March 20th, 2007

Mount Capulin Volcano National Monument (New Mexico)

Simon Brewer and Anna Morrell made a trip on March 20th, 2007 to the Capulin Volcano National Monument in Northeastern New Mexico.

Simon: It was my birthday and I always want to do some sort of outdoor-type-activity on my birthday; last year (2006) I caught a tornado on a cold-core storm chase in Western Oklahoma, 2005 I climbed a small mountain in the Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge in Southwestern Oklahoma, 2004 I went hiking in the Wichita Mountains, 2003 I climbed the Chimney Tops Mountain in the Smokey Mountain National Park in eastern Tennessee.

This year I decided I would drive to Northeastern New Mexico and check out the Capulin Volcano National Monument. I had always wanted to check this area out, but never had the chance. I figured I would hit two birds with one stone and check out Black Mesa in the Western Oklahoma Panhandle and climb to the highest point in Oklahoma on top of the Mesa; we didn't get the time to do both, so we just drove by Black Mesa and promissed to get up on top another day.

Only once (May 15, 2003) in all my years of storm chasing have I crossed the New Mexico border, so I was pumped to plunge deep into New Mexico and walk on some extinct volcanoes on my birthday. Actually, as a child I was more fascinated (not significantly more fascinated, but slightly more fascinated) by volcanoes and earthquakes than weather. It's hard to describe my feelings when approaching Capulin, but they were intense! I'm talking about mixing childhood emotions with a collegiate knowledge of geology.


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