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  #1  
Old Posted Oct 1, 2021, 3:52 AM
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xzmattzx xzmattzx is offline
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My trip to New Mexico and Arizona

Last October, I went to the Grand Canyon, which I have doe every other year since 2014. With October beginning, and the air getting crisp at night, it has reminded me of that trip. Early fall now makes me think of the Southwest.

I have a tendency to post a ton of pictures, so I will try to keep posts short. We'll see how it goes!


First, we begin with the flight out. I flew from BWI to Albuquerque, with a connection in Dallas that they added with the shuffling of flights due to the pandemic. Let's take off!


Baltimore



Towson, MD



Frederick, MD



Harper's Ferry, WV



Harrison, AR, because we don't see much of Arkansas on here



Fort Smith, AR



Approaching Dallas







McKinney



This is apparently the biggest high school football stadium in the US. Apologies for the blurriness, but I didn't think I'd fly over it.



Dallas suburbs







Jerry World...



Las Colinas



The flight arrived late, so there was no time to get off the plane and explore the airport, but there was time to get a couple pictures of Downtown Dallas and Las Colinas.





After taking off for Albuquerque, I had those famous views flying directly over Downtown.













Las Colinas



DFW



Texas Motor Speedway



Subdivisions creep into ranch country



Plainview, TX



Over New Mexico



The Sandia Mountains



Sandia Peak, over Albuquerque's eastern suburbs



Uptown Albuquerque



Downtown Albuquerque




Up next, we explore Albuquerque a little bit, and then head west.
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  #2  
Old Posted Oct 1, 2021, 7:47 PM
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Lovely!
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Old Posted Oct 2, 2021, 2:32 AM
MplsTodd MplsTodd is offline
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Excellent aerials! A few years ago I booked a flight from Austin to Dallas and paid extra to get a window seat in front of the wing. I looked at the map and figured out which side of the plane would provide the best view of downtown. Of course, what happens? Completely foggy on that day. Grrrr… I loved your Dallas aerials!
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Old Posted Oct 4, 2021, 2:19 AM
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xzmattzx xzmattzx is offline
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Excellent aerials! A few years ago I booked a flight from Austin to Dallas and paid extra to get a window seat in front of the wing. I looked at the map and figured out which side of the plane would provide the best view of downtown. Of course, what happens? Completely foggy on that day. Grrrr… I loved your Dallas aerials!
I do that with all my flights! I've had some great flights, and almost every time, I pick the correct side of the plane!
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Old Posted Oct 4, 2021, 8:46 PM
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Nice, we rarely see aerials from flights, but they are underrated. I always try to get a window seat, and often gets amazing views over cities and nature, especially during take off and landing.
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  #6  
Old Posted Oct 5, 2021, 6:36 PM
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After landing and picking up the rental car, it was time to drive to Gallup, where I was staying overnight. I decided to split the drive to the Grand Canyon in half, so I could visit Petrified Forest N.P. and some other places during the day.


But first, I explored Albuquerque a little bit. I love Old Town Albuquerque, so I stopped by there to see how it was since my last time in town. The centerpiece is San Felipe Neri Church, built in 1793.





The area of Old Town around the old plaza, a couple blocks off of Route 66, oozes charm in the early evening.











I also saw a couple locations from "Breaking Bad", even though I only watched a handful of episodes.





Route 66, unsurprisingly, has some good neon signs.



After a little time in Albuquerque, it was time to hit the road. Off west on I-40!



The Rio Puerco Bridge, built in 1933. It used to carry Route 66 across the Rio Puerco. It is one of many roadside landmarks on the old Route 66.



After a ton of traffic in the middle of nowhere, I stopped in Grants to get a beer at a brewery off the Interstate (and had a local badge on Untappd). I drove through town afterwards to see the old Route 66 alignment through town, and saw this.



I arrived in Gallup, and pulled up to my hotel, the El Rancho. The hotel was built in 1937 in a Rustic style, and was the on-location home for many movie stars in the 1940s and 1950s as they filmed Western movies out in the desert nearby.



Is the El Rancho a hotel or motel? Well, according to their neon sign, it's both!





Gallup is on the old Route 66. (You'll notice a Route 66 theme in this entire thread.) There's a lot of old motels that have a lot of charm to them (as long as you just drive by...). You can see my phototour of Gallup here (from a previous trip).



Being the closest metro area to the Navajo Nation, as small as it is, Native American items appear to be big sellers here.



