After the best time at the Albuquerque Balloon fest, we head west on Route 66.
2 1/2 hour drive we stop in Gallup for a 2 night stay. This will be our last stop in New Mexico. We stay at the USA RV park in Gallup. Good Sam discount at $33.00 per night with tax. Nice little RV park. FHU, laundry, propane, nice little gift shop with BBQ food inside.
Since we arrive early we shop downtown Gallup, with many trading posts. The most famous would be Richardson’s Trading Post, since 1913.
Also the El Moro Theatre and the famous El Rancho Hotel since 1937. This hotel is where all the stars stayed in the 40’s and 50’s, while western movies were made in the area. John Wayne, Lucille Ball and WC Fields were just a few who stayed here. It’s a cute little hotel with a beautiful staircase and gallery of photos with autographs of all the stars who were here. We ate lunch here and shared the WC Fields burger (it was ok, wouldn’t recommend the place for the food, more for the ambiance).
Monday we head off for Window Rock,Arizona, a 30 minute drive from Gallup. Window Rock is home to the Navajo Nation, the largest Native American Tribe in the US.
Our first stop is the Navajo Nation Zoo, a free little zoo.
Then to the actual Window Rock, where they have a memorial for Navajo’s who served their country.
Also memorial for the Navajo Code Talkers. I wasn’t really familiar with this and it’s very interesting. In World War II, the Japanese could brea,lk US codes that were sent.
Then 29 Navajo’s in the US service had their own Navajo language they used and the enemy was never able to break their code. So that’s how they are known as Code Talkers.
(A movie was even made about them). Eventually there were 400 Code Talkers. Talkers.I believe is wasn’t even talked about until the 70’s, in case they were needed again. Very interesting.
We have been in New Mexico since September 4th, tomorrow onto Arizona Route 66.
Our first stop in Arizona is exit 359 to the historic Tomahawk Indian Store and Yellowhorse Trading Posts.
Then off to the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest National Park.
We again get to use our America the Beautiful Pass for entrance into the park.
It is beautiful and also the only place on entire Route 66 that crosses into a National Park.
It is 28 miles from the North Entrance to the South. We start our day at the Historic Painted Desert Inn, with awesome views of the Painted Desert.
We take the dogs 🐶 on a one mile hike on the Painted Desert Rim Trail. This is one of a few National Parks that are very dog friendly. They are allowed on all trails, just not in buildings.
Back in the car some other stops included Route 66 alignment, Newspaper Rock,
Jasper Forest, Crystal Forest
and the Giant Logs Trail.
The whole drive is great for RVs and all but Agate and Blue Mesa have parking for RVs
When your done for the day and tired stop at the south entrance. Free dry camping at the Crystal Forest Gift Shop
You can just park anywhere in the parking lot for free. This picture shows the view and beautiful sunset.
You can also use their restroom when the store is open. The owners are super nice and also a nice little shop.
At the Petrified Gift Shop across the street is also free camping.
Beautiful sunset 🌅 and amazing stars the night we stayed. We also met Beth from Ontario, Canada (headed to Vegas to compete on Javelin)and Marlese from the Netherlands (headed to White Sands National Park as a volunteer).
Off to Holbrook, Joseph City and Winslow for today’s sightseeing.
Stopped first at Jim Grays Petrified shop in Holbrook. It is a very nice store. I bought myself a ring and pendant from Petrified Wood. Off to the Wigwam Motel in Holbrook.
This is one of the famous landmarks of Route 66 and also featured in movie CARS.
Also had to take a photo at The Rainbow Rock Shop of the dinosaurs for Jaxson.
Exit 269, Jackrabbit Rd, you will find the famous Jack Rabbit Trading Post, since 1949 and their famous “Here It Is” sign.
They also have a Jackrabbit figure you can sit on for pictures.
We score another free night of dry camping at the Winslow Visitor Center.
They have a large parking area. You can disconnect vehicle, sightsee and then stay the night. We called ahead to ask and they are very nice people. We head few blocks from visitor center and have lunch at Las Maria’s for some Mexican food. It was ok, nothing special. Now that our bellies are full we walk a block to the famous “Standing on the Corner”
and have to wait to take pictures as it was packed with people doing the same.
Our last stop in Winslow is the La Posada Hotel from the 1930’s. It was designed by Mary Colter(she also designed Grand Canyon buildings). It was the finest hotel on Route 66 and all the famous stars stayed here, including Howard Hughes, John Wayne, Bob Hope, Albert Einstein and many others.
Saw our first wild fire on our drive to Arizona🔥
Tomorrow we drive 2 1/2 hours to Camp Verde for a week stay. This will be our base for Sedona, Cottonwood, Jerome, Prescott.