Day 4: Another Land
As we left Texas the landscape started to change dramatically, the mesas and plateaus rose from the horizon. Today’s color palette was sage, tourmaline and terracotta. As we crossed into New Mexico all we could think about was what grass would look like on Mars.
Highways that go in straight lines for miles and miles. Paralleled by railroad tracks and meager fences. Our destination is Gallup, New Mexico.
Later that day…
We were cruising along with out issue, until my Mom had to stop short in the moving truck in front of us. When she did we had to slam on the brakes and all of the sudden the A/C died. We were hopeful it was just a temporary thing, and it came back for a few moments. But alas, the air conditioner quit again and the temperature gauge started going up and up.
Still an hour out of Alburqueque we pulled off in a tiny town with a truck stop. The Civic proceeded to go all the way up to High on temperature gauge. We looked under the hood to see our make shift cap pretty much still in place. The A/C was strong and working but the engine would not cool off.
The decision was made to swap tow vehicles, which was no easy feat. In the baking New Mexico sun with no shade, Dan reassembled the Blazer’s driveshaft and re-engaged the differential. He got the Blazer off and we reloaded the contents of the Blazer into the Civic and vice versa. He then tested both vehicles and we were on the road again, now driving the Blazer. Sadly this started at 2:33pm and we were back on the road at 4:10pm.
On the road again to Alburqueque we got to come through the beautiful mountains to the east and down into the city. We got lunch/dinner and filled the moving van with gas. We started back out on I-40 West only to see the Blazer’s gas gauge was now on E. Yet only a few minutes prior it was at 3/4 of a tank. We seeked out a gas station which became very far and few between once we got past the city.
Stopping at exit 108 we got gas at one of the nicest stops of the trip. The people were so friendly and laid back. As to be expected the gas gauge was broken but the car only needed 5 gallons of gas.
We proceeded onto Gallup with storms on the horizon. The more the sun set the more beautiful the landscape got. The red rock and plateaus of western New Mexico were amazing. It really looks like another planet. I would love to come back through and spend a few days driving around and taking photos.
Our hotel in Gallup is lacking. Based on Trip Advisor reviews of every hotel in Gallup they are sub par in quality with prices that do not match. We paid $119 a night there, and got Super 8 quality, where as the night before in Amarillo at the Staybridge Suites we paid $124 for the night.
Alas, it is a place to lay our heads and rest up. Last leg of the trip is tomorrow.