But Gallup is a ghost town. I've driven through in the evening once, and stayed overnight here on this instance. I have never seen a bar in this town before. The 49er Lounge at the El Rancho, which is on Esquire Magazine's "Best Bars in America" list, closed at 10:00. I dare you to find a bar in this town, or some place open late at night.




Up next, we head to the Navajo Nation!
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Old Posted Oct 5, 2021, 11:02 PM
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Nice! We had planned on a trip to Santa Fe (and more) but the pandemic put the kibosh on that but one day we'll make it out to New Mexico. Like some of you said - early on, my husband learned that I always get the window seat and I will always pick a seat further back rather than sit over the wing - I got photos to take!!
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Old Posted Oct 6, 2021, 2:54 AM
Omaharocks Omaharocks is offline
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Nice pics! I miss Albuquerque, though I still return at least once a year.

Gallup doesn't have any bars, or very few, because as the unofficial capital of the Navajo Nation, and general crossroads of many pueblos, there are a lot of restrictions around alcohol. And understandably so, given the impact it has had on so many western NM and native communities.
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Old Posted Oct 12, 2021, 3:27 AM
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Nice pics! I miss Albuquerque, though I still return at least once a year.

Gallup doesn't have any bars, or very few, because as the unofficial capital of the Navajo Nation, and general crossroads of many pueblos, there are a lot of restrictions around alcohol. And understandably so, given the impact it has had on so many western NM and native communities.
That makes sense in one way, but isn't that patronizing to Native Americans? No Native Americans can enjoy themselves responsibly because others cannot, or because of a stereotype that Native Americans cannot controls themselves around alcohol?
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Old Posted Oct 12, 2021, 3:28 AM
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In the morning, I checked out the grounds of El Rancho Hotel. The neon sign was still switching between the "H" and "M".











Then I explored Gallup for a little bit.









Then it was off to the Navajo Nation.





It seems like each big city has some type of series of animal statues painted by local artists. Leaving Gallup, there were a bunch of Navajo pots along the median of US 491.





New Mexico Route 264





Entering Arizona



I drove around Window Rock, the capital of the Navajo Nation. Window Rock features the Navajo National Council Chamber, the only legislative headquarters in the US owned by an American Indian tribe which has been continuously in use by that tribe. You can see my phototour of Window Rock here.







Navajo Nation signage



Near Window Rock is the community of St. Michaels. St. Michaels is known for being a mission associated with St. Katharine Drexel, who purchased the land from a rancher.





After driving through, I headed south on Indian Route 12 to I-40. I saw some slices of life on the reservation, like ranchers driving cattle, and people bringing tanks of water to their houses.













Interstate 40








Up next, Petrified Forest National Park!
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Old Posted Oct 12, 2021, 4:18 AM
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Beautiful!
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Old Posted Oct 12, 2021, 4:29 AM
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  #13  
Old Posted Oct 18, 2021, 6:33 PM
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I arrived at Petrified Forest National Park with an entire afternoon to explore. For those that plan on going, I recommend almost a full day for the park. I had originally been here four years earlier, but I arrived in mid-afternoon. The park closes at 5:00 PM, so you can get rushed if you get there well after lunch. By the way, Petrified Forest N.P. is right off of I-40; it even has its own exit.


Welcome!



Try and figure this out. You can jump between time zones in Arizona due to their crazy daylight savings time procedures.



The visitor center was built in 1965, and was designed by Richard Neutra and Robert Alexander. It is one of the few Neutra buildings in Arizona, and the last Neutra building in the National Park Service. It is considered one of the key buildings of the Mission 66 architectural program within the National Park Service.



The Painted Desert







The Painted Desert Inn was built in 1924, and was the original visitor center for the park (when it was still a National Monument). It was called the Stone Tree House when it opened under private hands. After being sold to the park, it was renamed to Painted Desert Inn, and redesigned by noted NPS architect Lyle Bennett in 1940. It was further changed in 1949 by another noted NPS architect, Mary Jane Colter. She changed the interior color scheme and had Hopi murals painted by a local artist.





The old power lines show where Route 66 used to go through the area.



Puerco Pueblo. The pueblo was built in the 1200s, and abandoned by 1380.





Near the pueblo are petroglyphs.





Newspaper Rock





Blue Mesa











Agate Bridge



Jasper Forest



Crystal Forest













The Agate House is a reconstructed pueblo, dating back to around 900, and inhabited until around 1200. It was reconstructed in 1934.



The Rainbow Forest Museum was built in 1931, and was the original Administration Building for the park. Triassic dinosaur skeletons are a highlight in the museum.






Up next, we drive to the Grand Canyon, with a stop in Flagstaff!
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