We were pulling out of Las Vegas at 10 a.m. this morning. That may be a new early record for a departure! We were ready to escape the desert heat, and we didn't stop except to gas up at Kingman, Arizona. We made about 400 miles today, twice as many as we usually drive. We stopped here at Gallup because it was getting dark, and I really don't like setting up at a parking spot in the nighttime. Here in the high desert, it was very noticeably cooler outside and, after the sun had fully set, it got cool quickly. Now this is more like it!
We had a nice dinner at Jerry's Diner, and old time Gallup dive that was totally devoid of charm but the food was good. My Mexican combination was covered with their green chile sauce that was unusually spicy, just the way I like it. It was very, very good and very cheap. Winner, winner!
Historic Route 66 provides the main drag through Gallup, and we decided to drive the length of the town, taking in the old motels and restaurants that were obviously built well before I-40 was conceived and Route 66 was abuzz with Buick Roadmasters, Pontiac Chieftains and Lincoln Premieres. Of particular interest was the El Rancho Hotel/Motel, an imposing two story hotel built in 1937 by the brother of film director D. W. Griffith as a headquarters for moviemaking and lodging for movie stars.
|Fireplace in the Lobby of El Rancho|
Just about every major movie actor of the era was housed in this hotel at some point, and their photos line the walls of the hotel loggia. We stopped and toured the lobby, finding it fascinating and surprising that so many of the old movie stars had stayed here. The rooms were even named after them.
Well, this was a pleasant stop, for sure. Tomorrow, we're off for Amarillo and the first time we've set foot on Texas soil for nearly two months!
Thank you, Lord, for this wonderful life; please forgive me if I do not appreciate it enough every day.