Sunday, March 13, 2011

Amarillo TX to Gallup NM

Go to the airport. Now. Right now. Fly to Amarillo. Rent a car. Drive to Gallup.

OMG OMG OMG O. Mi. Gawd!!!!!! What staggeringly beautiful views! What a spectacular drive! What a beautiful country we are the current custodians of!

When I left Amarillo this morning, the landscape was flat although I could still feel the car climbing in altitude. Then I was riding through some hilly parts. Then.....BANG!!! There I was in the mountains! I'm so glad that I did not know what to expect; it made the drive that much more thrilling! This is my favorite day so far! I would be driving along, enjoyed the vast views of the majestic mountains, then I would find myself wanting to inhale as I drove right between huge masses of rock. It was exhilarating and a little scary all at the same time.

There simply aren't words to describe the views as I drove along. Any time I've gone to Las Vegas, I have loved the view of the mountains from my hotel window, but it is nothing like actually driving through them up close and personal. I wonder if the folks that live here still marvel at them? I want to make this drive again, but next time with a driver so I can gawk and take videos as we're driving.

It was a day of many firsts, as well. I've never stepped a toe in New Mexico before, so that's a first. It's the first time I stopped at the Welcome Center - but it sure won't be the last! Wow, they were great, and gave me tons of information! First time I ever saw a tumbleweed - then I ran smack into it & smashed it to smithereens. Fortunately it wasn't one of those huge ones we used to see on Gunsmoke. I also saw what I'm almost sure was a wolf. He was, unfortunately, being lunch for some big birds. He was still pretty whole, though, so he couldn't have been there very long. I also got caught up in a little whirlwind of many tumbleweeds when I was driving down one of the declines. I saw it in front of me & couldn't dodge it so I held on tight! The wind rocked me a little and the tumbleweeds are no more, but all was well in the end.

What I did NOT see today were RVs. Maybe 3. Are they banned on that stretch of I40? Or is it just good sense that they don't take it & get caught in that wind? I'll have to look it up. I know I was having second thoughts about that Winnebago Aspect I showed you yesterday. Man! I can't imagine that thing in those winds!

I stopped in Moriarty, NM at a rest stop. Elevation just about 6500 ft. That's where I posted about the winds. They were crazy wild! Gallup is the same elevation - 6510 to be exact (or so says the "welcome to Gallup" sign) but it's not nearly as windy here.

Here's the view from the New Mexico welcome center (which is where I took the first pic)
Oh look! More cows! Still looks like Texas, but I can see the mountains!

My hotel is on ...........

Yea, baby! Kicks await!

Right down the street is one of the many Indian Reservation casinos (Navaho). Of course I had to scoot right on down & give it a try! All I can say is - it ain't Vegas, baby. But it was fun nevertheless.

Route 66 is awesome. New Mexico has it marked very clearly on I-40, so the trip home will be fun through here - I won't have to go searching for the road.

Trusty Steed seemed to want to moan on a few of those climbs, but she made it just fine. Leroy slept the whole way - his purpose in life!! 407 miles today, and no sass from Lawrence. He took me right here. Of course how could he miss? My hotel in Amarillo was on the I40 service road, I drove I40 the entire time, and Route 66 might as well be the service road - it runs along I-40 here. If he'd've screwed that up, I may have had to permanently disable him! He has a challenge on his hands for tomorrow - we'll see how he does.

No problems with the altitude except for a bit of a headache. If someone would send me some humidity, though, that would be nice.

Between the time zone changes, the daylight savings time change, the time on the phone, the time on the computer, the time on the clock car - I have no earthly idea what time it is!! The nice thing? It doesn't matter!

Another great day! Thanks for stopping by!


  1. I recall tht Gallup wasn't much - but are you going to Taos and Sante Fe? Or heading straight to Las Vegas? Guess I'll have to read tomorrow to find out.
    But you are making me hungry for another road trip!

  2. Gretchen, I will go to Taos & Sante Fe on my way home. The nice young woman at the Welcome Center gave me info for them, too.
    I didn't mention all the artwork displayed so far here in NM. Many of the overpasses have great carvings or wonderful colors. In Albuquerque there's one that has marvelous metal petroglyphs. It's wonderful!
    Also I passed the Cadillac Ranch on my way out of Amarillo. I'll take pics on the way home...too fun!!

  3. I'm so glad you are enjoying the scenery as much as we always do. I just love it all - even the stuff that most people find boring! So glad you are stopping at Santa Fe and Taos on your way back! Have fun and please try a New Mexico breakfast burrito. You might be converted!


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