You can see that the camp is in a wonderful wooded setting just below Longs Peak, just outside of Rocky Mountain National Park. Lou saw both elk and black bear while he was up there. Neat! I saw an elk, but no bear.
Then Louie and I drove down to Denton on Tuesday of this past week. Lou drove a bit of the way, out on deserted highways out in southeastern Colorado, as we get him ready to learn to drive. I taught his mother and uncle to drive, so I've been down this road before. Same road. Same problems. Same fun.
We drove the 13 hours to Denton straight through, but I took two days coming back. Wanted to see Palo Duro Canyon, just southeast of Amarillo and Capulin volcano just east of Raton, NM. Both were on the way back, so I didn't even have to drive out of the way. Palo Duro Canyon was formed by the, and I'm not making up this name, Prairie Dog Town Fork of the Red River. The canyon has beautiful colored walls, mostly of reds, but also yellows, beiges, and lavender, among others. Here's a picture showing some of the colors.
I left Amarillo at 5:15 in the AM on Thursday and headed for Denver by way of Raton, NM. As I crossed out of Texas into NM, I noticed cinder cones, small volcanos, in the distance. I was headed for Capulin, the tallest of the cinder cone volcanos in that area. I kept being fooled by cinder cones as I drove, thinking each one must be Capulin. You know how it is on the way to someplace. You want to be there, not driving to it.
Finally the signs announced that Capulin wasn't far away, and then I saw it towering above the other cinder cones. There is, however, a shield volcano, Sierra Grande, from millions of years earlier that towers over Capulin. But it is several miles away, so Capulin was just fine.
I drove to the parking lot at the west edge of the crater's rim and walked the mile-long trail at the top of the rim. The views from up there are wonderful. The rim is 1,400 feet above the prairie, so the views into Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, and New Mexico are spectacular. Here are some views from the rim.
The next one is from the west, near the parking lot, back to the east.
And the third one is of lava rock with lichen growing on it.
The final picture is of a lizard who ran across a rock in front of me and then stopped, almost invisible against the rock. He's hard to find, but is in the center of the picture.
So I had a great time on the trip back. The only bad part was that I had to leave Louie down there in Texas with his parents. Darn. We were having a great time in Denver.
Here's a haiku inspired by my visit to Capulin:
On Capulin my
eyes feast on the earth's glory.Wind sighs through piñon.