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Thursday, October 23, 2014

New Mexico and the El Rancho Hotel

Monday morning we left the Tucumcari campground around 8:00 and drove right up the highway about a mile and stopped at a Flying J for diesel – needed over 80 gallons – good thing we got that 13 gallons when we did. Also had breakfast then on our way towards Gallup, NM.
The weather was basically good. Some rain off in the distance. Made for some weird clouds. This one looked like a flying saucer.
And a heavier storm off to our north behind the pretty red hills.
We didn’t get into any rain but it had just passed through this area – the road was still pretty wet.
We got to Gallup in the afternoon – after a 320 mile drive. I think this is the first time EVER that there wasn’t any wind on the I-40. Sure makes for an easier drive. We stayed at the USA RV Park in Gallup right on Route 66. It is a nice clean campground. Lots of pull-throughs, good size spaces, 50 amps and WiFi. Also spaces without trees so we could catch the satellite for the TV. Only drawback it is under the flight pattern for the small airport. And across the street from the RR tracks. But during the night both are relatively quiet.  
We unhooked the car and took a drive down 66 as I’ve always wanted to stop and see the El Rancho Hotel. So off we went looking for it. Lots of 1950/60 motels along the street.
This surprised me I didn’t know they still made Schlitz – that was the beer my Dad always drank.
We found the Hotel. Couldn’t get a real good picture of the front of it cause the sun was right behind above it.
A National Historic Site– it was built in 1937 as a base for movie productions and has a lot of movie history. 
It was built by the brother of film director D W Griffith. The casts and crew for over 14 films stayed there during production. Here is some interesting information about the El Rancho Hotel in its heyday.  
The main lobby is very different. Old west – hunting lodge type. Lots of wood and big heavy furniture. Animal heads, woven rugs, fireplace. Makes you want to sit down and spend some time there.
Curved staircases lead upstairs.
The fireplace.
The stairs and animals.
Player piano in the lobby.
The balcony above the lobby. Nice wood floors and comfortable furniture. 
Looking down into the lobby.
One of the hallways. Lots of art work and the rooms are named for movie stars.
The shoe shine stand in the lobby.
There is also a bar, restaurant and of course, gift shop.
I’m glad we stopped and looked around, been curious about it every time we got through Gallup.  
Driving back to the campground. There are lots and lots of older motels on the street.
And what isn’t a motel is a place selling Authentic Indian Jewelry. Hundreds of stores it seemed like one after the other.
The next morning, Tuesday we headed for Arizona where we are now. Just south of Sedona. Another post...
The weather here in Cottonwood is beautiful - blue skys and warm. In fact warm enough to run the air conditioning during the day. 
And the bad news is Bill's allergies were back in full force yesterday. Had a really miserable day. So don't know what we'll do now- stay here for a while and hope he gets better or move on to Vegas or somewhere else - looking for relief. Our reservations for here are until the 28th...
Fixed an oven roast with potatoes and carrots for Bill for his birthday dinner last night. Turned out good. 

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