June 8, 2020 Amarillo, TX to Capulin, NM

The wind continued to howl last night and we never did put the slide back out. It let up a little as the sun set, but cranked up again before we went to bed. Our bed is part of a slide that has a topper on it and although it’s a small slide, it was making a lot of noise. I laid there for awhile trying to fall asleep with the all flapping and occasional movements of the bus and seriously considered going to sleep on the sofa. Auggie got restless and wanted to get up into bed with us. I think he was unnerved by the noise and movement too. I tried to settle him down and fall asleep myself. I guess I eventually did, but woke again when Auggie tried to lay on the pillow with me between my head and the headboard. That didn’t work for me, so we got resettled and fell back to sleep with the wind still howling. At one point I woke up because it sounded like the wind calmed down for a bit. I listened for awhile and then it was back again. I woke in the early morning hours and listened for quite awhile. I heard nothing. THE WIND WAS GONE! Hallelujah! We finally got up at 7 PM and I was anxious to get going before the wind returned. We did all we had to do and were on the road by 9 AM. Leaving the campground, we saw The Happy Tracks Horse Motel. Cute name!

Our drive today would take us on well-traveled secondary highways 385 and 87 going northwest. Our gas mileage really suffered with the wind yesterday and we discovered that we had climbed 3000+ feet in elevation. That might have had something to do with it too. The topography of the area changed to more rolling hills, scrub and sage brush, and some buttes off in the distance.

The highway was lightly traveled with an occasional car or semi-truck.

Going north, the wind would be at our back which would ease the driving a little and improve the gas mileage. We came upon a HUGE stockyard of beef cattle and I mean HUGE! The sign said Quality Beef. There were hundreds of head of cattle in the pens, maybe backlogged caused by the shutdown of the meat processing plants due to COVID. Everything you see in black in the pictures are the cattle and the smell was overpowering.

We passed a few towns on this highway that were barely there, but sometimes there are some interesting companies. This town had a very talented man that made sculptures out of steel. This one was attached to the building. Just outside of town was the workshop. The coolest one was the stagecoach with a team of horses.

The road went straight for miles with a speed limit of 75 mph.

Once in awhile when we climbed a hill, we could see farther off in the distance.

As we traveled further north, we saw some mountains in the distance that had snow on them. We realized we were seeing the start of the Rockies.

We crossed over into the Mountain Time Zone and the New Mexico border. We also saw clusters of antelope standing along the fence line, but I didn’t see them soon enough to get a picture. They blended into the surroundings so well. As we neared the campground, we saw the sign for the Capulin Volcano National Monument.

The Sierra Grande Volcano is part of the Capulin Volcano National Monument which was established in 1916. The park contains the cinder cone of the Sierra Grande Volcano. It is one of the many volcanoes. cinder cones, and lava flows that covers more than 1000 square miles in northeastern New Mexico, and southeast Colorado to the Oklahoma state line. The volcano last erupted 56,000 years ago. It sits at an elevation of 8,182 feet. It’s a dormant volcano with hiking trails around the base and in the crater.

The line going around the volcano is the road to the top. Unfortunately, the park and the road are closed due to the coronavirus.

The campground is just down the road from the entrance to the National Monument. We arrived at the Capulin RV Park at noon.

The sign at the door said “they were taking no new campers and to move on”. We had a confirmed reservation but there was no answer at the door, so we helped ourselves to pull-thru campsite #11 at the very end of the row because we wanted to stay connected and be able to exit easily. It’s not a very big campground and has no amenities to speak of, but it was good for an overnight stay.

The temp was a comfortable 81 degrees with a nice breeze. I put out my pineapple to get some sun. Yesterday, it was too windy to set out. It looks like it’s starting to ripen.

The low tonight is supposed to be 39 with a cold front moving through the area. I wanted cooler weather and now it’s here, but I was hoping for a more gradual change. The pineapple will have to come in for the night. We sat outside in the shade with Auggie for the afternoon. They don’t have any grass here to speak of, but we tied him to a tree where he can explore and get some good smells. His poor little paws and his body get covered in burrs which seem to be everywhere. Poor guy needs some soft, plushy grass. Hopefully, we’ll be in a campground that has some soon. Bob spent some time washing off the bugs on the front of the bus. He was hoping to wash the rest of the bus in the morning, but it may be a little too chilly. We had dinner and took our walk around the campground. The owner said she was only expecting 6 campers today and there are 9 here tonight. I guess more people stopped and needed a place to stay. The wind tapered off as the sun went down. We’ll all sleep well tonight!

This was our view of the volcano from our campsite.

2 thoughts on “June 8, 2020 Amarillo, TX to Capulin, NM”

  1. We’re enjoying your travels via your blog. Glad your out of the wind but the cooler temps, WOW! Be careful what you wish for! 😊 We had a few nights when we got home that I had to cover one of my plants because of the cooler temps but I’ll take it over hot and humid. Be safe on the road and keep up with those updates! Love them!

  2. Bev MacKenzie

    Beautiful view. I love that you took the pineapple along for the adventure.
    Oh my gosh, all those cows, waiting to be slaughtered. I love steak but would rather not see it at that stage thank you.
    I’m really enjoying the trip!

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