We set off reasonably early into downtown Gallup looking for a strong coffee and quickly found a cafe that appeared to be exclusively populated by Native Americans. Were they escaping, infiltrating or simply following us?Mer college suggested that they were probably using it as a local cafe and that they lived in Gallup. On the lack of evidence of weapons and spying gear I was happy to take his comments on board.
We both felt it was high time to start looking for some keepsakes so ambled down Gallup high street looking for original opportunities. One of the shops that caught our eye was selling a broad range of Western gear, boots, shirts, hats etc but was also a pawn shop that also sold guns and ammo. Amazing! Whilst we were There I witnessed an old boy negotiating a price for his rifle to pawn that included 14 bullets. I may have been mistaken but I think he was offered $55. I took a photo anyway.
Aideen had noticed a rusty sheriffs badge in a shop window further downthe road and as he was looking for something like this we entered the shop. It was a step back in time with some Jethro Tull blaring out, the waft of petuli oil penetrating the dry air, masses of bongs and pipes everywhere and a chap called Den who was 56 and sported a Ramones stylie mop top.
It was at this moment that I realised I had left my shampoo in the hotel room. b*****!
Denny was an Anglophile, and pointed at his 'Jagwarr' parked across the road whilst asking whether we knew anyone from the band 'Yes'. I replied that our mate Les had once shared a urinal with the leader singer and this seemed to make Dens day.
Den was probably on something as he was continually saying 'man' to everything. We were enamoured with the guy and I bought some keepsakes whilst CSI Essex purchased his sheriffs badge and a fine pimp cane.
Back to the car and to the sounds of 'Firestarter' by the Prodigy we sneaked out of the Pay and Display onto the 66 heading towards our ultimate goal of the day, Albuquerque.
As we journeyed across the poor quality roads we identified several car 'graveyards' where we pulled over and did the obligatory photo captures.
We were soon in a place called Geezerville which for it's name alone was worth a stop for a photo opportunity by a massive road sign. Just as mer college was attaching his lens cap two strange ladies came up us asking if we had a mobile phone that we could use. They were dressed as cleaners and were possibly Hispanic in origin but then again could also have been Navajo.
They said that there car had broken down, but with a garage that we passed only 3 miles down the road and the fact that it was still relatively light we chose the route of caution, thinking that this could easily be a trap of serious consequences and declared no knowledge of such devices and quickly sped off away from them.
We had both seen the film 'The Hills Have Eyes' and I have seen the remake, so we were conscious of how these things can often turn out, and both agreed that this situation was just between us and that nobody would ever hear of what happened, ever.
We arrived at Albuquerque but were struggling to find accommodation, eventually finding an 'Econolodge' run by a family from Delhi we discovered.
We were hungry and in need of a beer or two, so trying to benefit from our hosts local knowledge we enquired as to the whereabouts of the nearest bar that would also offer bar food. We were assured of a simple 1 mile journey and ventured off down the road. After 4 miles we pulled in to an establishment that looked very low rent but had beer signs in the window. We wandered in to be greeted by a security guard of about 8 foot toting a pistol and baseball bat. It became very apparent that we had entered an Off licence not a bar, and commented to each other that we must point this out to our 'still new to the area' hosts.
Thirty minutes later we found that All American staple that you can always rely on for a beer and sandwich, the Irish Pub, and settled on a few beers and a burger.
At the far end of the bar I noticed Robert Smith from the eighties combo The Cure who had a rather large hit with 'Love Cats'. I squirrelled over to Bob and asked him what brought him to the Irish Bar in Albuquerque. Was it the same fool that had mis directed us or some other fancy reason? Turned out that Robert was doing a study of architecture within the Albuquerque area as well as looking for some inspiration for his future solo album.
Having informed Robert of our quest and the numerous buildings that we had photographed he expressed interest in remaining in contact and offered to take a photo of myself and Brick of the Yard. We parted as soul mates and headed back to our Econolodge with the non local landlord planning our next stage on 66