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Paria River Valley, Utah

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Rock City Park, Gallup New Mexico

Friday we were on the road by 9 am for our next destination, Gallup New Mexico. It is only a 2 hour run so we arrived shortly after 11 am. They have beautiful red sandstone cliffs here which Ray wanted to photograph. Gallup is also known as the place with the biggest inventory of all North American Indian crafts and jewelry. They ship their stuff all over the place. So .... something for Ray to see and something for me to see.  Although Albuquerque is known for the International Balloon Festival, Gallup also has one in December where the balloons all launch from Red Rock City Park. Unfortunately we will not be here to see it then. Balloon tours though start here as well so maybe we will get lucky and see some. Also located here are horse stalls and arena's where they host their rodeo. It is quite a huge facility.

Red Rock Campsite is $20/night with water and 50 amp power. They do have a sani-dump. Most of the sites are well-spaced and would fit any rig.  I turned on the water and it came out rusty so we will just use the full tank of water we have and re-fill at our next stop so our ice does not get contaminated. Everyone else here uses the water for washing etc. Below is our campsite with Church Rock in the distance. Absolutely stunning.


There is lot's of sand here for Freya which she absolutely loves. She does need her boots though on the trail towards Church Rock ... Ray came back with his soles full of goathead checking out camera angles. There are a few hiking trails in the area behind the park going into the canyon towards Church Rock and another one to Pyramid Rock. A lot of people come here to do those.

Ray and I checked out the museum that is located in Red Rock Park. Very interesting. I think I now see where some of the glyphs we viewed at the Petroglyph National Monument came from. The heads were from ceremonial outfits. At the museum we saw Kachina Dolls that had the same head dresses on and also sand art depicting those features. "Kachina dolls are figures carved, typically from cottonwood root, by Hopi people to instruct young girls and new brides about katsinas or katsinam, the immortal beings that bring rain, control other aspects of the natural world and society, and act as messengers between humans and the spirit world."





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Two examples of a Kachina Doll from Google


Sand Art at the Museum




As the sun set, Ray rushed out to get some evening shots of Church Rock. Apparently the pictures are better in the morning light so he will try that tomorrow morning.

Next it was the Navajo Wingate Village Area.




What a gorgeous evening. It was cold overnight though ... 28 F/ -2 C which ever way you wanted to look at it. We are at 6470 foot elevation. Days are forecast to be warm though around 73 F.

Saturday morning first thing, Ray did his walk with Freya to get some sunrise pictures.






The next three shots are of a 50' dry waterfall.






Once he returned, it was time for showers to get ready to go into town. A lady came by and knocked on the door and asked Ray if he wanted some fresh burritos for $1 each. Of course he said yes and took two. They were so filling he could only eat most of one of them even though it was quite tasty and will save the other for tomorrow. He said they were quite spicy so I passed.



Now it is time to go off and explore Gallup. Saturday mornings they have a huge flea market.

The market is huge, the smells from all of the authentic food cooking are awesome, too bad we had already eaten. Lots of Native American Jewelry and art but a lot of junk too. Several vendors even had puppies and even two booths with tires, for sale. 


Pony rides for the kids.

Then we went to a few Trading Posts to have a quick peak and noticed these murals.

Old Route 66 ... lots of trading posts.
Mural recognizing contribution of the Navajo Code Talkers during WWII




We were back at camp for lunch and rest up for the afternoon. Ray's walk this morning taking pictures, plus the market, caught up with him, so some "rack time" was necessary.

Tonight after Ray rested all afternoon he will be out taking some sunset pictures. Unfortunately the clouds are coming in for tomorrow night so he is unable to space it out. Oh well... tomorrow will be a rest day before we move on Monday morning only an hour up the road.

Church Rock at Sunset (looks the same at sunrise I think. lol) 
Pyramid Rock at Sunset

Pyramid Rock at Sunrise

There is a trail between Church Rock and Pyramid Rock for hiking for those who like to explore on foot.

As an add-on Ray came to get me as he saw a balloon in the sky near us. I had been watching every morning hoping one would come by. Here are some pictures.






After racing up the road to see it land we came back to camp and saw this??? Do not know what it is for, maybe a remote car?


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