The ride to Albuquerque took most of the day and passed thru Hopi & Navajo reservations. There were many scenic views along the way, but the most interesting part of the ride was the people I met along the way.
Normally, I make a fuel stop when the trip odometer is between 120 & 150 miles, but in the wide open spaces, when you are not riding the interstates, you have to be careful as it can be some distance between gas stations.
Around midday, with odometer closing in on 150 miles, I stopped into a small Hopi town for gas; this was not a normal traveler stop where the station is on the main road, but instead, I had to drive into town. The town was like any rural community with a main store that is gas station, market and deli. All in all, nothing unusual, except I was very definitely the outsider.
Usually in rural towns, I get noticed because I have a Pennsylvania license plate and, in these small towns, everyone knows everyone. In this particular case there was a more obvious reason why I was an outsider: I’m the only non-Hopi. Even with the obvious difference, this was like any other rural stop: the people were friendly and kind, asking about my ride, where I had been and where I was going.
About an hour later, I stopped at a tourist attraction which had a small exhibit detailing the history of the Hopi. While I was interested in the exhibit, I really stopped because I wanted a break and there was a small group of riders in the parking lot.
I did stop into the exhibit, but spent more time talking to my fellow travelers. These Hopi riders where headed to a Navajo event in Window Rock. From the exhibit, I had learned that there have been long standing tensions between the Navajo & Hopi over land rights, but these bikers showed now ill feelings toward the Navajo.
Since it was on my way, I rode with the Hopi all the way to the event. As we approached main drag, one of the Hopi let me know how I could skip around the event to avoid the traffic, but I wasn’t too bad so I rode thru.
The event was a huge fair, occupying the entire town, with amusement rides, some special Navajo displays and other attractions. Had I had known about this event, I would have planned to arrive early and spend some time in town, but, with evening plans in Albuquerque, I said goodbye to my new friends and headed on down the road.
That night in Albuquerque, Jane introduced me to some of her friends at a special Harry Potter trivia event. The questions covered obscure details from the movies, books and even related websites; our answers were very original, but not so correct. At one point, we received sympathy candy from the hosts because we were in last place, having answer absolutely none of the questions correctly. Despite our ability to come with the prescribed answers, a great time was had by all.