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Harry and Judy's RV Trip
9th Aug 2017 - Summer 2017 Part II
Day 35-August 9, 2017-It's the Journey (And the Destination)

Day 35-August 9, 2017-To Gallup, NM

Drove 281 miles in 7-1/2 hours

Hot, up to 94

It was the journey, not the destination today. We drove through 3 states, most of the time on tribal lands.  We had only gone 15 miles when we stopped at the “Hole in the Rock” a 14 room, 5,000 sq. ft. home chiseled out of sandstone by Albert and Gladys Christensen in the 1940’s.  It took them over 20 years to complete.  At first it was a diner where Albert was the cook and Gladys was the server.  The diner area is now the gift shop but the rest of the home is left exactly as it was when Gladys died in 1974.  Albert died in 1957.  He was also a sculptor and painter and taxidermist.  On the outside of the home he sculpted a face of President Roosevelt.  He has two stuffed mules in the home that he found frozen on the hills and “Handsome Harry”, his mule that helped carry stone in and out of the home while he was building it.  The lapidary room brought back memories of Harry’s father’s showroom, lots of rocks and stones and tools.  It didn’t need heat or air conditioning but it did have electric and running water and it never collects dust, a real plus. A 65’ chimney was chiseled from the roof down for a fireplace. Outside was just as fascinating as inside.  There is a jeep on the roof, gardens all over the grounds (they are buried in one of them), out buildings that are now a gift shop and convenience store and a petting zoo.  All kinds of sculptures and collectibles wherever you look.  A car decorated in license plates with iron tires.  They had no children but Gladys had a son who sold the whole thing “as is” in 2000 for $800,000.00.  We were there for probably an hour and then continued on Route 191 South, a one lane each way highway.  Speed limit was the same as the interstates but the scenery was so much better.  About a half hour later we passed “Wilson Arch” right on the side of the road. The only arch we know of that can be seen from the main road. And then the journey really started.  We were on a plateau and could see forever in every direction.  We passed lots of signs like “Frequent deer crossing” and “Deer migration area” but never saw a deer.  Drove through Monticello where we could see Abajo Peak in the distance at 11,360’ and then through Devil’s Canyon, a deep canyon with gorgeous rocks.  Came up to Recapture Reservoir, the only water we’ve seen for a while.  We drove through the Ute Mountains Tribal Land with wide open spaces with nothing but sagebrush, then into Fort Bluff and the Navajo Tribal Land which goes from Utah to Arizona to New Mexico.  Passed the Navajo Twins, two sandstone turrets that dwarf everything around them. Entered Arizona where the roads got much worse and stopped in Mexican Water at the side of the road for lunch.  Most of the home we did see were hogans, or round houses, the traditional Navajo home.  Some had bigger homes built next to them and some had trailers near them but most just sat alone (most with an outhouse) amid the sagebrush.  Drove around Round Rock into Chinle where we saw our first traffic light of the day.  The road got much better here, newly paved for about 30 miles then back to a washboard into Ganado.  Up to now we’ve pretty much been the only ones on the road.  When we got on Route 264 E, aka “The Navajo Code Talkers Highway” the traffic got heavier all the way into New Mexico.  But the destination today was great too. Our campground is USA RV in Gallup, NM.  We were here many years ago and it’s gotten much better.  It’s right on Historic Route 66. They have a heated pool with an American Flag decal in the bottom which looks really cool, a larger than life chess set, great gift shop and a BBQ take out restaurant that we took advantage of seeing that we got in late.  The mosquitos were horrendous!  They said it was their monsoon season and they had a bloom of mosquitos.  I’ll say.  Had to stay in the RV at night because of them.

Next: Day 36-August 10, 2017-To Bernardo, NM
Previous: Day 34-August 8, 2017-Colorado River Scenic Byway and Wine

Diary Photos

Hole in the Rock from the street (see the jeep on top)

Hole in the Rock plaque

Hole in the Rock

Roosevelt Sculpture

Hole in the rock door

Hole in the rock burial garden

Harry and alota bull

Jeep insides

Me and the jeep

Jeep rear

Jeep above the E on roof

Jeep on roof up close

Wilsons arch

Recapture Reservoir


View 2

Navajo Twins

Fort Bluff

View 4

View 5

Round Rock


Hogan 1

Hogan and another home


USA RV Chess set

USA RV pool

USA RV BBQ and eating area

Diary Movies

Hole in the Rock video

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