A Quick Stop at Capulin Volcano National Monument

Capulin Volcano is definitely a worthwhile stop for travelers going through northeast New Mexico. If you aren't towing a large camper, it is a doable stop on you way through the state. If you are, it might be worth a single night stay close by, just so that you can spend more time exploring and not worry about the extra load behind you.

Relaxation and a Waterfall

Like a lot of mountain hikes, there is plenty of climbing to get to Alberta Falls, but once we got there, I was so glad that I convinced my family to take this one last hike. The waterfall is gorgeous and the climb to the top of the waterfall was scary but worth the view.

Red Rocks and Mountaintops

I am an admitted National Parks junkie, but the beautiful nature that blankets America’s landscape has multiple caretakers. The Garden of the Gods and Pikes Peak are excellent examples of how nature can be preserved when local communities decide that it is a priority. Over a 24 hour period, our family got to be the beneficiaries of that prioritization, making this vacation stop an adventure that our kids will not soon forget.

Escape to Martin Dies Jr. State Park

Despite the late arrival, despite the heat, despite the rain, we had some much needed outdoor therapy and unplugged time as a family. COVID-19 has affected all of us in different ways and for our family there was this strong need to just do something and go somewhere. While we wait for our summer vacation plans (which still look promising), this gave us the brief respite that we needed.

Camping Made Me Whole Again

More than that, I can't put a numerical value on the way that finally getting back out of the house and back into nature helped to heal me when I was the most broken, the most alone, and the most frustrated I have been in my adult life. It took me away from my computer and my cell phone (mostly), provided me with outdoor exercise, and helped me to reconnect with my family. It got me away from a house that I simultaneously loved and loathed, keeping me from obsessively planning how we were going to afford or find the time for the next renovation project. It took me out of a city that often felt like a shoe that didn't fit right, pinching my toes and scraping my heel. Most importantly, it brought me face to face with my Creator as I marvelled at the trees, hills, waterfalls, shorelines, sunsets, and stars that make up creation. At a time where even church didn't always feel like a perfect fit, He was showing me where I still fit into His big picture, reminding me that even in the difficult seasons, He is the master of all.