrive, so I put on a tape (yes! A cassette tape!) of the Big chill soundtrack and entertain myself singing along and dancing around while eating bits and pieces from the hiker box (thank you awesome vegan from the past who left a vegan brownie protein bar there!) and reading and writing in the register. Then there is shower!!! and laundry!!! and I’m wearing very strange loaner clothes.
There is a fridge out the back stocked with beer, there are frozen pizzas in the freezer, then Slip and a young cyclist appear so we drink a beer and chat. I cook up 2 dinners (ramen and the rest of my alpine aire dinner) and absolutely feast. 2 dinners! Hot dinners! Nom nom nom.
It’s dark now, but we wander up the road to the restaurant where there is wifi. After trying for a while we finally figure out the password (Slip was there earlier in the day) so that I can call my Nan on skype. So good to hear her voice and all her news 🙂
Wandering back down the dark dark cold road the stars are epic tonight. Just beautiful. I snuggle up in my quilt on a mattress on the floor, and look forward to a draft-free sleep with a full full belly.