|The lizard found a tasty rock to bask on and saw off the competition (a grey squirrel).|
|A helpful sign - New Mexico is better than some states (looking at you Texas) but Illinois still rules on signage.|
Our trip yesterday down to Roswell had a great deal of open road and today was very similar. During this stretch Rachael saw our first cactus - but it appears to have been the only visible one on the road to Santa Fe and we didn't get a picture. There better be more tomorrow or there will be trouble.
|A road completely devoid of cars. And cactus. And tumbleweeds. Fail.|
|This one has a car! Oh wait... it's ours. Probably doesn't count. And still no cactus or tumbleweeds.|
Santa Fe itself is adorable. It's very low-rise and most of the buildings are adobe structures and are very old. It looks fantastic in the sunshine but it got a bit overcast when we were there and it was equally heartening to see otherwise lovely places also look depressing when its dark and raining!
Leaving Santa Fe mid-afternoon we had a reasonable run back down to Albuquerque when we hit rush hour traffic and things got boring very fast. Rachael did snap a few good pics of roadside sights in ABQ but we were in a hurry by then because our hotel reservation in Gallup was still about 100 miles away. We were quite amused by some of the place names we went through - especially Los Lunas - the moons. We also liked this little town because of their cool banners. It was somewhere on this stretch that we saw our first tumbleweed. Admittedly it was stuck under the back of someone's truck but it totally counts! Especially as it fell off and tumbled towards us - looking forward to seeing them loose by the road.
|Lovely banners in Los Lunas - not strictly signage but they really made an effort.|
|The skies were interesting as we left Albuquerque for our drive to Gallup.|
|Another interesting sky - the light was amazing but sadly we also had quite a bit of rain in this stretch.|
Our Gallup hotel is El Rancho. It's another Route 66 legend. It was built to house the hollywood stars who came to shoot westerns etc. near Gallup so it's a level of luxury that Route 66 is not usually known for. It's been restored and has almost a hunting lodge type atmosphere inside. Outside it has some of the tackiest neon we've seen on the whole journey. Which made us smile quite a bit!
|Charm of yesterday - convenience of tomorrow. Oh really?|
The slogan written in bold neon on the front of the hotel is a bit misleading. The rooms are lovely and have flat panel TVs with lots of channels but the only wifi available is in the lobby. This is hardly convenient. And for double the price of the Best Westerns (which all have fantastic in room wifi) it's a bit of a cheek to be honest. But our room is named after Tyrone Power and we have Mae West next door so we really shouldn't complain I suppose.
|The beautiful lobby at El Rancho where I am currently sitting as it's the only place in the hotel that has wifi.|