|Painted Desert. I even took pictures (not these, but my own). I hate pictures. That's saying a lot.|
Turns out, Gallup is a shithole. Maybe it's just that we happened to be in the mall in the middle of a weekday, during one of the traditionally slowest shopping times of the year. Everyone looked so depressed and defeated. Staff Sergeant didn't have much good to say about it either. On the other hand, he was overjoyed about his marriage, his daughter, and his new baby on the way. It was actually really nice getting to see him. He graduated 2 years before me, but he was one of the most brilliant jazz saxophonists to probably ever go through my program. Plus, the fact that had a happy life, even though he has a decade in the Army under his belt, made it even better. He loaded us up with tons of Army swag, which I plan to help get me some street cred here in the Bluegrass State.
As we were pulling out of the mall, I checked the price of gas. I figured if this place was as economically depressed as I was told, then gas would be cheap. But it wasn't. $3.95 a gallon. Then I realized that it was actually a dollar less than that ($2.95/gal) and I had read it wrong. I busted a U-turn on our way out to get gas real quick.
As we continued on through New Mexico, the terrain was very interesting and debateably (word?) beautiful, but desolate. We all know how bad Albuquerque is from Breaking Bad. Plus, Smelly at my last job told us stories about that town during every lunch break. So we pushed our way through to Santa Rosa, NM. I was already sick of seeing signs for Historic Route 66, and we had only been on it for a full day. If that wasn't bad enough, we went to the cheesiest local New Mexican cuisine diner that sold tons of Route 66 merch. The food and the establishment combined to hurt my stomach. At least the conversation between the creepy, old white dude and his mail-order bride behind me were interesting. Literally.
I have a relative that grew up in NM. So, I'll give her the benefit of the doubt and say that I was told that there are beautiful places in New Mexico. Apparently the freeway runs through the shittiest part of the state.
We skipped Bdubs that day, but not for good.