Made it to Arizona Today
Day 39 July 11th Gallup, NM to Chambers, AZ 52 miles Total Miles. 2,179
Weather: Sunny, 85 degrees, 25 mph headwind
Got up a little later than normal today – YEA!! But also discovered that we missed the cool- historic section of Gallup. We were not real impressed with the part of the city we saw, it was pretty run down looking. We had heard some good things about it from others, evidently we turned left(west) on historic Route 66 and should have turned right (east). Oh well the life of a cross country bicyclist sometimes things are a few miles away or the other direction and you totally miss them. I guess we will have to go back to Gallup some day and really check it out.
Our trip began on Hwy 118 and we continued on it for 20 miles, crossing over and under I -40 a couple of times. We were on the side of the road trying to figure out of 118 crossed under in that spot or stayed on the side we were on – of course there were no street signs but the distance traveled to the cross over was correct. We were standing there trying to figure it out when a large tractor came down the street and Tracy flagged him down to ask him. He pulled over, shut off the tractor and climbed down to help us out. His name was Oscar and he worked for the McKinley County Road Department. He was very helpful and got us going in the right direction. He also told us he saw us earlier in the day when they were hauling some equipment to a new work site by truck, he said to his co worker “look at those two I wonder where they are going and came from.” Well a few hours later he got the scoop directly from us. He was a really nice guy and we enjoyed visiting with him.
About five miles after meeting up with Oscar we were in Arizona!!! We really enjoyed New Mexico but are looking forward to exploring Arizona. So far in Arizona, we have been traveling thru the Navaho Indian Reservation and the natural areas are beautiful from the multi colored rock in the mesas to the canyons. During our ride we have been close to the rocks and above the canyons for some amazing views.
In Arizona there are many Native America Trading Posts to explore. We stopped at a couple today to check them out, they have some beautiful jewelry, rugs, beads etc. They also typically have a stand where you can purchase Indian Fry Bread. We have yet to try some but plan to soon, we heard it is delicious. One of the trading posts we stopped in – Chief Yellow Horse is half in Arizona and the other half in New Mexico – we were teasing the owner that he had to pay taxes to two states – he just laughed and said “I think I pay taxes to everyone.”. He is the fourth generation of his family to run the trading post. I asked him who plans to take over when he is done and he said he was not sure there was an interest from anyone in the next generation and of course everyone has different ideas of how the property should be used. Time will tell!!
The ride today was tough – I feel like I keep saying that, but again we had some strong headwinds to deal with. We heard from a local that the Santa Anna winds are typically strong this time of year and come from the west. Riding Route 66 from east to west may not have been the best idea due to the prevailing west winds, oh well we are almost done so we will just keep heading west and deal with the winds.