A trip to Grants, NM

Yesterday marked my first dentist visit in NM and my first use of the NM Public School Insurance program. The dentist Jamie’s colleague recommended is in Grants, NM, which is 30 miles east of Thoreau (Gallup being 30 miles west).

My cleaning was as comfortable as it could have been, and I really like my hygienist. But overall, I found it a bit overwhelming to be sold orthodontics (“you’ll have perfect teeth”, fillings (“some may say it looks like a stain, but I think your tooth is rotten through and through”), and some new woven kind of floss, all in one go. I am used to and favor a dentist who helps me keep my teeth clean and healthy, period. No ultra fancy equipment, no gimmicks, just a dentist, please, thank you very much.

My hygienist did a great job with the cleaning, and talked to (at? since I could not very well respond) me the whole time. After I left their office with new appointments (that I might not keep) and flashy business cards to call the orthodontists who visit their offices every six weeks, I felt I needed to run away to safety.

I got in the car and decided to explore Grants while I was there. No map, just drive. So I made a left at the dental office and wound my way up a gentle hill and stopped when I could go no further.

This is the highest point in Grants. You’re looking at the skyline (and our car).

My first picture (of many yet to come) of an adobe type house. It seemed a bit run down, perhaps even abandoned or uninhabited, but it certainly held a spectacular view of the town below.

I was standing facing south, my gaze panned from left to right (west to east), and this cloud caught my attention on the west side.

I was also struck by the little emerald patches in most of the houses I saw below. We certainly are in the prosperous area of town here: the plots are huge, the construction new and/or well maintained, three-car garages, lawns, RVs, all impeccably clean. Neatly cut and polished gems in the “rough.”

Here’s that cloud again.

The lavender bushes love the NM weather! I would love to learn how to keep mine alive in a pot through winter and also how to use it in cooking.

The view to the west from the same vantage point. The mesas.

This picture is kind of neat. I was trying to get I-40 in range (you can actually see it and the traffic on it by clicking on the image) but also ended up getting the RVs!

Just below me and to the right, a sampling of the black volcanic rocks that are characteristic of the region. I have been reading up on the geomorphology of the region and will have a post on that, soon. Actually, my interest in this subject was triggered by a recent presentation Bill Lama did for the PVLD on the Formation of Palos Verdes. It got me thinking about why I love the mesas so much and the general topography of the area, and I read some more.

The line of trees in the back probably represents Roosevelt Ave. The rest of the town of Grants stretches south beyond that line. It extends east-west along I-40 and the street that parallels the highway just off the highway is called Santa Fe Ave., the central artery of the town.

A last look at the desert land. When I came home and looked for a map of Grants to figure out where I had been, it turns out that I explored the north side of town known as North Hills, everything north of Roosevelt Ave., including the NM State University Grants Campus, Mt. Taylor Elementary School, etc., etc. I picked up a pumpkin at Smith’s Grocery Store on Roosevelt, and then I proceeded to the southeast part of town to take exit 79 to I-40 W.

A good first look. Need to go back! To check out the rest of the town and visit El Cafecito on Santa Fe Ave, recommended by my hygienist.

Then there is the town of Milan, right next door, where they tell me, “WOW” Diner really lives up to its name!