Thursday, July 25, 2013

Volcano Tour

A volcano in New Mexico?  Yep, that's right.  Don't feel bad if you didn't know it was there.  Neither did I, but when I saw it on the map I had to stop and take a look.  It's actually a national park, and there's a small campground just outside the entrance.  That turned out to be good for me since I got there 30 minutes before the park closed.  Also, after driving up and over the Raton Pass, the steepest drive yet for me in Seeker, I was ready for a rest before climbing up a volcano.  In fact, until this trip the highest climb I'd ever done was over Monteagle - less than half the size of Raton!  Along the way there are signs for bear and elk crossings.  Sorry I was too busy to take pix of those.  But I digress, so let's get on to the volcano.

The park opened the next morning at 8:30 and I was there waiting for the doors to open.

At the peak.  That's Oklahoma
 behind me.
Looking down into the cone.
I figured the earlier and cooler I started the better for the climbing.  Of course there was also a geocache behind the counter which I took the time to stop and sign.  Then it was a short drive up to the parking area near the top.  From there it was just a one mile hike to get to the top of the cone.  Of course it was steep in places but a wonderful accomplishment and a great view from the top.  And of course there was another geocache on top at the point where you can look east and see Black Mesa in western Oklahoma. 
Looking back up the trail toward the car and the volcano.
This guy climbs up there all the time.  No big deal to him.
On the walk down there were views of the trail to the base of the cone which I decided not to do.  By then it was already in the high 90s and I was ready to go down to the base and hike the 2 trails where the other geocaches were hidden.  Kind of a whirlwind tour since I had to get back to the park and pull out by noon or stay another day, and well, there really was nothing else I wanted to do in that area of the state.  But it was a fun tour while it lasted, and I can now add volcano climbing to my list of accomplishments.

No comments:

Post a Comment