Capulin Volcano and the Northwest Passage 2016, Part One
I really wanted to get out on the trail this fall and I felt like it was my turn to plan and lead a trip. I looked for a non-OU-Football weekend and found two one in September and one in November. The initial inspiration for the Capulin Volcano trip was seeing a similar trip in OutdoorX4 magazine. We had some interest in the trip from several people in the Oklahoma Land Rover Owners group but in the end only two of us made the commitment to the overland adventure.
Mr. Fisher and I got the Big White Bus loaded and started out on a pleasant Saturday morning and headed to our rendezvous with Erik O’Neal and his Discovery 2 in Okarche, Oklahoma. The plan was to take the two lane roads as much as possible through Oklahoma into New Mexico. He brought along Erik Hollin and Shane and they got a late start. It was agreed to go up staggered so Mr. Fisher and I headed on up OK3 toward Woodward.
We stopped to gas up in Woodward and wait for the Discovery. I pulled out of the gas station and when I came to a stop across the street a puff of smoke rolled out from under the hood. I was disappointed that I had only made it as far as Woodward before we had trouble.
I popped the hood and immediately noticed the wet frame and found the high pressure hoses going into the steering box were not tight. In fact, they were barely finger tight. I have no idea why they were loose. I had not had any trouble in the week before and I can’t put my finger on why they decided not to do their job.
Fortunately there was an AutoZone just 2 blocks down the street and I walked down to get power steering fluid. Surprisingly they had the CHF fluid I use. I bought two quarts. I got back to the BWB and got the hoses tightened and the fluid in.
Just as I completed it Erik and his horde arrived. We talked a bit and decided lunch was the best choice before heading out on to the plains. Erik needed to stop and get groceries so we jumped back on the road planning to meet them again. It was just as well because I was so unsure the hoses would stay tight I stopped at each of the next 5 towns we passed just to check the hoses. They stayed tight for the rest of the trip under my watchful eye.
We met up with Erik again at Bryan’s Corner Oklahoma at the intersection of US83 and US412, which is well up into the panhandle. We then headed on to Boise City which is known for being the center of the Dust Bowl in the 1930s. We then took US412 down to Clayton, New Mexico and head out US87 toward Capulin, New Mexico.
We arrived at the Capulin RV Park. It was great. They had wifi, very nice bathrooms with showers and it was cheap for tent camping. If you plan ahead you could possibly get one of their small cabins. We cooked dinner (steak and potatoes) and relaxed with some adult beverages and conversation. Erik and his team planned to sleep in the open with a tarp blocking the wind, while Mr. Fisher and I put up the Taj Mafisher. Erik’s team had trouble with the tarp during the night when it came down because of the wind. They ended up sleeping under the tarp which actually turned out nicely for them. It was chilly and windy but not unbearable with the right equipment.
I hope you enjoyed the galleries and I’ll post the next section in a future blog post.
Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.