Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Tumbleweed Express

Memorial Day, 2011

On my way north out of Silver City, I stopped in the little town of Glenwood. A  wonderful “attraction” there is called the Cat Walk. It’s an elevated set of stairs and platforms through a narrow canyon, the modern equivalent of an old wooden one back in the gold mining days, that allowed the miners to get way up the canyon to the mine. I didn’t stop this time to visit the Cat Walk, I just got gas at the one and only station in town.

There are 4 pumps and none of them are automatic, you have to go inside and pay first. The store isn’t a typical convenience store either, it’s also the town’s one and only grocery. I almost tripped on a box next to the entry that had a hand-written sign on it: If you’re going to Pie Town, take this to the Pie-O-Neer Café.

I paid for the gas and asked the woman behind the counter if I should take it, Pie Town was my destination. She was just thrilled and offered her husband to carry it to my car. It was a pretty small box so I thought I could probably manage it. It weighed a ton!! I had no idea what was in it, but I lugged it to the car and drove on.

The map showed a road turning north from Apache Creek, a few miles from Reserve. But somehow I missed it. I ended up driving on to Datil. The map shows both routes to be about the same, distance-wise, but the other road is supposedly prettier. I finally made Pie town about 2:00 in the afternoon. Sure enough, there are 2 restaurants: the Pie-O-Neer, and the Pie Town Café. Both serve…..you guessed it….pies. There is a post-office in an old adobe building that appears to be cracking in half, and I think I passed a gas station. Some houses can be seen if you look quickly, off to the south side of the road. Maybe 60 people live there.

The Cell Phone Booth, the only spot where you can
 talk on your cell phone.
North of Pie Town, about 12 miles. 
It was Monday, and Memorial Day, but the Pie-O-Neer was open. It’s in a quaint little building with quite a few cars parked outside. I was glad it was open because my only other option would have been to call the number on the box, and there is NO cell service in Pie Town. I went in and told the man who was sweeping the floor that I had a box from Glenwood. He came out to fetch it and asked me to come inside. In the old days the Pony Express would deliver mail from one place to another, but now days, that personalized service is called the Tumbleweed Express. The owner, the waitress and the sweeper all gave me a big hug and thanked me profusely. They’d been waiting for this box for a while, it contained tourist pamphlets (which accounted for the weight!) and they were so happy to be able to fill up the rack again. By this late in May, tourist season is in full swing.  I was offered a piece of pie as a reward for the community service. Most of the pies were fresh out of the oven. They looked scrumptious. Two kinds of apple - a crisp and a regular crust pie; strawberry-rhubarb, chocolate cream, cherry, peach, and lemon meringue. I chose cherry and took it with me. The owner said to open the box as soon as I got to my destination since the pie was still hot and it would steam up the crust.  What a nice bunch of people.  I just love small towns in the West. People depend on each other, and even on the kindness of strangers…..and it works!