I decide to spend my time in Albuquerque doing a Breaking Bad tour. I visit Walter White's house and the A1 car wash in Northeast Heights and Tuco's headquarters at Java Joe's on Park Ave. I wrap up at Twisters, the real-life restaurant chain which was Gus Fring's Los Pollos Hermanos. Afterwards I'm back at the airport for departure.
Albuquerque sprawls beneath me as I ascend to cruising altitude.
Rocky landscape and high elevations span the stretch to Gallup.
Gallup's airport, KGUP, is a bit of an adventure to navigate to, with trench-like escarpments on both sides.
The sun is getting low and I spend the evening here, visiting the Navajo Code Talker Museum and grabbing dinner at the Route 66 Diner.
I'm happy to see bright sunshine the next morning, but a check of the weather forecast shows some patchy showers in the future. It's a beautiful morning when I takeoff
My trip starts with blue skies, but in no time the rain is upon me. The clouds remain high and visibility is still good, but drops patter on the hull.
I can see the direction of the storm and turn ninety-degrees to my left. In a few minutes, bits of blue sky poke through.
Just like that I'm back in sunlight, gray clouds falling behind me. The landscape is surreal, a mix of powder orange and mustard, and I feel like I'm flying over an alien world.
Ahead clouds hover over Flagstaff, and I know I've got one more bout of rain before landing.
I set down on runway twenty-one.
A sense of mirth overtakes me. Tomorrow I'll fly to KGCN - Grand Canyon National Park. I've flown nearly two-thousand nautical miles to get here. I can't wait to see the sights.