Mar 282012

Some roads in New Mexico seem to go forever without much change. The four-lane highway from Clines Corners to Roswell definitely comes to mind. Also, those that you do over and over again, for me that is Gallup to Albuquerque on I-40 where many times I exit off the freeway to drive old Route 66, for a little nostalgia. I won’t mention the stretches of highway I dread, but will say they always lead somewhere very amazing in the “Land of Enchantment”. One of my favorite drives lies in the southern part of New Mexico, an almost magical drive.


Road Map Carrizozo to Lincoln

Coming from the west is the preferable way to approach this route because it means you will have the opportunity to stop at a New Mexico landmark. When you say San Antonio most think of the big state of Texas, but we have one too, just a lot smaller. This is where you will find the best green chili cheeseburger known to mankind. The all-beef patty melts in your mouth and of course the heavenly green chili comes from Hatch, NM just down the highway. I always called the burger in and ate in the car, excited to get to Carrizozo.


Owl Bar & Cafe Green Chili Burger

Carrizozo is not the highlight of the trip, but the start of something magical. You begin your climb out of Carrizozo to Capitan. This town is famous for Smokey the Bear. This National Forest mascot has taught much of the public about how to be safe in the forest. Plus, the town is absolutely gorgeous being set in a valley with mountains surrounding you, and many take the back road to Ruidoso from here, especially motorcyclists. Capitan leads to Lincoln, where everyone knows the name of it’s most famous resident, Billy the Kid.


Lincoln, New Mexico

Lincoln has a magnificent backdrop, just like Capitan it sits in valley, but this time the mountains are right up against the old gun-slinging town. You will find the town sits on basically one road, the highway through town. This sitting lets you get a real feel for the town, and you will fall in love with the old adobe buildings. Make sure you get out of the car here, either to walk the streets where Billy made havoc, or to walk inside one of the galleries for some fabulous New Mexico art. Not far after leaving Lincoln you will be back into long straight highways, but the memory of the Carrizozo to Lincoln will last forever.

Old Adobe - Lincoln, New Mexico

 Posted by at 5:37 pm
Mar 162012


Gallup, New Mexico is one of those towns that everyone has been through. It sits right on Interstate 40 and the traffic is thick in both directions. Many don’t think about Gallup, and if they do it is as a gas fill-up or fast food stop. However, this unique unofficial Navajo Nation Capital has lots of diversity that will create a very memorable experience.  So begin your Gallup journey with an open mind because this place is like no other.


First, if you happen to be visiting Gallup on a Saturday you will need to add the Flea Market to your itinerary. This market is always booming and gives you an instant flavor of our community. Here you will find everything imaginable. Yes, we have pirated DVDs here, but that is not what we want you to be looking for. You can find local food here that attracts the locals, like Corn Stew with Fry Bread, Dumpling Stew with Fry Bread, or blue mush. Also, if art is your thing this is a great place to meet a local silversmith and see what real Navajo silver looks like. The Flea Market is only a Saturday event.


Alright, Gallup has a few influences that make up its’ culture. Gallup is surrounded by the Navajo Nation and this is really what shapes our community go. Also, Mexico borders us to the south and this area once belonged to both Mexico and Spain, which flavors our whole State. Last, railroads and mining have been a major factor in growing this region, and that has brought certain ethnicities here that has just added that much more diversity here.


Gallup is a couple hour drive from Albuquerque, add another hour if you are coming from Flagstaff, and that means when you get here you will be ready to eat. Genaro’s Café is located in an old neighborhood and serves up classic New Mexico green and red chili dishes. After you have eaten the best stuffed sopapilla in the world you will want to get outside.


Genaro's Stuffed Sopapilla

Gallup has been named the “Adventure Capital of New Mexico” and that translates into some awesome trails. Head out to the Gamerco trail head and do the moderately easy high desert  1st loop. Last, you are going to want to visit a Gallup institution, the Trading Posts. Of course, I recommend Perry Null Trading Company because I work there. However, each big Trading Post has its own flavor and will leave you with a story to tell.


High Desert Trail System

You are going to have an unexpected great day on your first real visit to Gallup. Hopefully, it will only be the start of your explorations here because this city has many layers, and once you make it a hub for those other close must sees like Chaco Canyon, Canyon de Chelly, and other fascinating Navajo Nation destinations it might seem like it is becoming your favorite vacation spot.

 Posted by at 9:55 pm

What is your New Mexico?

