Things started out in our favor. The usual afternoon rainclouds appeared to be rolling in just about the time we arrive at Mount Capulin National Monument. Luckily, we didn't get rained on and had enough time to explore.
Gray decked out in his Junior Park Ranger gear from Yellowstone. He insisted on wearing it when we toured both the Great Sand Dunes and Mount Capulin.
We hiked down the short walkway into the volcano and checked out the cool lava rocks and plants along the way.
This is the view from the rim of the volcano. You can drive to the top and then hike a mile around the rim or down into the volcano. I highly recommend a visit if you're ever nearby.
Gray got another stamp for his passport at the visitor center and also completed a short workbook to earn his Junior Ranger badge. This is a short video of the park ranger having Grayson recite the junior ranger pledge to protect our national parks and monuments.
After we were done at Mount Capulin, we drove about an hour and a half east to Clayton Lake State Park which is also in New Mexico. We got a short rain shower upon arrival but stuck it out and started setting up camp once it past.
This is what it looked like off to the north of where we were camping. Not a good sign.
The wind and lightening skirted us for a few hours, but then around 9:30 p.m. the rain began. By 10 p.m. our tent was taking on a considerable amount of water and we were officially experiencing a torrential downpour.
We went ahead and decided to load up. Man, that hotel in Santa Fe sure sounded good right about then, but we pressed on and ended up driving through the night. We got home at 6 a.m., just as the sky was turning pink from the sunrise.
Gray slept the whole way and was well-rested, but we managed to get him to sleep for a few more hours so that Michael and I could rest too. It was a long and memorable night, but it was good to be home.