Log Day 3: Amarillo to Gallup, New Mexico
  Nave Album****1982 West Trip Go Back

August 3: Amarillo to Gallup, New Mexico

We awoke to a beautiful red sunrise- the kind I'd seen in pictures in Arizona Highways. Brenda cooked bacon and eggs and we took it a little easier since we had fewer miles to cover today.

The country toward Albuquerque grew ever more expansive- with huge stretches of highway to the horizon. We began to see the angular steps and plateaus we associated with New Mexico. We were on the high plain. We stopped several times for pictures and each time the boys wanted to stay longer - but with so many stops even 400 miles is a long way.

We stopped in Santa Rosa, New Mexico to buy groceries, etc. With stops it took us over half a day to get to Albuquerque. As we approached Albuquerque on the wide open plain we saw the blue mountains rise in the haze with thunderheads over them. I stopped along the road to shoot a picture of the mountains with some horses in the foreground and the wide plain. We were still going through the fantastic stretches of highway to the horizon.

We expected to climb into the mountains but instead we went into a long winding downgrade into Albuquerque. Then we climbed a long and steady incline out of the city and ran into the violent thunderstorm we had watched develop on the horizon - lightning flashing across the wide plain. Again the van was severely buffeted. The mountains around Albuquerque were dramatic behind us in the storm and I kept looking for a rainbow.

The rainbow never came because we ran in and out of thundershowers all the way across to Gallup, New Mexico. The country and mountains were nice all the way across - there were no boring stretches to me. There is something exhilirating and peaceful about the wide expanses.

We came into a valley with wide expanses of black lava flow. We stopped at a Stuckeys for gas and talked to the young Indians working there. They confirmed that the short flat-topped mountain behind them had been a volcano at the end of the Rocky Mountain chain and had blown up and filled the whole valley with lava.

We proceeded to the KOA Campground at Gallup. The boys immediately left through a hole in the fence to explore over toward a big outcropping of rock. They crossed a little sandy creek bed with a trickle of water about a foot wide on their way out. Another thundershower rolled in and we prepared the camper to stay inside and wondered where the boys were in the rain. They came in all excited because the tiny trickle they crossed on the way out was now a 12 foot-wide, rapidly flowing stream - in less than 30 minutes! They had to go around and find a bridge - and got a good lesson about the nature of flash-flooding.

We put sweat shirts on and slept under blankets with the rain beating down.

Map for Day 3
  Nave Album****1982 West Trip Go Back