Not The Best Public Relations
Unlike many of the abandoned places in New Mexico, I actually remember when this gas station was operational. Given it's location on a busy section HWY 550 north of Bernalillo, it's hard to imagine that they didn't have enough business to stay open.
I'll tell you this though...
I only ever stopped for gas there once. When it was open, there was all kinds of fun stuff on the outside of the building, including a really cool antique Dr. Pepper sign. I was parked at a gas pump, planning to buy a full tank of gas plus snacks and drinks from the store inside, but first I wanted to grab a quick photo of the Dr. Pepper sign. Camera in hand, I made it about half way across the parking lot when the proprietor of the business burst through the doors like the Tasmanian devil, arms flailing and screaming like a tornado that I can't take photos because we're on the (Zia) reservation.
Ok, I get that the gas station is on a reservation (and I have many posts about how not to make an unwelcome ass of yourself with a camera), BUT it's a gas station that is clearly set up to attract tourist activity. It's not a private residence, or a church, or a cemetery and since when does a Dr. Pepper sign constitute a sacred native american artifact?
Needless to say, I left without buying anything and barely made it to Bernilillo on fumes. Never went back.
A Career In The Film Industry
Some of you may recognize the Big Chief Gas Station Market from it's appearance in the show, Breaking Bad. Jesse stops here in the motor home to buy gas & cigarettes and convinces the clerk to accept a dime bag of blue meth as payment. Later, Hank has the bright idea of reviewing the surveillance footage from the ATM in the parking lot to identify the make and model of the RV.
In other film news, from time to time my cousin works on movie sets and I recently found out that he is the one who repainted the "Big Chief" sign (in the photo above) for this location's use in a movie.
All photos shot with Motorola Moto X4 and edited with Snapseed.
I am DeAnna Vincent, fine art and portrait photographer in Los Lunas, New Mexico. These are the photos from my everyday adventures.