Capulin Volcano: Monumental and in New Mexico

The last day of this summer’s road trip started in South Fork, Colo., where Cheeto bag explosions are an epidemic (inferentially), worked its way down through southern Colorado into New Mexico, then across the Okie panhandle and then on to Norman, my supposed home. Had lunch in Taos (New Mexican food and the hatch chili sauce on the enchiladas was special), then drove through northeastern NM by way of Angel Fire (has to be the prettiest part of NM). I also stopped at a KFC somewhere depressing-yet-forgettable in Oklahoma (Guymon maybe? I should’ve held out for Fort Supply — the name would’ve stuck). The one non-food stop of the day was at Capulin Volcano National Monument, located in NE NM, pretty much where the mountains and eternal prairie meet.

Apparently, this area used to be volcanic. Bunch of mounds across the landscape there that supposedly used to erupt, back in the day (millennia ago).

Capulin Volcano Panorama

(Click on the photo to get the full panorama.)

There’s a person dressed up as a buffalo down at the visitors center for some reason (not pictured). Then you drive up the hill to the edge of the crater. A trail leads you around the crater.

View from the trail.

View from the trail.

Meanwhile, storm clouds gather in the east.

Meanwhile, storm clouds gather in the east.

And, if you’re feeling daring, you can also take a trail into the heart of the crater, where the dreaded vent is.

The vent area is unprepossessing.

The vent area is unprepossessing.

In short, then, a nice place to get out the car and stretch your legs. The visuals of the volcano itself are actually more striking from the car.

DSC02764

Or, for those of you with functioning rocket cars, the aerials are even better. Do a Google search maybe.

Capulin Volcano, everybody, Capulin Volcano! Thank you, good night.

bkd

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