Albuquerque and Gallup, NM

We had two days to visit Albuquerque. First on our list was the Petroglyphs National Monument situated in the northwest of the city. The monument is divided into several areas where the Prepeublo Indians etched symbols on the volcanic rocks. We first stopped at the Visitors center to talk to the rangers and decided we would visit Piedras Marcadas Canyon. The trail began in a parking lot behind a strip mall with a housing development along one side, it was about 2 miles, plenty long enough for two old people at 6,000 feet in the hot sun. We walked along the sandy floor of the canyon, surrounded by the walls littered with volcanic boulders. Soon we were seeing the images scattered on the rock faces. Each petroglyph was pecked into the rock using a hand tool. We did see two animals, the first was a colossal jackrabbit, it looked as big as a small deer. The towards the end of our walk a flock of roadrunners dashing ahead of us down the trail.
We had two days to visit Albuquerque. First on our list was the Petroglyphs National Monument situated in the northwest of the city. The monument is divided into several areas where the Prepeublo Indians etched symbols on the volcanic rocks. We first stopped at the Visitors center to talk to the rangers and decided we would visit Piedras Marcadas Canyon. The trail began in a parking lot behind a strip mall with a housing development along one side, it was about 2 miles, plenty long enough for two old people at 6,000 feet in the hot sun. We walked along the sandy floor of the canyon, surrounded by the walls littered with volcanic boulders. Soon we were seeing the images scattered on the rock faces. Each petroglyph was pecked into the rock using a hand tool. We did see two animals, the first was a colossal jackrabbit, it looked as big as a small deer. The towards the end of our walk a flock of roadrunners dashing ahead of us down the trail.




Back at the RV we ate a little dinner, walked Gracie and took a nap before going down into Old Albuquerque for the evening. We walked around, visiting the small shops, admiring the turquoise jewelry and other offerings, to a park with a concert. We sat for about an hour enjoying the old time rock and roll before going back to the RV.

On Sunday we had a choice to take the tram or the road to the top of Sandia Crest. We decided to take the road. The 10 miles to the top wound through an evergreen forest, primarily Douglas furs. At the top, we were now over 10,000 feet above sea level. The view looking over Albuquerque in the valley below was spectacular, but there was a haze of smoke from the California fires that obscured the distance. We walked around the peak, took several pictures and had lunch at the Sandia Crest House Cafe. We attempted to take a short hike along the crest, but the altitude was a bit much for us, so we didn’t go far.

Sandia Crest New Mexico

Back to the RV for a walk with Gracie, a snack for dinner and getting the RV ready to move in the morning. Next stop, Gallup, NM.

Leaving Albuquerque I40 headed up a straight grade, upon reaching the top we saw a spectacular desert view of flat lands with mesas scatter around. Unfortunately, there was no way to pull over and take pictures. We continue through a country of wide open spaces interspersed multicolored mesas. Colors ranged from muted browns to brick red, leaving us wondering what we would see over the next rise.

Gallup is a small western town, not much to see and not much to do. We drove around town a bit, had some dinner and retired for the night.

Our plan for Tuesday was a long drive through the Navajo Nation. We wanted to stop at the Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site and the Canyon de Chelly National Monument.

Our first stop, the Hubbell Trading Post, is located in Ganada. It was founded by Lorenzo Hubbell in 1883. He supplies merchandise & food to the Navajo while promoting their arts and crafts especially rug weaving and silver crafts. His family continued the business until the National Park Service purchased it in 1967 to preserve it. Today it operates much like it did in Hubbell’s time as a trading post under the Western National Parks Association. To read more about the Hubbell Site go to https://www.nps.gov/hutr/index.htm

Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site

It was interesting to wander the store with its creaking wooden floors, hand worn counters and Navajo rugs, blankets, pottery and baskets intermixed with modern products and equipment.

The Canyon de Chelly National Monument has a significant place in the history of the Navajo People. It was here that Colonel Kit Carson attacked the Navajo, driving them across the canyon floor, massacring many then forcing the living on a 200 mile march to Fort Sumner where they were held until being allowed to return to their homeland.

After a stop at the visitors' center with took the south rim road overlooking the deep valley. The walls carved by the wind and rain are fantastic and deep in the valley are Navajo farms where they live peacefully today. Canyon de Chelly (pronounced deshay) will be one of the unexpected highlights of our trip. https://www.nps.gov/cach/index.htm

Canyon de Chelly National Monument

Last stop Window Rock. As many of you know, I love to read, and one of my favorite mystery writers is Tony Hillerman and his Joe Leaphorn/Jim Chee series. Members of the Navajo police, the character's home office is in the town of Window Rock, so a quick stop to take a photo of the rock was necessary.

Window Rock, AZ

After a long, interesting day we returned to the RV for a simple dinner and sleep.

Other views along the way.

New Mexico/Arizona Views from the road

The next day we left Gallop for the Holbrook AZ and the Painted Desert/Petrified Forest National Parks.