As of last night we had passed through 17 states on this trip. We will add one more when we arrive in Kentucky tomorrow. When we awoke in Gallup NM, it was cold. The altitude was over 6000 feet, and the air was dry and clear. he temperature had dipped to the low 20s in spite of the bright sunshine. As we started we saw patches of snow on the side of the road.
Our overnight stay in Gallup exorcised a few demons. When we had come this way in 1989, with our kids, we had arrived in Gallup too late for a camping spot. We tried a couple hotels which were full. Finally we went to the south side of the city where we stayed in the worst motel I've ever seen. The clerk took our cash with a sour look, from a barred cage. The room itself was maybe 10 feet from the rail tracks and the windows were barred. The sheets were thin and the carpet stained. The lock on the door seemed flimsy and we slept fitfully. It was such a bad night that we didn't even try to find a motel the next night, but drove all night to stay with friends in St. Louis. We slept well in Gallup this time.
The morning landscape was beautiful with rocky mesas, red in the bright sun.
We stopped for fuel at a barren exit. Next to us a Japanese couple were fueling an enormous, gleaming, red RV. It occurred to me that many apartments in Japan or South Korea are smaller than this vehicle. He said he was getting 6 mph, which Peter thought was impressive given the size of the RV.
It was noon as we approached Albuquerque, but the nearest rest stop was at least two hours away.
We decided to use the Panera app I had installed to find a lunch spot. It worked fine until we landed at a huge mall. We got out and asked someone, who directed us to a very large cafe where we had a hot lunch for a change.
Back on the road, we drove through the eastern plains of NM and into the Texas panhandle.
In Kansas we had seen a couple oversized flatbed trucks each carrying just one blade of a turbine. It made us wonder what it was lIke to deliver all
the parts for these machines. As the sun went down each turbine blinked a red light which gave the landscape the look of Christmas decorations.
We only had to drive about an hour in the dark this time, and we arrived at our hotel early enough to take a swim and soak in the hot tub.