Saturday, September 10, 2011

Kickapoo to Navajo

The sun setting in Oklahoma 
Oklahoma City
Last night we stopped near Oklahoma City. When we woke up we realized that we had been in Kickapoo Nation, which obviously was awesome because it was called Kickapoo. We began the long trek across Oklahoma towards New Mexico. Here is the thing about this road trip. Each state we go through I think, man, there is literally nothing by these roads!, yet every time we get to the next state I realize that the state before actually had a lot compared to the next one! Basically Oklahoma-Texas-New Mexico was one of the longest roads of my life. In Oklahoma we got a lesson on Native American tribe names as we passed through each "nation." We also passed Lake Meredith in one state (who knew I had my own lake!?). There were these big wind energy farms in Oklahoma as well which were so cool. Then we hit Texas.
Welcome to Texas!
Endless nothingness, or in other words, New Mexico. 
Oh Texas. There is really nothing to report from Texas. It all started to run together after awhile. I can't really remember a time before we went through the endless road of New Mexico. New Mexico may in fact be the most endlessly desolate and empty state in America. We literally drove for hundreds of miles looking at this. Yes, the clouds are pretty, but do you know how boring miles and miles of nothing can be? The only awesome thing I saw in New Mexico was this AMAZING rainbow. This picture doesn't even capture it. I could see it completely from end to end with every color so vibrant. It was a gift from God on our journey!

I had just added New Mexico to my list of states I don't want to live in (Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas...wait...that is every state we have been through so far...) when we landed in the town of Gallup. Wait, you haven't heard of Gallup? Really? It sits on historic Route 66 and as luck would have it there was a festival going on downtown. Turned out the festival was not very big (we missed the biggest Navajo taco and the Western shoot out) but what we found was a city made up almost entirely of Navajo people.
Check out the adorable Navajo panda girl next to me. This is the courthouse in Gallup!
At this point I took New Mexico off my hate list. It was so cool to be surrounded by people that were 100% Native American. We are actually right next to the biggest Navajo reservation. We learned a lot that I want to share with you, but sleep is taking over and I can barely concentrate. You can all look forward to more Navajo news later this week, but I will tell you this: the Navajo are an incredible people that seem to have been forgotten along with the small town of Gallup. I really cannot wait to learn more about them and their culture here in New Mexico. 

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