1/31/ & 2/1/22: Gallup, New Mexico

Dear family and friends,

Steven and I broke up the 870-mile drive for our getaway month to Phoenix in the town of Gallup, New Mexico so we’d ‘only’ have another 300-miles to go the following day. Before that final stretch, we spent a little time seeing Gallup’s sights such as they were. 

Select here to read on our main blog or just continue below. https://bergersadventures8.blogspot.com/2022/03/131-2122-gallup-new-mexico.html

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All the best to you and your loved ones as well as to the brave people of Ukraine,


En route to Phoenix where we were staying for the month of February, Steven and I stopped briefly in the small town of Grants, New Mexico to get gas and see the Route 66 Neon Drive Thru before heading on to Gallup for the night.

When we drove through the arch in the late afternoon, we couldn’t see any neon. If we’d been there at night, we would have seen the arch lit up with neon for the classic Route 66 look.

Oversized Navajo baskets adorned the town.

Before the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway moved into Gallup in 1891 to use area coal deposits for its engines, mostly stockmen lived in the area. Gallup had been nothing more than a saloon and general store called The Blue Goose. 

The ‘American as apple pie’ Gallup sign:

An old locomotive stationed in a park had the map of the Santa Fe trail that so many settlers traveled West on.

In downtown Gallup outside the Gallup Cultural Center was the Big Indian aka Navajo Chief Manuelito and a statue of a Navajo Code Talker. You may recall that during WW II’s Pacific theater, Navajo code talkers enabled the Marine Corps to coordinate massive operations, such as the assault on Iwo Jima, without revealing any information to the enemy. Because the language was little known, the code was never broken.

We spent a few minutes wandering down Gallup’s main street to look at the architecture and murals. The city is now best known as the main Navajo trading center as their reservation extends west and north into neighboring Arizona. Nowhere else had we seen so many trading posts and galleries selling handmade items made by indigenous people ranging from rugs and baskets to turquoise jewelry.

The message in both English and Navajo beside the mural said: “To you, our children, we bring home the Navajo Code. It is our way of saying speak Navajo and defend our way of life.”

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know that Steven and I always seek out quirky roadside attractions that appeal to us as we travel through mostly small towns in the US. One that definitely fits that description was Dude Man aka Muffler Man, a fiberglass statue on the roof of a used car dealership!

Tow Truck Atop Tower was an old tow truck that had been relocated to the top of a tower well outside of downtown. At the base of the tower was a cartoon of a tow truck confidently spewing flames!

The Indian Kachina Statue greeted travelers to the “Heart of Indian Country” in a welcoming pose.

Close by was this tepee.

Our last sight before leaving Gallup for Phoenix was the Devil’s Highway aka the Route 666 sign. It was so-named because the 6th branch from Route 66 was Route 666. I read that ‘cowardly politicians’ renamed it in 2003, but we still spotted this 666 sign in Gallup.

Next post: Discovering Phoenix through hiking its many mountains.

Posted on March 3rd, 2022, a couple of days and almost 3,000 miles after returning to our home in Denver from a wonderful relaxing month in Phoenix. We came back to, dare I say it, hot weather in Denver but that’s coming to an end tonight with winter hurling another snowstorm at us. Surprise, surprise, however, we’re not planning to stay in ‘Dodge’ for long!


6 thoughts on “1/31/ & 2/1/22: Gallup, New Mexico

  1. Duwan @MakeLikeAnApeman

    I think we have only made a brief stop on Gallup. We ate lunch under the Kachina and visited a museum. I love all the murals and old signs!


    1. Neat that you also found yourself in Gallup for a bit to see the town’s murals and a museum. I would have liked an hour or so to wander through some of the galleries but perhaps another time …


    1. I imagine the ‘neon’ has been changed to LED like so many other installations as you commented. Gallup was a fun town to drive around for a bit, especially if we had more time to see some of the plentiful Native American galleries.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. We didn’t get quite as far west as Gallup on our NM road trip, turning back east at Grants. What a shame – I can see from your photos it’s our sort of town, with all that Rte 66 stuff and quirky oddities. We have it half in mind to do Rte 66 some time and this post makes me more keen on that than ever!


  3. Sarah,

    Whenever you have a chance to follow parts or all of Route 66, I think you’d absolutely love that journey. We’ve done a lot of stretches of the famous road and can’t begin to tell you how much we enjoyed it!


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