We arrived in Gallup just as the bead shops were closing. One was having an auction so the store was still open and Cindy was able to find a good string of juniper beads. Mission accomplished. Sunday morning, we were greeted by hundreds of hot air balloons making their way up the side of the mountain where the warm air rises. There is a hot air balloon festival in December, and today is the day.
We were going to take the sky tram in Albuquerque but we had witnessed a bad accident the day before and Cindy got cold feet.
We found an RV dump station, emptied and reloaded and headed for the Texas border.
Northwest New Mexico is a higher elevation than Arizona. We hovered around 2000 to 2300 metres until we dipped down to Albuquerque. This is a pretty city with its back to the mountains and makes a great vista coming in East on the 40. On the other side, you climb back up and drive on smooth rolling hills gradually dipping down to about 1200 metres at the Texas border. The high altitude means that even after a warm sunny day like yesterday, the nights are still cool. I was also surprised at the lack of municipalities along the route. Other than Gallup, Albuquerque, and Tucumcari, there are only a few hamlets and many abandoned adobes. 297 miles along the I40, and we just barely notched another 1000 kilometres before the Border.
There is much less desert than Arizona but the landscape is still rugged and inhospitable. We saw red bluffs reminding us of PEI and some yellow, almost pink sand everywhere. We also noticed that builders use the available raw materials. Mortar, stone, and brickwork is all the same colour as the soil.