Through the Painted Desert
West of Albuquerque the landscape continues to change, evolving into beautiful salmon and mustard colored fields and bluffs. We drove only as far as Gallup, splitting up the 5 hour drive to Flagstaff. Gallup has a number of large pawn shops crammed with the most beautiful turquoise jewelry, and all kinds of Indian artifacts and arts and crafts. We spent a few hours perusing the shops and photographing in the streets.
Between Gallup and Flagstaff there lies a world of Kitch: plastic and stone dinosaurs abound, strolling among teepees and live ostriches. Petrified wood is everywhere and it seems to have a strange effect on the locals, creatively, anyway.
The landscape is phenomenal, opening up onto high plains of every color. Rainstorms and dust devils are visible from 30 miles, sweeping across the desert. We stopped at Meteor City to see the biggest, oldest crater in the world – again living up to the billing. Threatening storms drove us back to the car prematurely, then on to our destination in Flagstaff.