Monday, May 23, 2011

Day Seven: Waking up at the Gallup KOA

Seven mosquito bites, one for each day on the road. For those of you unfamiliar with the central coast of California, we have none of these uncivilized bugs. Well, that's not true. They exist, but they don't swarm and buzz and eat you on any regular basis. Just one more of the benefits of living in paradise. Now I must return to the lands ruled by vile insects and I'm none too happy about it.
Painted Desert

As you might imagine, all the hullabaloo at the Meteor Crater took something out of us. Even so, we continued on to the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert. There were ruins and mysteries and unbelievable mineral colors in the setting sun. We found our first petroglyphs of the trip and wondered about the ancient Anasazi that they say left to join the Hopi or the Navajo. Of course, we'd already encountered their ancestors, whom the Great Spirit apparently implored to go forth and make billboards, to build their trading posts under the Shell Oil signs and sell their inlaid knives in a building that shares space with Dairy Queen.

 Runis from a village they believe to be 800 years old.
Entering New Mexico
All this exploring and all this driving – our longest day yet – left us exhausted as we rolled into Gallup, NM. The last 30 miles dragged on and on and my preggo belly, fighting the good fight with my seatbelt, needed to recline immediately. That's how we decided to forgo the final five miles to the campground, worrying that if they closed it at the late hour, we'd end up coming back into town, having to drive at least 10 and then beg a hotel to take Emily. And so, in an overnight that made the Paso Robles RV park look like a naturalist's paradise, we stayed at the Gallup KOA.

“Remember, it's not camping. It's Kamping!”

OMG. I don't think it's in any way an exaggeration to say the Gallup KOA is a parking lot, a soul-sucking slab of asphalt and concrete sandwiched between Rte 66 and I-40. I wanted to cry or wretch or curl up at the gate of the original campground.

We slept like logs.

So maybe I won't get a book deal out of this trip, but I'm thinking Emily could. It'd be just the goofy kind of thing that would work. Make her a Facebook page, thousands of people follow my cat across the country. Just an idea. I'm not above using those near and dear to me to get some press.


Daryl said...

Do it .. I have no doubt she would become an overnight sensation on FB

DeVona said...

Sounds like a great idea!

Anonymous said...

seriously. you should do it. and it would make a great childrens book. the bronx zoo cobra had like a million fb friends an hour.

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