Capulin Volcano and the Northwest Passage 2016, Part Two (Post #565) 1/19/2017

Day Two

This is part two of the Capulin Volcano Northwest Passage. We went to meet Fall and were not disappointed. She was in full force on the Volcano with a North wind putting a chill on things.

Warning this is a huge post with tons of pictures.

We drove to the Volcano. We stopped and took the obligatory picture with the National Park sign for Capulin Volcano. We headed on to the visitor center and paid the admission fee to the cute Park Ranger. We then drove to the parking lot near the top.

We hiked to the top. You can see a mountain range in Colorado and Black Mesa from the top. There are well marked signs that explain the lay of the land. We were woefully unready for the active Cougar area. It was a relief to find out they were warning us about the big cats and not 60 plus year old women.

We left the volcano and headed to Folsom, New Mexico. We stopped for some pictures at the Folsom Hotel and felt the call of the old west in the sleepy little town. A picture in the hotel window alerted us to the fact the Hole in the Wall Gang once frequented the area.

We headed toward Des Moines, New Mexico to pick up our gravel road to the state intersection. I feel like now is a good point to caution you about the availability of gasoline in these remote towns. We knew there would be few options and keeping a full tank was a priority. We even brought extra Gerry cans and filled them when we thought the chance to fill up might be in doubt. If you are planning this trip keep in mind how many miles you have planned to drive. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to know what kind of range you can get on a tank of fuel when you are driving 20-40 miles per hour. This is where I learned the fuel gauge on the BWB is not very indicative of the amount of fuel in the tank. It is weighted a little heavily toward the lower end. That will need to be investigated again.

We stopped for a pit stop in Des Moines and then out on to the plain to see what we could see. What we learned about electronic maps and how they are incredibly incorrect. There were several times where a road was named wrong or didn’t even exist.

Erik remembered there was a more scenic route and we made our way to find it. Turned out to be a very beautiful canyon to drive through. The roads were labelled like highways but were made of gravel. The driving was not technical. If it had rained the night before it might have been much more challenging.

We made Oklahoma and turned toward the corner of the state’s monument. We found it up the road from the Black Mesa trail-head. We hung out a while and took pictures. We also planned our next stop. In lieu of Black Mesa State Park we opted for Picture Canyon in Colorado. I’m so glad we did.

We left out of the Black Mesa area turned North at the “dinosaur bone” and headed toward Picture Canyon. On the way we stopped to see a rather large tarantula. He became very friendly and crawled up the leg of one of Erik’s friends. Whole lotta NO in that for me.

We also turned back to see where another apparent overlander had taken an unmarked trail. By the time we got back to him he was already headed back to the road. He said there was nothing to see up there except a windmill. I didn’t want to seem like we were following him or wanted him to feel uncomfortable so we kept it short and went in different directions.

If there hadn’t been signs telling us there was a canyon we may have never found it. It is literally a canyon in the middle of the Comanche National Grassland. You drive on rolling hills and out of nowhere there’s a canyon.

Panoramic view of the top
A panoramic view above the canyon.
We then took the hiking trail around the inside of the canyon. The history is awesome with several petroglyphs and an abandoned settlement. Pre-historic man used the canyon probably as a kill site for the millions of herd animals. They also most likely lived there. In the early 1900’s settlers tried to make a go of it by living in the canyon. Their rock house and most likely barn are still visible.

There are also caves. The caves are now caged off. The bats in the area are struggling to survive. The white-nosed fungus is basically Ebola for bats and scientist are trying to figure out what the cause is. Humans are one of the first culprits thus the cages at the entrances to caves throughout America.

We saw all the petroglyphs listed on the displays at the trailhead. It was a nice walk. We returned to camp and started dinner (seasoned chicken tenders, potatoes, rolls with honey butter). We ate and had some beers waiting for the big show. The big show was a completely dark sky with no light pollution. We could see the Milky Way and a bazillion stars. The meteor shower did not disappoint as well. We saw so many satellites we stopped even mentioning them.

We settled in for some much needed sleep after a long day on the trail.

I hope you enjoyed the galleries and I’ll post up the third day soon. Thanks for the retweets and forwarding the post.

