When we left Flagstaff a couple of days ago, I was excited to be driving on to New Mexico; we’d hit our first time zone change, I’d get to see my aunt, and I love Santa Fe and am always happy to go back.
On our way to Gallup, we stopped first at the giant meteor crater in Arizona.
It was kind of wild to think about the tremendous amount of force it had to take to create that crater. Next, we detoured to the strange little town of Holbrook, Arizona. From Holbrook you can follow a historical Pony Express route into the middle of nowhere (along which there is a town called Snowflake), or you can just scope out the numerous odd, inaccurate, and totally bizarre dinosaur statues.
I mean, why.
After this, we stopped again at Petrified Forest National Park.
Though the Park Service employs only the most wonderfully welcoming and pleasant people in the country, and the park itself was beautiful, I am having difficulty interesting Luna in our nation’s treasures.
She seriously wouldn’t even get out of the car.
Nevertheless, it was a beautiful spot and I’m glad we took the time to stop.
After this stop, we drove into Navajo Nation, which I must tell you is one of the most depressing places I’ve ever driven through. Everything spoke of poverty, the billboards all advertised suicide prevention services or gambling addiction rehab facilities, and when we finally stopped in Gallup, I was immediately accosted for money by the same homeless man—twice in 5 minutes. We didn’t go out and explore Gallup; I was exhausted, probably from the increased elevation, and Luna looked like she needed some cuddles, so we camped out in the hotel room and read Stephen King and watched Netflix. It was a nice rest.
The next morning, I stopped by the Gallup Indian Plaza to find some Navajo art for Andres’ Souvenir Scavenger Hunt, then we rolled out to Santa Fe. We got in early, I booked a pet sitter for Luna, and I did some quick errands (including finding a “science-themed t-shirt” for Andres’ souvenir). Then, I met up with my aunt, and we hit the Plaza, and had a great dinner and wandered around listening to the Santana-type band playing in the square and getting up to hijinks.
My aunt stayed over with us in the hotel because the room was comfortable and gorgeous and had an extra daybed, and then in the morning we dropped her off at home and hit the road again. It was our last day following the old Route-66, which I’ll miss a bit, but it’s time to head south.