|NATIONAL PARKS QUICKLINKS|
I was planning on staying the night at Cappulin volcano, but decided to see it Wed night before it got dark. Once I arrived the gate was closed and they didn’t open till 0800 the next day or so. I decided to move on to Black Mesa Trail Head parking lot so I could get an early start the next day. Trying to get a little ahead of schedule. Also, figured I would wait and share the volcano with the girls another day. I finally arrived at the TH parking lot around 2300 and didn’t feel like getting into the back of my "Stuffed" SUV, so I just slept in the car seat, slightly reclined. Very hot in the car from electric/solar cooler & slept horrible- kept waking up to start this hike from the uncomfortable position to notice the sun was not up yet. Mosquitos pretty bad, so the cracks in the windows for ventilation was minimum. About an hour into my sleep, a car pulled up and just sat there looking at the sign. Weren’t no johny ossifer, so I just sat there wondering what was goin on. Had my .45 so weren’t too worried. They guy in the car then pulled about 3 feet from the front corner of my rig and parked right in front of me. Way weird!! Anyway, passed out around mid-night and constantly awoke with neck pain from my position in the seat. Couldn’t wait for daylight or any light before sunrise to get goin. Around 0600ish seemed like the sky turned red and began to motivate myself on getting out and started on this journey. Before I could get out the other dude was scoping out the sunrise and swatting mosquitos left and right. Once out, I had to go see if there were any restrictions concerning taking my mountain bike down the trail. Of course, way out here in the middle of nowhere, said no bikes. Oh well, I guess I could hike it, as for it would be a little warm-up for the Mt. Elbert hike. The other guy got about a 15 mike cranium start on me, which was fine by me. I would rather hike solo any day. I got all ready to go and started the hike around 0730. The hike was basically flat, that went west with the mesa to my left for about 2 miles. After this, it jinked south, and started up the mesa. There was a cut-out road that wrapped around westward to the top of the mesa/plateau. Once up there, I could see out pretty good. Seemed like there were mesas everywhere. I continued down the trail and found a sign to take a picture of and noticed 3 huge deer running from right to left that had some pretty good racks on em. Continued on the trail south and it then turned to the west. I could see the other guy approaching me, so I knew it couldn’t be much further. Once there, it was a marble type figure showing distances to nearby states and had the standard official elevation stamp and the ammo container to sign in. I signed the log, took some pics in all directions that weren’t really much of anything and cruised on back. I was trying to get back rather quickly because it seemed that I could get to Denver before dark and stay with one of my friends Becky or Coach. I returned to the vehicle at 1000. Got all my stuff thrown back in the rig and headed out. Saw a dinosaur footprints sign that sparked my interest right out of the parking lot, so headed down there. Got out and didn't see a trail, just a bunch of cows hanging’. On with the trip! Started down the road that turned to dirt right away and had some issues with the gps, because there were roads everywhere. Found some main asphalt roads and was well on my way up the eastern side of Colorado. The plan was to get up to that latitude of Mt. Sunflower and traverse east into Kansas. Lots of dirt roads and on the way passed a huge windmill farm like the one in Clovis, NM.