Saturday, July 25, 2015

Clayton Lake State Park, Sugarite State Park, Capulin Mountain National Monument

We stayed a few days at Clayton Lake State Park, a small and cozy-feeling park on a small and cozy-feeling lake.

Wolfgang Rebesky kayak
Spud, feeling a little put-out.


Wolfgang Rebesky, Bavaria
Some guy.

Wolfgang Rebesky

Evie told me about a volcano we could see, but she didn't mention I'd want to throw myself in. The Rim Trail is one mile of Hell interspersed with amazing views. Old people with crutches, rolling oxygen tanks, overtook and passed me. I begged them to just save themselves.

Capulin (say "cah poo LEEN") Mountain National Monument

There are several trails you can "enjoy." They called this one "moderate." Please "enjoy" in "moderation."

This is a trick. I fall for it every time. "Just another 1/4 mile!"

While we enjoyed the outdoors, our friend bounced up and napped next to us.

Kayaking here was the highlight of our stay. And a bunny.

Time and chance took us to Dalhart, Texas, which I won't even try to glamorize. It does have a very nice McDonald's, and a tire store. We were back at Ute Lake State Park before evening fell.

I left out Sugarite State Park somehow. These beautiful parks with no internet signal get lost in my memory. We wandered in on Friday night and got the last site in the campground we wanted; this has been a motif. We said to the host "We're lucky people!" and the host glanced at me and said to Wolfgang "You are the luckiest man in our campground today." Some people know how to give a compliment. I'll be going back.

Ute Lake is hopping with youts today. It was 99 degrees F yesterday, with a dew point of 55 degrees. That meant it also felt like 99 degrees. We're in the Yucca campground with nice, long pull-throughs.

Ute Lake State Park does have sporadic wifi, but no usable Verizon signal unless you go further up the road and find a picnic table overlooking the water. So, do that.

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Evie said...

As always, your humor cracks me up. And thank you for the internet signal updates, no point in me going to Sugarite. PS, I guess you know I didn't do any of the hikes at the volcano, if I had I'd still be there.

Good Luck Duck said...

Evie, I was almost still there. People put up crosses where they lost their friends, but the park takes them all down.

SwankieWheels said...

I thought it was two miles around the rim of the volcano???? Well it felt like it anyway, especially when the mom (8mo preg.) with 3 little kids goes whizzing past me. I want to go paddle that puddle. There are a couple lakes up here around Raton, but I can't go to them until I figure out what's wrong with the van and I get some gas money. Geez, so tired of being poor.
I went down into the hole and all around the rim. It was NOT easy... but I kept saying, I am going to hike 820 on the Az trail, I better be able to do this little hike.

Good Luck Duck said...

It felt like at least two miles, but the brochure called it one. I think that same pregnant mom and three kids stepped over my nearly-lifeless body.

Anonymous said...

Spent a couple nights at Ute Lake SP this spring. In NM, that means "windy." Not the most scenic of the state parks... Agree wholeheartedly with your Dalhart assessment. Been through there so many times en route back to MO -- only took the time to stay overnight once. We saw Capulin from a distance a month or so ago, but was not inspired to hike up, unlike yourself. Looks like pretty nice views, but I don't like to work that hard for them.


Craig MacKenna said...

What's a "yout"?

Jodee Gravel said...

Nice to get on the water especially at those temps! Nice balancing by bird and rock :-) I do think the trail "enhancers" like to lure folks on to a trail, figuring the views at the end will bring forgiveness. Looks like the views are pretty fab up there, but doesn't sound like forgiveness is forthcoming.

Good Luck Duck said...

Jodee, it's only really refreshing on the water if you fall in. I told Wolfgang that if he tried to make me kayak at 99 degrees, I'd be capsizing on purpose. As for Capulin ... well, I'd try another trail, after I have time to forget.

Craig, a yout is technically someone under 21, although those guidelines are soft.

Renee, truthfully, if I had realized how taxing the trail would be, I wouldn't have tried it. Others with more stamina (like Swankie) will say it's not so bad. Also, doesn't "winter" also mean windy?

rhondalyn said...

Hahahaha..."I begged them just to save themselves."....:-) Funny girl.

Good Luck Duck said...