Capulin Volcano National Monument [Failed]

Capulin Volcano National Monument

My final stop before reaching the Gila Wilderness was at Capulin Volcano National Monument, a large extinct cinder cone volcano that you can drive up to in Capulin, New Mexico. My only mistake was stopping at the entrance sign to get these two photos. Trucks for scale. See that red truck in the first image? … Read more

Homestead National Historical Park

Homestead National Historical Park - George Palmer cabin exterior

Sometimes visiting a place leaves you angry, upset, but ultimately glad it exits as a record of horrible things from the past. That’s pretty much how I felt after visiting Homestead National Monument today on a dreary and gray-skied morning in Beatrice, Nebraska. [Update: It appears the name has changed now to Homestead National Historic … Read more

Effigy Mounds National Monument

Effigy Mounds National Monument - View from Fire Point

After making a mistake with campsite reservations at Wyalusing (and a less than restful stay at the last motel available), I woke early and headed to the Effigy Mounds National Monument in Harpers Ferry, Iowa.  I didn’t know much about this park, but it was on my list simply to check off another nationally-managed area. … Read more

White Sands National Monument

White Sands National Monument

An hour away from Las Cruces on the way back to Wisconsin is White Sands National Monument.  Known for its very rare almost pure white sand dunes, it seems almost out of place compared to the other local landscape.  Interesting fact: at 275 square miles, it is the largest gypsum dune field in the world. … Read more

Colorado National Monument

Colorado National Monument

After staying in Grand Junction last night out of necessity, it was a pleasant surprise to find Colorado National Monument located in the same city some 10 miles from my hotel.  Did t have time to do any hikes, but the views were worth the visit. Since I visited early morning, the sun was against … Read more

Walnut Canyon National Monument

Down the highway from Sunset is the Walnut Canyon National Monument.  This site preserves the early cliff side dwellings of the Sinagua culture dating back to about 1100 CE, near the same time of Sunset’s eruption.  Can you imagine what they saw in the distant sky from their caves on that day?  Crazy to imagine. … Read more

Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument

I spent a good portion of last night trying to determine my next destination, and still haven’t decided.  So instead, I am winding my way through some local monuments.  First stop near Flagstaff is the Sunset Crater Volcano.  Last erupting about 1,000 years ago, it blanketed the surrounding 800 square miles in ash changing the … Read more

Grand Canyon South Rim

After finding that a) temps get really cold in GCNP during fall, and b) campsites are reserved over a year in advance regardless of what the interwebs say, I had to cave in and stay at a hotel.  Upside is I slept like a baby for the first time this trip.  Howard Johnson’s beds are … Read more

Grand Canyon North Rim

Started the day by heading to the Kanab BLM center to get info on the Escalante National Monument and found the drive was more than expected.  Also I am to the point I actually need to pay attention to the date – time is going by too fast!  Alas, no Escalante on this trip.  Also … Read more

Devils Tower National Monument

Crossed into Wyoming to see the Devils Tower (aka Bear Lodge, the true / non-whitey appropriated name).  Did the 1.3 mile Tower Trail which was very peaceful.  If you ever do this yourself, find a bench and wait for all people to leave your sight.  Listen to the wind through the trees and enjoy the … Read more