 How To  Comments Off
Mar 152012

New Mexico just has a flavor that only comes from special ingredients. Names like Geronimo, Billy the Kid, Georgia O’Keeffe, Tony Hillerman, Victorio, Demi Moore, and Jim Morrison are all associated with this flavorful state. Plus, you have the Pueblo Tribes, Apache, Ute, Comanche, & Navajo People who call this land “home”. This area has also belonged to Spain and Mexico, which still has a very strong influence here. Places like Chaco Canyon show ancient civilizations where here over 1000 years ago. All of this rich history influences our New Mexico culture that brings several million visitors a year here.


Famous New Mexicans

We spend lots of time on the Perry Null Trading Company website promoting Native American art. On our Facebook page we have over 17,000 fans that enjoy the pictures of handmade authentic art that we serve up daily. Some of the most viewed images are those of people and places in and around Gallup. Also, it always amazes us how many customers come into the Trading Post because of our website, the internet works. We also know that many of our daily users are fellow New Mexicans along with those neighboring Arizonians and Coloradans, which led to this New Mexico Road Trip blog space.

Show us your favorite  New Mexico destinations with pictures and share them here on this blog. We will be doing the same, and like the Perry Null Trading site it just might lead someone to that special place. Please tell New Mexico fans your favorite trips and outings and any other interesting NM lore. Remember it can be anything. If your favorite place is a running trail, fishing hole, authentic restaurant, locally owned business, horse trail, rodeo event, festival, or whatever it is that you enjoy.

Share your stories, travels and highlights with us:

To become a contributor, please Login through a social network you use regularly or simply Register and edit the “Bio” section of your profile to tell us something about you… specifically to help us know that you are not a spammer :(

Once we see your new account and cool bio, we will allow your account to post. Please feel free to pump commercial entities, and to include a link to your blog, facebook, twitter etc., but don’t kill us with other commercial links. We might reconsider your account status.

If you have any questions, please email us:


 Posted by at 9:57 pm

Pyramid Hike

 Bike - Hike - Ski  Comments Off
Mar 132012

Its been a while, but last fall I took my kids on the Pyramid Rock hike near Churchrock, NM (outside of Gallup). It was gorgeous and pretty tough for those under 10 years old, but it was a blast. Here are some images.

South toward Ft. Wingate

South toward Ft. Wingate

North toward Superman Canyon

North toward Superman Canyon

East toward Grants

East toward Grants


 Posted by at 8:20 pm
Mar 122012

Whether your thing is traveling across the vast high desert landscapes of the “Land of Enchantment”


Looking for “Red” or “Green”

Red & Green Chile Enchiladas

Red & Green Chile Enchiladas

Mountain Biking Desert Trails

High Desert Mountain Biking

High Desert Mountain Biking

Or anything else you can imagine doing under pristine blue skies, please join and share it here!

 Posted by at 11:28 pm
Mar 082012

This post is reBlogged from Uploads from JudsonR:

JudsonR posted a photo:

"To go where no..."

Or, “Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride”.

Definitely off-road here. While on the hunt for wild horses, which we never did see, Diana Kelleher took me along in her Jeep where no Prius could ever go. Rockin’ (and I mean real rocks!) and rollin’ all the way. We went into an arroyo behind a cement plant and quarry area off I-25 north of NM 550. There are horse trails and lots of manure there but we saw none of what we sought.

Mar 082012

This post is reBlogged from Uploads from JudsonR:

JudsonR posted a photo:

El Santuario de San Lorenzo, Bernalillo

•1856 – Nuestra Senora de los Dolores, Our Lady of Sorrows Church (the building known today as El Santuario de San Lorenzo), was dedicated by the Archdiocese of Santa Fe.
•1993 – In celebration of the 300th Annual Fiesta de San Lorenzo, the original Our Lady of Sorrows Church was re-dedicated as El Santuario de San Lorenzo.

The cruciform-shaped 120 by 65 feet building resting on a stone foundation has 20 feet high adobe walls an average of three and a half feet thick. An excellent example of 19th century ecclesiastical architecture, it combines features of preceeding Spanish and Mexican periods with elements brought to the area by French-born Jean Baptiste Lamy, the first Roman Catholic bishop in New Mexico under the United States rule. Changes made to the church culminated in the refurbishment of 1892. The French priests in charge of the parish endeavored both to modernize the building and make it as European in appearance as possible. It is one of few examples in New Mexico of French architecture built with native materials. Only relatively minor changes have been made to the church during the 20th century.

Official website:

Feb 102012

This post is reBlogged from Uploads from JudsonR:

JudsonR posted a photo:

Acoma Street Scene

A Nikon D70 image recorded 8/05/2007 and re-processed with Lightroom 4.0B, Topaz B&W Effects and Photoshop 5.1.

