We left Gallup and travel about 200 miles to Santa Fe. Along the way we continued east on I-40 with the edge of the Colorado Plateau to our left. Then we lost site of the Plateau and we passed through some dry rolling country. This included a few miles of lava beds. Known as Malpais, or badlands, these extended a few miles on both sides of the interstate including in the median. This is pretty open country. We came to Albuquerque and turned north to Santa Fe.
We chose to visit Santa Fe because it had a good RV park, and Albuquerque didn't!
Santa Fe is the capital of New Mexico and its fourth largest city. It had been the capital of the Spanish and Mexican province of Mexico Nuevo, the US territory and state of New Mexico, which adds up to more than 400 years as a capital. They have a strict building code here and everything must be built in the 'pueblo' style, and color is also regulated. Basically everything must be a pale reddish-brown sandstone color. Santa Fe is an artists community, with about 70 art galleries in a city of 75,000, and a couple dozen art museums.
New Mexico has the only state motto with a question, which is "red or green?" as in CHILI. I am finding that there is a difference between Mexican-styles of cooking. We know "Tex-Mex" as the usual American rendering with lots of meat, melted cheese, and spices. "Southwest" is the California-Arizona version and is less spicy, with more guacamole and fresh vegetables like tomato and lettuce. "New Mexico" style has red and green chili and is very hot, and has more black beans and highly spicy marinated meat.