Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Day 12, Tuesday, 9/17/13 - Albuquerque to Gallup

That's right, Gallup wasn't in our plans at all, but here we are in a brand new Holiday Inn Express.  We did the laundry this AM, then bid farewell to our host, Larry Harrah about noon.  We took one last look at old US-66 thru Albuquerque, following Central Ave from Juan Tabo to the far west end of town.  Still a lot of the old classic motels active, but the iconic Zuni Motel is gone.

Then it was I-40 west to Grants for lunch at a great little place, El Cafecito, where we'll probably have lunch tomorrow.  Grants started as a railroad town, then became known for uranium mining.  We didn't tour the uranium mine they use as a tourism attraction.  From here on, the scenery got more exciting, with red cliffs on the north as we left the malpais.

Arrived at Gallup and immediately toured the museum in the old AT&SF depot.  It's a tribute to the area tribes (Navajo, Zuni, Hopi) with emphasis on the Navajo.  Lots of art on display, a bronze Code Talker statue outside, and a caboose with an area map.  The museum and its activities are sponsored by the Southwest Indian Foundation (you may have received its catalog) - the folks that rate charities fault them for excessive fund raising costs, but they obviously aren't a scam; perhaps they're fundraising costs are driven by merchandise costs.

Then we drove out to Red Rocks Park, where so many movies were made.  Now it has a convention center, rodeo arena, and still some good scenery.  Finally it was supper at local landmark Earls (Bill calls it overrated) and back to the motel. 
Tomorrow it's El Morro (inscriptions in the rock) and El Malpais (lava fields), and to Belen for the night.

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