In early spring I finally visited a place I’ve wanted to see for quite some time. Just south of Gallup and a little west of Grants is this amazing place that sits near the Zuni and Ramah Navajo reservations. Annie and I left Colorado early afternoon and drove south……. Just outside of Gallup I pulled over to get some coffee ( I am a caffeine addict, a healthier substitution in relation to the days when I was supporting a small village in Columbia or Peru with my habits!) and I noticed a large drip coming from my rear differential. Blown pinion seal…..f***!
In the distance I could see a small shop that might offer some help so I flipped a bitch and pulled in….. It was little more than a large dirt lot with 5 or 6 Navajo kids milling about changing tires and wrenching on cars. This place seemed to do a brisk business with the local navajos selling used tires, obviously they didn’t see too many white boys in here because all the customers looked at me like I was a red headed alien….But anyways, with a little friendly banter and an offer of cash, Budweiser and weed before I could even blink they had it up on jack stands to assess the damage….. Luckily Annie is a Ford and parts are plentiful and cheap! Those Navajo boys had me going in less than an hour ! How cool is that! But back to El Morro……
This place has been a respite for travelers for thousands of years. Ancestral Puebloans, Spanish and American travelers have left literally thousands of carvings and signatures carved into this large sandstone butte with a reliable waterhole at the base of the cliff. There is a short easy trail around the base of the cliff called The Inscription Loop and also a trail to the top of the mesa where there are ancient Pueblo ruins…..Unfortunately the trail to the mesa was closed when I was there due to a recent heavy spring snowstorm that made it too dangerous to hike. Early in the A.M. I did hike the loop trail and it was quiet, serene, and truly amazing to see all the carvings of the countless travelers that stopped here for the desert oasis and it’s life giving water.
The campground was clean, well maintained and best of all FREE! Always a bonus! I was practically alone as there were only 2 other vehicles scattered among the 15 or 20 campsites…….I had the place almost to myself and smoked a little of Colorado’s finest to enjoy the solitude…..What a treat! I got to see a bunch of cool s*** without a bunch of gapers up my a**………..