Gallupian Fun Facts

Now that we have been living in our new "home" for over a week, we thought it would be fun to share all the wonderful unique features of this place. It took some searching, but we did finally come up with the following list.

1. Route 66, aka "America's Main Street," is the heart of town. It definitely has a "has been" look to it. I'm sure that there used to be a hey day, and this section of town was hopping, but now it's just a long long street of run down hotels and fast food restaurants.

2. There are a lot of trains. A Lot. You don't want to get stuck on the wrong side of the tracks or you might never get home. I'm not sure of the exact number, but I hear a train whistle at least every 15 minutes during the day. Rachel and Maggie will get to ride the Amtrak's Southwest Chief route when they come back from an upcoming trip to Nashville (no, they're not taking the train the whole way, just to the airport in Albuquerque).

3. El Rancho, a fun old hotel in town, used to host a lot of movie stars and other famous people. For reasons that escape us.

4. Gallup has been called the "Indian Capitol of the World," even though it's not technically on the reservations.

5. Around 1/3 of the town's population is Native American (mostly Navajo and some Zuni), bt it feels like 90% because the entire Navajo nation comes to shop at the closest WalMart for a 2-3 hour radius.

6. Man, is it windy here. Like, really really windy. Rachel and Maggie tried to take a walk one day and got blown sideways as soon as they stepped through the door. Winds of 25-35 mph are standard fare on an almost daily basis.

7. The town has nothing to do with the Gallup poll, which was named after a statistician.

8. Linguistically, this area is happening. The Navajo language is still widely spoken--Eric has had several patients at the Urgent Care who have communicated only in Navajo (Dine). What's especially interesting is that given the unique nature of the language, the US Military used it as its code language in WW2, a code that was never broken. One of the other main languages here is the Zuni language, which is a language isolate. Basically, that means it is not related to any other language on Earth, and is only spoken by about 9500 people in NM and AZ.


~sarah said...

that's so interesting about the languages. i love learning the history of languages! are you going to learn any navajo or zuni?

Alex Waterhouse-Hayward said...

I am still wondering if it's Gallupers or Gallupians. There is this that I just posted in my blog after our trip to south Texas.


Alex Waterhouse-Hayward
Vancouver, B.C.