Our second stop in New Mexico was originally going to be Chaco Culture National Historic State Park, but upon further review we realized that this was going to require a lot of driving. We want to see the sites but since we're both running businesses we need our mornings for work and that means less time in the car. We changed the itinerary to Bluewater Lake State Park and headed that way. When we got to Bluewater though, it was pretty desolate. The bathrooms were closed and locked, there was no one in the office, it seemed closed for the winter. This wouldn't have been too surprising had Sarah not talked to a person about staying there only an hour or so prior. We decided to play it safe and turned the boat around, thinking that we would instead head to a KOA nearby. It had been a long day of thwarted plans at this point and everyone was getting tired. Then something magical happened! Sarah caught a strange sign in a strip mall that said "Red Rock Canyon RV Campground". That had a nicer ring than "KOA" (not that we have anything against KOA's!) so we did a quick google search and called. The woman who answered gave them directions and the name of the man at the office, so we took her directions and went to find Ben Welch. Getting there was simple and we found Ben immediately. He is the parks & rec director for Gallup, NM and a wealth of information. He told us some awesome local gossip about the scandal laden ex-governor of NM, Bill Richardson (involving a fist fight with the 71 year old Korean war vet Mayor of Gallup - the mayor knocked him cold). Ben gave us a huge discount on the park fees. The stories Ben told us provided a good explanation for the lack of signage for the park. We found our spot, found a puppy, went to an awesome dinner and then had a great hike. It was a very happy accident and we recommend stopping there if ever in Gallup, NM.
After Red Rock we headed to our scheduled stop of Monument Valley. We stayed at Gouldings lodge and campground where the John Wayne theme continued. We took a quick sunset hike and in the morning we went to Monument Valley and drove through part of the self-guided tour. We had intended to drive the entire thing but underestimated how rocky the roads would be and made the mistake of bringing the cats. Although, we're pretty sure they had an easier time with it than Sarah did, who is prone to car sickness and pretty much terrified of rolling. We did see a lot of the park and it is beautiful. We recommend that if driving to that part of the country, take the highway from the south. The land all around the actual valley looks pretty monumental too.