Monday, December 7, 2015

Route 66-Gallup


  About 25 miles east of Gallup Route 66 crosses over the continental divide. It’s such a gradual grade, passing through a wide valley, that it’s hardly noticeable. Of course the bright yellow and red signs of the “Indian Market” are hard to miss!

   The road follows along the southern border of the Navajo Nation, the largest Indian reservation in the US, covering 27,000 square miles. This is a just portion of the traditional homeland of the Navajo who were permitted to return to the area after a forced removal to southeastern New Mexico in 1864 proved to be a dismal failure.


   Route 66 in Gallup, which is the largest town between Albuquerque and Flagstaff, is lined with old motels and trading companies.  Navajo and other Native American tribe members come to Gallup to buy supplies and sell their artwork so the shops are full of silver and turquoise jewelry and hand woven rugs.


  During the 1930s and 40s over 100 movies were filmed in the Gallup area and the stars stayed at the El Rancho Hotel. The hotel is still a popular Route 66 stop.


  Gallup has two small free museums. The Gallup Cultural Center has a Native American history gallery and an art gallery with changing exhibits.

  The museum is accessible.

   The parking lot is large enough for RVs.



The Rex Museum houses artifacts donated by local families. Many deal with the coal mining industry of the early 1900s. All of the items are carefully labeled but very little history of the city or the artifacts is given.

  The museum is accessible.

   RVs can be parked along the street.


  Don’t miss the art in Babe Ruth Park on the north side of the city.

  RVs will fit in the parking lot.



  Across the street from the park is another park with a giant kachina.  And located a bit west is the Galoop sculpture


  We stayed for two nights a few miles east of Gallup, once at the Fire Rock Casino and once at Red Rock State Park.   Red Rock campground is surrounded by beautiful red rock cliffs. The sites are fairly close together with little privacy. Some sites are large enough for any RV.

  We didn’t notice any sites marked as accessible. The ground is soft sand making wheeling around very difficult.


  A very nice, free museum is located at the park offices. Exhibits include beautiful blankets, baskets, pots and other art; historic information; and wonderful, large carvings of Native Americans.



   The lot farthest west at Fire Rock Casino is used by trucks so we parked in the east most lot where it was quieter.


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