346. Gallup, McKinley County (NM30)

Now this is a modern look I can get behind!

I can’t tell for sure, but I highly suspect that this connected building is the old courthouse and it is now an extension of the newer building. Or maybe it’s the other way around. All that is really just semantics. Either way, I like the way they integrated the two. If they hadn’t done as well as they did, I wouldn’t be entertaining the question in the first place. A lot of times when extensions are done, they’re just a hodgepodge of styles. In this case, though their styles differ, they to together beautifully. I, with my vast courthouse experience, approve.

I also really like this glass war memorial they have here. It’s a bit difficult to make out, but the people and scenes and names etched on the various panes is quite a sight. Unfortunately, I didn’t get too close of a look. There were a lot of homeless people here and I didn’t want to disturb them. I also noticed that at least a few of them had the look of vets. Some of these folks had served. Accordingly, I find it both ironic and fitting that they use the benches under the memorial for shade and rest. One of them, as he was walking, would cross himself every time he passed one of those etched pillars, looking at the names thereupon. If I were a more political person, I might begin some sort of rant about the ill treatment of vets in America. More than likely, it would focus on the people who can do something and yet do not, instead using these discarded people (veteran and homeless alike) as a political tool to trot out for their own ends. Instead of pouring out a few hundred words, I will demur. I’m sure my point here has been made and there’s no need to belabor it.

Someone was kind enough to leave a cache right here on the grounds. Oddly enough, it answered my earlier musing about the old courthouse. Since itself is named after the WPA, and talks about this courthouse being an old WPA project, I will consider this mystery solved. The cache was signed and returned, and I got going on my way. I headed north and east, once again leaving behind a local social ill. Over the course of the day, I had been watching the trees and vegetation thin and slowly disappear. But now, well out of town, it was gone and the land was getting yellow and sandier. I had hoped, though it would have been horribly out of my way, to pop up to Four Corners. For those of you who don’t know, there’s four virtuals there, one in each state. Unfortunately, the Navajo Nation is responsible for the site and, because the Nation is locked down, all parks and attractions they control are closed off. I thought for a moment that, it being out door, I might be able to slip in and see it anyway, but the most recent logs confirmed that they are current inaccessible. No great tragedy, I guess. I already have three of the four states represented, Utah being the missing one. I guess odds exist that I will make my way there at some point, yes? But Utah was for another day.

Mountains in the distance, I drove into the desert and found an unexpected oasis in…

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