Monday, February 1, 2010

valles caldera

The Wulffpack celebrated Mrs Wulff's birthday this weekend, yep 39, again, how'd you guess?! ;-) The celebrations culminated in a day spent snowshoeing the Valles Caldera National Preserve in the Jemez Mountains near Los Alamos.

The VCNP was formerly a 90K+ acre private ranch holding in the heart of the Jemez Mountains, sold to you and I in the year 2000, now managed for public recreation and research.

Now I need not extol the virtues of 'New Mexico's Yellowstone' to fellow New Mexicants, however for those of you residing out of state, simply put, she's a stunner.

copyright: bugg's photostream

Home to some of the largest elk herds in the state, the vast meadows of VCNP are encircled by the remnant rim of an ancient volcano, indeed the heart of the preserve is the collapsed caldera itself.

opyright: New Mexico Bureau of Geology & Mineral Resources, New Mexico Institute of Mining & Technology

Fishing on the preserve continues to be an angler's dream, thanks in large part to limited access and the beat system employed.

Click image at left for VCNP fishing rules & regs.

(Note the uncanny resemblance to the image shown at top of the VCNP page? Yep, that's my 14" fatty taken from a 12" wide section in Beat 1: yet another proud moment in the annals of Wulffpack lore ;-)

No surprise really, to find some of the Wulffpack's favorite movies were shot in and around the Caldera, it's the kinda place that embodies everyman's image of the American West, ahem.

Which segues nicely into our own story, this past Sunday.

We had not yet snowshoed the VCNP, and the entire family was giddy at the prospect, Mrs Wulff riding a veritable tsunami wave of kudos the entire trip up the mountain. She's a sly one, my wife: VCNP is convenient to Jemez Springs, leaving us wondering if the entire expedition was merely a thinly-veiled diversion to hit up one of her favorite funky bistros: the Laughing Lizard, which we did just that upon the return, hmmmmm. Note to self: add LL to blog's java joint sidebar, their cappuccino was absolutely stellar.

As for the trip itself, pictures vs words, seems I've written enuf of those already.

The Jeremiah Johnsons


  1. VCNP looks like a great place to play. I need to talk to your wife about her odometer and how to get it to hold still--I just had my birthday and everyone there was telling me I was 45 (I swear it's much closer to 39).

  2. I know! That's like her fourth 39th birthday I'm thinking, how's she do that? Happy belated Bday BTW~ Mike