Sunday, April 7, 2013

Red Rock Park: Gallup, NM

Jim has never been to the Grand Canyon, so we've been watching the weather to see if we can stop there on our way back to Salt Lake.  It looks like it's a go as long as we hunker down for one storm:  rain and wind (gusts of up to 60 mph) predicted to hit parts of New Mexico and Arizona tomorrow and lingering into Tuesday.

Since the wind was to start picking up this afternoon, we left Albuquerque early this morning and drove to Gallup, about 130 miles east.  We'll stay here until we feel it's safe to get back on the road. 

After we got settled in, we drove around Gallup.  The main street is old Route 66 and has what look to be thriving businesses, especially hotels, gas stations, and Native American craft/jewelry stores.  Then we drove around the small, old downtown area with its new courthouse and mural-covered walls.
Our campsite at Red Rock, a Gallup, NM city park. We have two criteria for a campsite: 1) easy to level the rig; and 
2) good view out the back.  This time we had a third prerequisite: flexible-looking trees because of the forecasted wind. 
Our camp host told us we could pay with cash, check or peanuts. From the looks of things, he has a lot of relatives nearby.  
Seven buildings in Gallup's old downtown area have murals, including the city library, above.

Another mural. Gallup is close to Navajo, Hopi and Zuni reservations and about a third of the city's population is Native American.
A veterans' memorial near the McKinley County Courthouse in Gallup, the county seat.  Gallup is also the largest city between Flagstaff and Albuquerque.
Carl, this is for you.

The scenery is stunning.
Another scenery shot I took through our windshield while Jim was driving. I never would have thought Gallup was so beautiful.  But among all the beauty is a lot of poverty; I read that about 20 percent of the 20,000 residents have incomes below the poverty line.

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