A jackrabbit.

An old advertisement for the El Rancho Hotel miles down the road.

Site of the Cliff Dwelling Trading Post.

Leaving Gallup, New Mexico.

The shoeshine place.

Inside the El Rancho. He's not always this grumpy looking. He thinks of it as a challenge to see how long he can go and not smile in a picture.

Outside the El Rancho.
The next morning and checking out.

Richard Boone room down the hall.

Amazingly we see Canadian Guy again checking into the same hotel.

A lot of neon in this town too.

We had Jimmy Stewart's room.
Nathan and I both had a chef salad at the El Rancho.

The walls were covered with autographed picures of stars who had stayed there.

We stayed at a classic old hotel in Gallop, New Mexico. This was home base to all the stars when they were on location making western movies. Most everything is original and I could only imagine what took place within the walls.

Had to take another detour. Thankfully these were few and far between.

Santa Fe railroad in New Mexico. Route 66 seemed to follow the railroad wherever it went.

Pavement. I'll explain. After successfully navigating the hundreds of years old vertical steps that descended 250 feet I finally encountered flat ground. What a relief! And it was at this point on flat ground that I stumbled (and I must say in a big way) and almost fell. Nathan felt the need to take a picture of the spot.

The Kissing Rocks.

This where we descended from.

This is Nathan trying to show/tell me something.

Ah, it gets a little easier now.

They carried their food, water, and supplies up these steps for hundreds of years. I found it amazing.

We were given the option of taking the bus back down or walking the same path that the indians had walked for hundreds of years. Sight unseen we decided to walk down. A decision that I thought I was going to quickly regret!
The church. Pictures are allowed of the outside but not on the inside. Neither can pictures be made of the cemetary nearby because it is considered sacred ground. The cemetary looked to be about 100 ft by 100 ft and the tour guide said it was 40 feet deep. He told us that the deceased indians are planted and not buried. The belief is that they come from the earth and when they die they are replanted to continue the cycle. They are planted in layers in the cemetary and there's room for just one more layer. The only ones who can be put there now are the elders and members of the court, chiefs, etc.

The Acoma Pueblo school.

A table set up for selling the pottery. The lone tree on top of the mesa is jokingly called the "Acoma National Forest" by Fred.

A kiln used to bake the pottery, etc.

Outhouses. They have no electricity and no running water.

Mount Taylor is seen in the distance. The Indians brought lumber from this mountain 40 miles away. The beams were used in the church and therefore not allowed to touch the ground during the journey. If it touched the ground it could not be used for the church. Groups of 12 men each took turns carrying the lumber. Once it reached the pueblo it was pulled up the sides using ropes that the women made while the men were gone.

And a zoom in on the distant mesa.

The mesa in the distance was inhabited even earlier than Acoma. The story is that a lightening strike caused a fire. To escape the fire the Indians jumped off the sides to their deaths. It is considered sacred ground and no one can ever go there again. They once allowed archaeologists on the land in 1968 to determine age of inhabitants but no more.

Some of the homes.

They made windows out of thin slag.

The view from the top. There were no roads at all until western movies were made here. They used the pueblo for some of the scenes and had to build a road for the actors and crew to access the mesa.

Adobe houses on top of the mesa, Acoma Pueblo.

This is Fred, our tour guide. He was great and I learned a lot about the Indians. He was obviously very proud of his heritage.

This picture is of the same view as the picture on my home page of the Austin Healey adventure. I didn't capture it quite the same! The weather didn't cooperate.

Side trip: We are on our way to Acoma Pueblo (sky city), the oldest continuously inhabited place in the country. Native Americans have been living here since about 1200.

A chunky friendly squirrel.

A common covering for gas stations that was also an idea that was used in the Cars movie..

A sign pointing to what is long gone.

The pink building in the back is the cafe at Villa Cubero Trading Post where Ernest Hemingway wrote part of "The Old Man and the Sea".

Self explanatory.

As I stood here I thought of all the western movies that mentioned the Rio Grande.

A new morning takes us across the Rio Grande.

An Albuquerque sunset.

An old McDonald's with the golden archs as we near Albuquerque.