Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Hike to Church Rock and on Strawberry Canyon Trail…

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On another day while in Gallup, NM we did the hike to Church Rock. The monsoonal rains had let up so we hoped to make this hike without getting wet this time. However, we made sure not to forget our ponchos just in case.

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The first part of the trail was on a flat sandy stretch but soon began climbing at an increasing rate into the rocks. We worked our way up to a ledge where the trail continued to wind its way toward Church Rock. While this hike did not take us to the top, it did bring us close to its base before looping back on another ledge.

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The Church Rock hike was just under three miles but had some stunning views in every direction. We really enjoyed hiking the red rocks of Red Rock Park despite having to carefully monitor weather conditions. It really is a beautiful place.

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With the weather warming up we decided to head to the mountains and hike the Strawberry Trail. This 4 mile trail wasn’t anything special but it sure was pleasant to experience the cooler temperatures in the mountains of New Mexico and walking amongst the Ponderosa Pine.

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We only encountered a few brave souls on this trail but the first part of the hike took us through a primitive campground and picnic area. Since we were hiking this trail on a weekend there were a lot of “weekenders” picnicking and playing outdoor games such as volleyball. As a result it did take us a while to get past the campground’s loud laughter and chatter.

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As we continued the hike, the trail meandered up a general incline as we made our way to the top of the canyon. At the end was a U.S. Forest Service fire tower perched atop the highest point around. Walking along this trail was like being back in spring as there were wildflowers everywhere.

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Before leaving the Gallup NM area we made a short drive over to Window Rock in Arizona. I read about this easy access attraction so with rain again in the forecast we went over to take a look at it.

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Once in the parking lot we took a short half mile walk around Window Rock and took a few photos. The park is dedicated to the brave Navajo Code Talkers who were used during WWII to confuse the enemy when transmitting messages. Their native language communications did indeed befuddle the enemy as was the mission. We were very glad we decided to check it out, as it is pretty cool place to visit.  

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We enjoyed our weeklong stay in Gallup and are  glad we made the trip back into New Mexico to explore this area before heading into Arizona.

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NOTE:  We are currently in Verde Valley, Arizona until August 26th…

2 comments:

  1. My cousin-inlaw was married to a Navajo whose grandfather was a Code Talker. We visited his gravesite in Window Rock. If your travels take you Kayenta, AZ the Burger King there has a nice display for the Code Talkers.

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    1. How cool is that? Guess we will have to make it to BK one day...

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