I came down the highway from Shiprock and the terrain smoothed out into endless high desert prairie with scrub sagebrush and even some patches of desert sand, quite different from what I saw in AZ. The typical reservation home seems to be an old trailer or small pre-fab hut, either singly out on the land or clustered together in parks. I remind myself that the reservation is technically a sovereign nation, but it appears to be one with an economy similar to some of the former eastern bloc countries and if the EBT ever went away this whole area would dry up and blow away.
Lunch arrived. The "steak burrito" turned out to be a slice of cube steak on a tortilla with about half a teaspoon of sour cream and a few bits of lettuce and tomato on the side. The place is called Virgie's Restaurant and Lounge. Should you ever pass through Gallup, don't go out of your way to stop here.
One "can't miss" place though is Painted Desert and Petrified Forest National Park, just west of Gallup about forty miles. I was just going to buzz through for a quick glance but it was so spectacular that I spent several hours there hiking the trails and taking pictures.
Then it was a run down highway 60 to Globe, AZ, and that stretch of road is worthy of being a national park itself--it's incredible, especially when it descends into then climbs back out of a huge canyon.
Now I'm in Globe, following a good meal at Chalos Mexican restaurant. Two cops I met outside their station recommended it for the green chile, and it wás fantastic. My only complaint was that they were kinda busy and the service sorta sucked because of it, but for the food...great.
I was going to camp out again tonight but this is a vacation, not basic training, and a shower appeals, especially as I'm meeting family tomorrow.
But first: the Pima Air and Space museum in Tucson. I've waited a lifetime to see that place and I plan to spend most of tomorrow there. But now it's time for iced beer, a shower and sleep in an air conditioned room. Aaaahhhhh.