Capulin Volcano Part One Here

Capulin Volcano Part Three Here

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering

Capulin Volcano and the Northwest Passage 2016, Part One (Post #564) 1/17/2017

Load Out

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.

Day One

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. Continue reading “Capulin Volcano and the Northwest Passage 2016, Part One (Post #564) 1/17/2017”

The Seasons in Oklahoma (Post #525) 2/17/2015

I love Oklahoma weather.

The weather in Oklahoma is unique. Southern California has their two seasons, dry season and sunny season. Florida has their dry season and wet season. Oklahoma has all four seasons.

We have Spring aka Tornado Season. You’ve seen my posts, this season keeps most of the weaker of our species away.

Summer, also known as what passes as Sub-Saharan Africa. Its a mystery to me why we don’t have more lions wandering around.

Winter, where we have ice storms, thundersnow, and wind that cuts through you like a knife. You haven’t lived until you’ve sat through a late November football game in Oklahoma. You can well imagine the wind chills in winter keep a fair number of people away too.

OSU vs Baylor 2013. 10F
A very cold selfie at the OSU vs Baylor 2013. 12F

And finally, Fall, the best of our seasons.

The best thing about the weather in Oklahoma, is you can have 3 of the 4 seasons in a single week of weather. The day I shot the video above the weather was 70F and just a week earlier we had a high of 37F. For the month we had a low of 17F and a high of 79F.

Last night we had bands of ice pass through the state allowing for ice skating on the streets of Edmond, Oklahoma. We’ll be in the low 60’s by Saturday.

Stay warm out there Spring is coming, Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

SCARR – Day One (Post #477) 4/3/2014

The South Central Area Rover Rally was finally upon us. Leading in to it, I have had the worst two weeks professionally in my career. My wife has been my rock through it all and wanted me to get away for a trip. Mr. Fisher’s life recently has not been a cake walk either and Mrs. Fisher was also happy to see him out of the house doing something fun.

I’m going to stop here and thank both of them. You two are the best wives any two guys could possibly have. Your support to us is never-ending and we are very appreciative. Thank you.

wp-1395932045690Thursday started cold and blustery in Norman. Mr. Fisher and I organized our kit and got it loaded on to the Range Rover. It seemed like a lot of kit for a three-day event but we wanted to be comfortable. Even with all the kit we managed to forget several items: Continue reading “SCARR – Day One (Post #477) 4/3/2014”

S.C.A.R.R. Extended Weather Forecast (Post #471) 3/19/2014

Well I guess this is to be expected. It is spring time after all. The graphic above is the “extended” forecast for Gilmer, Texas the weekend of S.C.A.R.R.

I’m taking this with a grain of salt mind you. It is an extended forecast which pretty much means nothing 10 days out. But seeing this will definitely have me packing a little heavier for rain and muddy conditions.

It’s important to plan ahead. Pick your own motto to apply, Semper paratusBe Preparedexpected the unexpected, or my family’s motto Adaptare et superare, (adapt and overcome). You don’t have to have ever been in the Coast Guard, or the Boy Scouts, or have read Oscar Wilde, you don’t even have to be a member of my immediate family, but you do have to plan for all conditions. I’ve seen the temperature change 80 degrees in just six hours in Oklahoma. I’ve seen micro down bursts that blew harder that some tornadoes. What’s that old Creedence Clearwater Revival song? I’ve even seen rain coming down on a sunny day.

So I’ll be ready for rain and mud and thunder storms and snow and tornadoes and even chupacabras. I’m determined to have fun at S.C.A.R.R. and nothing is going to spoil it, except perhaps a good old fashioned North Texas ice storm.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TS9_ipu9GKw

Unplanned Problems (Post #466) 3/16/2014

image

Yesterday did not go as planned. Broken bolt, and a missing exhaust gasket caused a halt in my projects. Today I’m headed out to find a bolt. Funny that a Grade 8.8 would snap like that.

It figures that the weather would not hold. I guess I’ll be chilly in the garage finishing up. I still need to get the transmission pan on, cross member in, exhaust re-hung, transfer case fluid swapped, transmission fluid topped off, and road tested.

Still a lot left.

Update: Unplanned Problems Solved

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.