Posted by: JJ | May 6, 2008

Day 28 – Ahhh! There’s a Jackalope in my Tepee.

We have yet another long road ahead, this time we’re leaving Albuquerque, NM heading for Holbrook, AZ. What you might ask is the reason for stopping in Holbrook? Well, it’s along route 66, yes, however they have Wigwams there. And that is why we’re making Holbrook our destination.

The northern parts of New Mexico and Arizona are beautifully painted with deep reds and yellows while the sky is as wide and far-reaching as the sea.

For all you campers and hikers- this IS true heaven on earth. However, Dennis and I are neither so we just drove on past, snapping a few photos from our car windows.

Gallup, New Mexico was a good place to stop and check out because of its rich Hollywood history. We ate at the El Rancho Hotel and Motel, a sure beacon of cowboy elegance in its heyday.

The menu items were named after movie stars… like the John Wayne; a half pound burger with the works, and The Lucile Ball which included a hamburger patty, cottage cheese, a peach half and sherbet ice cream.

Dennis had the Audrey Hepburn; a BLT on wheat bread. I got the special, I think it was called Poncho Villa; two chicken enchiladas, Christmas style (red and green sauce). Look at that cow-girl-clean plate!

They call Gallup the Gateway to New Mexico because from here you can find many of the most beautiful dessert landscapes anywhere.

We drove through the Painted Dessert and Petrified Forest National Park.

These petrified tree trunks date back 250 million years ago when this part of Arizona was a swampland. It seems a bit hard to believe that it was once like that, but it’s also hard to grasp the amount of time that has gone by.

When trees tipped over for whatever reason, floods came through and rapidly covered the trunks with silt. The silt is what preserved the wood. For millions of years, they were exposed to intense sun, wind and flooding which created the perfect recipe for crystallization.

There is another spot here called Newspaper Rock, which have drawings on them dating back 650-2,000 years ago. Wow…

Leaving the Petrified National Forest we drove by curio shop after curio shop FULL of petrified wood for sale, all sizes and sorts, you can spend days rummaging through these treasure troves. We resisted the petrified-pull and moved west toward Holbrook.

The streets of Holbrook are pretty packed with curio stores, petrified wood stores and mysterious creatures! LOOK, QUICK… is that a Jackalope?

I captured that cute little Jackalope and checked into the Wigwam Motel, one of the three Tepee Motels left in the U.S.

Off to dinner at one of the only three diners around, however this one had fame on its side. With appearances in Glamour Magazine and Cars the movie, we had to stop in for a spell.

They bragged about their Cheese Crisp so I got that… cheese on a flour tortilla with green chili (of course) and then baked to a “crisp”. Finally, Dennis decided on the Fried Chicken as a comparison to Day 24 at Mitchel’s in Shamrock. Our allegiance still stands with Mitchel’s though.

These full days of driving are a bit much, so we’ll have to slow the pace a bit from here on out if we can.



  1. hi kids
    don’t forget to sign the wall of the tee pee with your brand. ha
    when will you see chad?
    xoxox mom

  2. That tepee is my kind of accomodation, always loved tents.

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