Because I do have good internet connection at our hotel, I decided I might as well update my journals on the progress of our road trip instead of puking out all the details in one long post when I get home.
I love the line from Pitch Black: "a long time for something to go wrong." That's been the pattern of our trips through Colorado lately. Last time we were delayed in passes and on interstates because of ice and traffic jams. This time because of wild fire. So here goes:
My husband and I left our house at 5:30 am yesterday (was that just yesterday?) and decided that we would stop at the Capulin Volcano attraction in NE New Mexico, something we had always wanted to do. We're both secretly geology nerds. Driving up that narrow road that some fool decided not to put rails on to keep drivers from driving over the edge freaked me out, but we made it safely to the parking area near the top. The place, surprisingly, was packed. Lots of geology nerds out there, I guess. We hiked down into the crater and all around the rim, which was amazing. The view all around is spectacular. One can see all the other volcanoes in the area and the lava flows barely covered in short yellow grass. We could even see all the way back to Oklahoma, on the very far eastern horizon.
After that wonderful experience, we decided to take a road we had never driven before and were greatly rewarded with scenic views. We even got to see the valley where Folsom man was discovered. Or is it where the Folsom points were discovered? Whatever. I'm an archeology nerd. That's no secret. We wound down off the most gorgeous plateau I've ever seen and finally arrived at Raton, where we would cross into Colorado. Be while we were driving through that plateau, we noticed an odd bit of traffic coming out of Raton. It just struck us as wrong somehow, and sure enough, we learned that the interstate over Raton Pass had just closed because of a wild fire that had flared up near the roadway. We drove far enough to see it, and I tell you, the sight of trees suddenly exploding into flame is startling and terrifying.
Just as startling was the realization that, yes, we had to turn back. Back up the plateau we drove, back past the Folsom man valley, following the slow caravan of all the other travelers who had the same route in mind. Ahem, but my husband and I are adventurers when it comes to road trips and we had just purchased a very detailed map. Thank God for small blessings. Between Folsom-man valley and the town of Folsom (which is almost all the way back to the volcano and where the caravan would at last book it north), there was a dotted line of a road that crossed into Colorado. We had rented a Jeep Grand Cherokee for this trip (another blessing), so we decided to go for it. This rough, rock-strewn road cut across one ranch or another, through country that most folks don't get to see, and it took us to the highway ahead of the crowd. Yee-haw!
While the adventure was fun, we arrived at our hotel 15 hours after leaving home. We were exhausted and went to Chile's for cocktails. Well deserved. Here's to hoping the rest of the trip goes more smoothly.