Thursday, June 12, 2014

Thursday, shutting down.

Lunch in Gallup, NM. Continuing the theme of incredible poverty everywhere since I crossed onto the reservation, most of Gallup appears to be pawn shops and Quick Cash loan stores and a few boarded up shops that appear to have gone out of business by actually trying to sell stuff.

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.


  1. Wow! Have fun my friend!

  2. Don't miss the SR-71 Blackbird or its baby. I believe the drone (D-21--To the front left of the SR-71)is the only one left. Also the skinny cobra is really awesome. Actually everything is awesome. Don't miss the Air Force One planes as well! The WWII hanger is also something you don't want to miss.To see everything you almost need two days. Have Fun!

  3. +1 on Mbumgua! Great travelog so far!

  4. Don't forget your camera when you visit the museum! Your loyal readers are starting to experience visual input withdrawal symptoms.
    Have fun!

  5. +2 on Mbumgua, great place to see.

  6. Nice the petrified forest and painted dessert were awesome when we saw them a few years ago, and you're going to love the Pima Air and Space museum.

    Expect to spend all day and want to stay for more. Have fun.

  7. Anonymous7:11 PM

    Sounds like your having a pretty good time.

  8. Sounds like you skipped seeing Meteor Crater, that's an excellent stop in northern AZ, just off I-40, east of Flagstaff.
    And while in Tucson, take a short trip to the Titan Missile Silo. If Dwight is working docent that day, tell him "Hi" for me.
    Driving up Mt. Lemmon in Tucson is a good way to kill 3-4 hours, and a decent restaurant on the top too.
    There's Kitts Peak Observatory west of Tucson, another great thing to see.
    And finally, to get your fill of critters, there's the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, also west of town. Go early or late in the day, when the hostages are more active.

    1. Wish I'd sounded you out earlier. You seem to know the area well. I'm already out of the Tucson area now but I will be back, if only for the Titan museum.