May 12, 2015 Gallup, New Mexico

We enjoyed our drive through the Painted Desert and passed into New Mexico with amazing views of painted desert rocks.  IMG_20150512_152527We arrived at Gallup, a nice little town of 20,000 people, often called the “Indian Capital of the World” because of its location in the heart of Native American lands and the presence of Navajo, Zuni, Hopi and other tribes.  One third of the city’s population has Native American roots.  Gallup was founded in 1881 because of its ties to the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad.  Historic Route 66, which John Steinbeck called “the Mother Road, the road of flight” and is the country’s most famous highway, passes through Gallup.IMG_20150512_152539IMG_20150512_152926IMG_20150512_152835

In 2013 Gallup was named the “Most Patriotic Small Town in the United States”.  They are very proud of this designation as shown by all the banner flags lining the streets.  We found the people in Gallup to be very friendly and helpful.  The historic downtown area of Gallup has twelve murals painted on buildings throughout downtown, many with a Native American theme.IMG_20150513_171603

Our main purpose for visiting Gallup was to visit Red Rock Park on our way to Four Corners.  Formerly a state park, Red Rock is now maintained by the city of Gallup.  We were able to camp there with beautiful views of the red rock cliffs.  The red rock cliffs formed over 200 million years ago.IMG_20150513_194002


Pyramid Rock


Church Rock



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