by Jon Heie
Today we traveled from Santa Rosa, NM to Holbrook, AZ. We traveled a bunch of interstate and some cool stretches of old Route 66. The “Mother Road” paralleled I-40 for long stretches, leaving her side every once in a while, to meander through old towns, barely populated anymore. The dilapidated old gas stations and garages were probably something to behold back in the day, like some of us riders. The petrified forest national park reminded me of the Badlands of South Dakota, although the colors were more on the red side. I could have spent half a day stopping at every scenic overlook, taking pictures and trying to figure out, in my mind, how all this came to be. One of the highlights of the day was lunch. We stopped in Gallup, NM where Mike found us a short list of dining options. We decided on Mexican, a small local joint with 4.6 stars and 128 recommendations on FB, Jerry’s Cafe. I know, not the name of your typical Mexican restaurant. We arrived shortly after 1:00 and found the place packed. The smells coming from the front door convinced us to wait the 10 minutes for a larger booth. A young native woman came outside to check on the size of our group before we even hit the door. I gave her my name and we waited on the sidewalk where several locals checked out the rider’s bikes, exchanging ride stories and inquiring as to our cause. A short while later we were escorted inside to our corner booth where our host handled our drink orders and wise cracks with style and grace. She took care of us like we were family. As I ate, possibly the best combo burrito I have ever eaten, I looked around the place at the mostly Navajo patrons, sharing the small, packed diner with a motley crew of Siouxland bikers. The customers continued to pile in, well into the 2 o’clock hour. A local community, supporting a local business, sharing their little secret with us. There is obvious support for this diner. The community fills this place to overflowing every day of the week. There are regulars who are treated like family who keep this place in business. We as a CMN family should aspire to as much. Dave is snoring now, it must be bedtime. Good night.