Thursday, June 1, 2017

6/1 Capulin Volcano National Monument, NM

I have a really weak Verizon signal right now, but I will do my best to upload some photos I took of Capulin Volcano.  I had heard about this place from the Trinidad Lake SP visitor center lady.  Most importantly, I looked it up and discovered for a fee I could drive my motorhome all the way to the top!  Who can resist that?

It was about an hour-and-a-half drive southeast of Trinidad, which is slightly out of my way, but I knew I did not have to drive very far today, so off I went.  The drive was partly on I-25, and you can see what the countryside looks like around Trinidad.  It gets a lot dryer looking when you get to New Mexico. 

Here is the volcano from the highway.  It is a cinder cone, not a lava cone, but if you look carefully you will note that a lot of the "hills" in this area look a lot like volcanoes.

Some of the land around here is open range, so these cows and their calves were just taking advantage of some new grass.  They had not really escaped from the fenced-in field.

The deal was that is your vehicle was longer than 26 feet, you could pay $18 and the rangers would close traffic going up and then later going down so you could navigate the sharp curves without worrying about encountering any other vehicles coming the opposite way.  

Here is where the road starts to get scary--no railings on the outer side. 

Nice RV parking at the top! 

Incredible view from the parking lot!  The visitor center was at 6,000 feet, and this parking lot was at 7,700. 

Clearly another volcano in the distance.  These were probably all related. 

 There is a one mile long asphalt path that goes up and around the edge of the volcano. 

There is also a path down to an old vent in the bottom, but I skipped that part.  Maybe next time.There are some very small people at the bottom.

Another view of the parking lot as I huff and puff my way to the 8,200 foot summit.  

In high elevations, plants stay short and small so you have to look down to see this 4" tall wildflower.  

And this cactus is almost ready to flower. 

View of the path.

OK, this is as far as I go.  I made it almost to the highest part, but wo walk all the way around would have meant going down and then up again as the path dipped about halfway around.   Terrific views, however, and well worth the fee and the effort getting up this high. 

This is where I did not go!  The path goes down and then back up around that higher part in the distance--just more up and down than I can handle.

By the time I got back down, the rangers were waiting to close the traffic for me so I could go back down. 

Around and around and around, you go!

My friends, the cows, are waiting for me.

Cows are very interested in people.

Great day!  Now I have to drive to Eagle's Nest State Park, which is about 100 miles west. 

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