Friday, October 5, 2012

Gallup, New Mexico

October 5, 2012:

On October 2, 2012, we moved camp to Red Rocks Park just outside of Gallup, New Mexico.  

On the way to Gallup we stopped at an Indian Casino for a break, Twinkles won $6.00 on a penny machine and cashed out !  We found out that you can stay at some of these Casino's very cheap, this one was $10.00 for a full hookup site, right next to the casino and they sometimes give you free stuff.  As long as you don't blow your money in the Casino, it is a great deal.  

Red Rocks Park was once a state park, now seems to be run by city of Gallup and the Indians. It is a most scenic site with views of Church Rock and Pyramid Rock from the campground along with hikes to both from the campground.  They are great hikes, I am adding both to my favorites list ! In addition, they have an Indian Museum, a Convention Center, a world class Rodeo Arena.  They hold many cultural events here during the year.  I would love to come back for one of the Indian Rodeos.

We hiked up and down both Church Rock and Pyramid Rock and it just doesn't get much better ! The photos came out pretty good, but they just don't duplicate the radiant colors, size and perspective of these rock formations. Even the few photos that look great, pale in comparison to the reality of being there. 

Main street Gallup, original Route 66, next to the railroad tracks, is a solid line of shops selling hand made native Indian jewelry and art work. This railroad, BNSF, (Burlington Northern Santa Fe), is a vibrant line, long freight trains pulled by multiple engines pass through town every 3-4 minutes it seems.  There is some move underfoot to silence the horns as they go through town.  Gallup has a mural project on-going and they are great, I took many (too many) photos of them.  There is another newer section of Gallup, other side of the tracks, next to Route 40, with all the food, hotel and Department store chains where everyone now shops.  

This is American Indian country with Mexican/Spainish cultures mixed in, takes a while to get used to being in the minority !  We went to the Walmart store, it was so crowded, it seemed like 80% American Indians.  

If you hate dust, don't come here !  The Campground is very sandy, the surrounding rocks are slowly eroding down to the valley floor and when the wind picks up in the afternoon (seems to every day) it becomes a dust bowl.  Luckily it wasn't that hot as we had to close all the windows and the door to keep the dust out. I even parked the truck behind the RV to protect it a bit from the blowing sand.  We will be cleaning sand for the next few weeks, everything is gritty, but the beauty of this place makes it all worthwhile ! 

Next update will be from Holbrook, Arizona

Church Rock at start of hike

Twinkles taking a rest

Getting closer

And closer

Near the top

We made it !

View at top of Church Rock

Another view near top of Church Rock

El Morro Theater in Gallup

Mural in downtown Gallup

Sidewalk art in Gallup

WPA tile work in Gallup Court building 

Mural in downtown Gallup

View out rear window of the RV

Mural in downtown Gallup

View near top of Pyramid Rock

View on Pyramid Rock

Rock formation on Pyramid Rock

Rock formation on Pyramid Rock

View on Pyramid Rock

View on Pyramid Rock

View of Church Rock from Pyramid Rock hiking trail

Pyramid Rock from campground

Red Rock Park rodeo gate

Twinkles and Tumbleweed

Dry stream bed at Red Rock Park

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