Friday, February 16, 2018

Uraling to a Volcano

This morning, it was a "brisk" 22°F (-5.5°C) in Capulin, New Mexico at the RV Park where I'd spent the night.

As I was waiting for temperatures at Raton Pass (at the border with Colorado) to be above freezing before I drove the pass; it was time for a visit to the Capulin Volcano National Monument.

It had been quite foggy as I rode to the volcano, in fact, so foggy you couldn't even see it as you approached it.  This fog or low flying clouds obscured things quite thoroughly at the summit as well.

I was the first one at the visitor center, and once they opened I paid the $10 for a motorcycle fee and waited a few more minutes while they "checked" the road before opening it up to the public.

You can ride all the way to a parking lot at the summit of the volcano's rim; but the road while paved is not replete with safe spots for stopping for pictures.

It was basically like being on the top of a hill, surrounded by fog and nothing but gray fog looking down from the path which circles the rim of the volcano.

 A fleeting glimpse of a nearby peak as the clouds
blew past me on the volcano rim

As I waited for the fog to burn off or the clouds to blow on through, I took some pictures of the bushes which were nicely covered with hoar frost.

 Telephoto shot of the trees on the opposite side of the rim

 For a few seconds, you could see the parking lot from 
the top, this should give you an idea of the height gained

Close to 9:00 AM the clouds cleared or the sun burned off the fog and I was able to see the surrounding landscape.

 Same viewpoint as the first pic, this time without clouds
hiding the intervening valley

 Above is the small town of Capulin, about three miles away

 I think the small volcano is called Baby Capulin

My photos of the volcano's crater or plug didn't turn out either due to the fog or it's lack of any real features besides the trail you can walk down to it's bottom.  It was "unremarkable" in my view.

 A view of the valley on the way back down

A pic of the volcano from the entrance....

That's it, not a bad stop if you're enroute to Raton, NM or points east in Texas.

Oh, and I am back home in the great and getting much overcrowded state of Colorado


RichardM said...

I never knew that there were volcanoes in the area. Too bad the crater was not very interesting. Does this mean that your back home? That was quite a long adventure.

redlegsrides said...

Thanks for the "I'm home" reminder, updated the blog accordingly.

Trobairitz said...

What a difference in view when the fog cleared. Nice to be able to see, but the fog added a certain air of mystery to the photos.

Welcome home!

redlegsrides said...

I had been hoping for clear skies up top, with a view of clouds down below, but I got fog. Oh well, good to be home, but am sure the wandering itch will come back

SonjaM said...

Not interesting? Unspectacular? Well, not by geological standards it isn't, Dom. The eruption basically just happened, maybe not even a 100,000 years ago. Thanks for taking me up there.

By the way, nice one on the hoar frost pics. I especially like the one with the awkwardly bent trees.

redlegsrides said...

Thanks SonjaM, makes you wonder though what kinds of winds regularly hit those trees, to form them into those angles....

Anonymous said...

We visited there a couple of years ago on a gorgeous day and enjoyed the visit. I thought you had a National Parks pass (that would have saved the $10 fee)?

redlegsrides said...

motoventures, no NP pass yet....