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Travel Logs March 2018

Senior Moments

Two Thousand Miles for a Piece of Pie

By Edward A. Joseph

I first learned about Pie Town from a Sixty Minutes segment entitled “Slice of Life.” The story captured my imagination, and I felt like I had received an engraved invitation to go there and have a slice of my favorite pie, chocolate cream. One cannot turn down an engraved invitation.

“Ed, I’ve always supported your ‘drive abouts’ but going 2000 miles for a piece of pie seems a bit over the top, even for you,” was my spouse’s reaction when I told her my latest travel plan. Susan and I have been married a long time, and I know I’m in trouble when her fiery green eyes shoot death rays in my direction.

Pie Town, New Mexico, is somewhat over 2000 miles from Yonkers, New York, where we live. At the latest census, Pie Town’s population was 186. It’s located on an isolated stretch of U.S. 60, one of America’s first coast-to-coast highways. (In 1966 California decommissioned U.S. 60 and the terminus was moved to Arizona.)

I first learned about Pie Town from a Sixty Minutes segment entitled “Slice of Life.” The story captured my imagination, and I felt like I had received an engraved invitation to go there and have a slice of my favorite pie, chocolate cream. One cannot turn down an engraved invitation.

Susan, bless her soul, has put up with my eccentricities for over 50 years and eventually came around and supported my latest venture.

As I’ve gotten older, rather than drive thousands of miles to an area I’m interested in, I fly to an airport in the nearest city, rent a car, and spend a week or so visiting places that have caught my fancy.

On my excursions I pick one place that is the focus of the trip, like Pie Town, and then add other locations that seem interesting. I go roughly in a circle if possible, and arrive back in the city I started from.

For this trip, I flew to Albuquerque, New Mexico, then went north to Mesa Verde National Park in southwest Colorado, traveled south back into New Mexico, west into Arizona and the Petrified Forest National Park, and then east on U.S. 60 to Pie Town, staying in various motels along the way.

Driving into Pie Town on a gorgeous sun-filled day, I spotted a number of cars outside the Pie Town Café and pulled into the parking lot. Going inside I saw delightful looking pies lined up in a large display case. These were the specials for the day, and the pie gods were with me because one of them was chocolate cream.

I decided to have my pie at one of the tables in front of the café. When I finished it, I thought it would be great to have a picture of me actually eating a piece of pie in Pie Town. This necessitated ordering a second piece, kiwi lime, and asking the waitress to take my picture, which she graciously did.

When I paid inside, I complimented the waitress on the pies, and she called to the baker in the kitchen to come out front. A fellow senior appeared, and she gave me a big smile when I told her I had traveled over 2000 miles to enjoy her delicious pies.

A happy camper drove out of Pie Town to continue his New Mexico journey. Over the next few days, I visited the Billy the Kid Museum in Fort Sumner, the El Santuario De Chimayo church, a pilgrimage site known for its curative soil, Georgia O’Keeffe’s home and studio in Abiquiu, and finally back to Albuquerque for my return flight.

When I arrived home Susan’s first question was, “Well, was traveling 2000 miles for a piece of pie worth it?”

“Actually, it was two pieces,” I answered, "and worth every mile.”

 

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