Friday, December 17, 2021

Day 28: Milking cattle at the LTC Ranch

May 18: I took my time leaving Pie Town since I was only planning to walk a mere 16 miles to LTC Ranch, and it was all a road walk. A gravel road that didn't get much traffic--and rather easy and fast to walk. So it wasn't until around 8:30 that I finally got my act in order and trekked out of town with my heavy pack.


Pie Town Pies is closed on Wednesdays, so it's not possible to buy a pie in Pie Town on Wednesdays. And since today was Wednesday, it was a good day to leave! NO PIE! =P

Evenstar decided to take the day off. She had concluded that her feet trouble were largely the result of bad shoes and was getting a new pair sent to the Pie Town post office... but they weren't expected to arrive until tomorrow. She could probably use the extra day to get a little work done on her laptop as well.

Pez was about a day ahead. After losing track of him a couple of days earlier, I had gotten a message from him when I was at the general store yesterday saying that he was leaving town just then. We missed each other by less than an hour! He had gotten into Pie Town the day before Evenstar and I did but promised to slow down to take it easy on his knee. He was in a rush to get to Pie Town because he hadn't carried enough food from Doc Campbell's, but that meant he was now a day ahead.

Addie's last message let us know that she was somewhere on the Gila Alternate, probably sent from Doc Campbell's if we had to guess. We figured she was a couple of days behind us but cell phone service was so spotty out here, we really didn't know her precise location except that it was somewhere behind us.

I didn't even see donkeys on the trail!

So I headed out on the gravel road out of town and... it wasn't particularly interesting. A grader drove by a couple of times working to level out the gravel road, and I wondered how often these roads need a grader to fix it. Every year? I have no idea!

After a few hours, I caught up with another hiker: Swift, who I meet the evening before at the Toaster House. Despite hiking nearly 40 miles to get into town yesterday, he wasn't going to let any dust settle. So we ended up hiking together for a few hours which is when I found it out he was from Seattle. Cool! Another Seattleite! =) He had school in September, though, which apparently was at least partly the reason for his long hiking days and short stops in trail towns. I was aiming to finish the trail by the end of September before winter storms struck. He was trying to finish the trail by the end of August to beat the start of the school year.

Swift and I, heading to LTC Ranch for the night.

The day's weather was overcast and windy, which kept temperatures cool and reasonable. 

And, late in the day, we arrived at our destination: the LTC Ranch.

They provided a thru-hiker sanctuary directly on the road walk. The most important service they provided was fresh, clean water since there otherwise would have been none since leaving Pie Town and the next reliable water source was still who knows how many miles ahead. It was a long stretch without water.

And they gave us a place to camp at the entrance of their property.

And then they really went above and beyond by feeding us all dinner! Today's menu included soup, corn bread and two types of pie. =)

While eating dinner, Larry--one of our hosts--told us a little about the ranch and one thing led to another and by the time dinner was finished, we all headed out to watch a cow get milked. Actually, a couple of hikers wanted to try milking the cow, and Larry showed them how to do it and I think we all learned a little something about cattle that evening. =)

I kind of wanted to try it, but I was also freezing cold at this point now that the sun was setting and instead rushed over back to the campsite after watching a bit and jumped into my sleeping bag.

The end of another day on the trail....

Pretty much the entire day was walking on flat, easy gravel roads.

Watching a grader go by was one of the most exciting things we saw on today's walk. =)

Taking a break in this desolate wasteland.

Even a boot on a post was an exciting thing to find on this section of trail! =)

This is part of the LTC Ranch. The orange and red containers had fresh, clean drinking water for hikers. And the trash can so hikers could throw out trash. (Not that we had much, since we had only left Pie Town that morning.)

Hiker dinner. Where did all these hikers come from?! They must have all left Pie Town before me.

It's time to milk the cow.....


Mary said...

What goes on there at the ranch? There's only one cow? Dried land, no growth. Do hikers pay to camp and get food?

Ryan said...

They have sheep, horses and even other cattle. Just the one needs milking, though. And no, everything is provided free for hikers.