Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Gallup, NM to Holbrook, AZ

Pyramid Mountain, New Mexico When I said the other day that it can get pretty cold in the desert, I wasn't kidding. We had left a 4 liter jug of drinking water in the trunk of the car, only to find it frozen solid this morning. Yet during the day, the temperature shot up to 10 Celsius.

The hotel (Microtel) had an average continental breakfast, no fruit, so that was a bit of a bummer. Anyway, at breakfast, we ran into a couple from Brighton, Ontario who had just arrived, by car (Toyota Celica), from Ontario and who were just starting their tour of Arizona. We had a nice chat, exchanged stories and tips and we were off.

Church Rock at Red Rock State Park, NM
First, as per the usual, to the grocery store to get fruits and vegetables, as we were all out. Next, it was off to Red Rock State Park, which needs no further explanation as the name says it all. We had a bit of trouble finding it of course (read: we got lost), but after some time arrived at the foot of the Pyramid Trail for a 2 hour hike. The peak is about 250 m higher than the foot of the trail, but most of the climb is fairly gradual, so it is a good workout and no death defying stunts (read: leaping across 2 metre crevices) are required to reach the top. Half way up we met the man who designed the trail, the self professed "trail boss", who was busy cleaning graffiti of the rock walls. On the very top, we met MaryJo from Ohio, who had left her husband and 2 children (8 and 3 year old). In the hotel, that is, while she did her morning workout climbing Pyramid Mountain.

Trail boss and designer of Pyramid TrailThe three of us descended together, which in this case was a snap. It had gotten windy, so the dust was blowing around pretty good. Small dunes were forming on the side of the road.

Main Street, Gallup was our next target. It is part of Old Route 66, with lots of "Indian Trading Posts" and pawnbrokers. The stuff for sale (mostly jewelry, pottery, and rugs, very few CD drives, USB hubs and the like) is all equally beatiful, so choosing what to buy is very tough. Nonetheless, with enough effort, Anne was able to procure some unique and precious stuff. We did enjoy a delicious coffee, before heading out on I-40 westbound, destination Holbrook, AZ, about 120 km. Where last night I explained about flea bag motels, well tonite we are living it. Anyway at $25.00 who can complain. No ice, but wireless Internet yes!!!!.

Speaking of wireless internet, it is truly amazing how fast that has spread. Unheard of 2 years ago, now about 50% of hotels, motels have it. I pity Motel 6, which I believe had every room wired with a special phone line a few years ago, which are now pretty well useless.

Our cooler, purchased the first day in Las Vegas, leaked and the whole back seat was soaked. Fortunately, it's only water and secondly it's a rental car, so no worries. We went to the local dollar store and purchased a sturdier one. Tonights dinner was buffet at Pizza Hut, delicious.

Tomorrow we are going down to Sedona, via Flagstaff. Sedona is supposed to be beautiful.

Here's today's KML file

1 comment:

Greg said...

How I envy you. You went all the way to Arizona to escape the cold, and it looks like the joke is on you! It seems you have the colder weather - today we reached a balmy 10 degrees Celsius! (However, if you were surfing the net, you might be aware of the freezing rain warning southern ontario is under.)