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Its only about 140 miles on I-40, but yesterday it took me all day to go from Gallup to Albuquerque. In Gallup I stopped by the train/bus station information booth. That verified my plan to play tourist on the way.

South on 602, I saw signs advertising Winfield Trading. Now, I had to check it out. The store is a seller of fine Indian jewelry. Besides us having the same surname, we are both Nam vets. Had a nice conversation. Left with (bought) a new money clip.

As I approached Ramah, NM, I was getting hungry for breakfast. Not sure what I might find in a small town, I opted for the first eatery I saw. That was Ramah Valley Diner. As it happens, the owner grow up in Iowa and used to run/work at the Perkins Restaurant in Council Bluffs (I-80 and I-29).

On to El Morro National Monument. I hiked the Headland Trail. the trail climbs the bluff and past Ancestral Puebloan ruin, Atsinna. From there, it traverses the top pf the bluff and back down. At the bottom you are treated to inscriptions carved into the stone left by visitors years ago - from ancients to early conquerors.

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From there, it was a short drive to El Malpais National Monument. I hiked a little of the El Calderon trail. From there I went down Hwy 117. Drove the road up to the Sandstone Bluff Overlook. Then down to La Ventana Natural Arch.

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Copyright(c) 2009 Tom Winfield. All rights reserved.