The Acoma Pueblo tribe is a federally recognized tribal entity. The historical land of Acoma Pueblo totaled roughly 5 million acres; now only 10% of this land is in the hands of the community. According to the 2010 United States Census, 4,989 people identified as Acoma. The Acoma have continuously occupied the area for over 800 years, making it one of the oldest continuously inhabited communities in the United States.

The word “Acoma” is from the Acoma and Spanish word Acoma, or Acú, which means “the place that always was” or “People of the White Rock”. “Pueblo” is Spanish for “village”. Pueblo refers to both the people and the unique architecture of the Southwest.

Jan 302012

This post is reBlogged from Uploads from JudsonR:

JudsonR posted a photo:

Guadalupe River

The Guadalupe as it exits its canyon near the Gilman Railroad tunnels.

This image is processed (and uploaded) with Lightroom 4 Beta. Compare to the previous image. Comments welcome.

Sep 062011

This post is reBlogged from Roving Gastronome:

On my birthday, I went to Gallup, New Mexico. Not a typical place for celebration, I realize, but I’m kind of fond of how this town has developed in the last decade. There are murals everywhere, you can get handmade moccasins, the county courthouse is cool Pueblo Deco, and there are demonstration dances on the plaza in front every single night during the summer.

These dancers were from Zuni, just south of Gallup. Most of the crowd was local, or American Indians from other reservations.

Another thrill, for my vintage hotel fixation, the El Rancho is one of America’s finest examples. The desk clerk has a pompadour and a bolo tie, and the rooms are named after Hollywood stars who came to the area to film in the 1940s. I slept in James Cagney.

It’s true, I didn’t go to Gallup just for my birthday. I was also on assignment to write about the flea market that takes place every Saturday, from about 10am on, in a big gravel lot on the northwest side, just off the highway that used to be 666. I visited once before, and I was so thrilled about all the cool stuff there that I made this haul video.

What I really noticed about the flea market this time is how it reflects Gallup’s roots–and I don’t just mean its Navajo ones, as Gallup is the “Indian Capital of the World” and where everyone from the rez comes to sell crafts and stock up at Walmart. The town grew up when the railroad came through in 1881, bringing all kinds of enterprising immigrants from everywhere.

So the majority of shoppers and vendors are Navajo—grandmas in velveteen skirts alongside teenagers in giant T-shirts and calf-length denim shorts, carrying pit-bull puppies. But there are also Mexican vendors—selling tacos, handmade Navajo-style clothing in inexpensive fabrics and even sacks of green chile. In July, green chile wasn’t yet in season in NM, but it’s got to come from somewhere, right? Why not drive a truck up from south of the border, filled with chile from hotter climes?

And I saw young Arab girls in headscarves—no idea whether they were new to town, or had deep roots here. Arabs and Muslims from the Balkans came to Gallup very early on, and there’s a big mosque right on Route 66. And then there were the missionaries—still active now as they were more than a century ago, though the current vocal bunch take a particularly strange form. And as if to round out the archetypal Wild West market vibe, I even saw one stand run by very-new-to-town-looking Chinese people, selling imported tchotchkes like paper lanterns and frilly fans.

The main reason I went was to write about the food, which you just don’t see anywhere else. Here’s some “kneel-down bread”—ground-up fresh corn packed in a husk and roasted.

These are so cleverly wrapped up in corn husks, they look just like regular ears of roasted corn.

I asked the woman selling it if it was called that because you had to kneel down at a metate to grind the corn. “No,” she snapped. “That’s just what it’s called.” It reminded me of when I’d asked in Zuni why the bread was shaped that way and got similarly stonewalled. Later, I felt a little vindicated when I was eating my mutton sandwich, and the Navajo woman next to me at the table pointed to the kneel-down bread stand and said, “It’s called that because ladies used to have to kneel down to grind it on the metate…” But next time, I’ll try not to pry.

At Diamond “T” Grill, people were seated expectantly at tables before the signs are even up, waiting for lamb ribs and achii (sheep intestines around strips of fat) straight off the grill. When I asked the grillmaster if I could take a photo of his work, he cracked, “Did you set your camera to Navajo time?”

That's achii in the foreground.

There was plenty else I wished I’d eaten. Not necessarily because it looked tasty–honestly, Navajo food can seem a little Spartan, and it appears to value the sensation of sheep fat coating your mouth. But just because where else, and how else will I ever taste this stuff? It’s a portal into another world. That’s what makes the Gallup flea so special—and heck, worth a birthday trip.

Bonus birthday give-back for my copy editor friends. Slightly misguided proofreader marks from Route 66 in Gallup, on a wild Friday night:

Saturday night in Gallup rocks.

Greater than what? You tell me.