June 28, 2002
Dear Subscriber:

It has been a pretty hectic couple of weeks, what with friends
and relatives coming to visit.

I was looking forward to relapsing into a more familiar routine
this week, but before I had that chance, Yogi arrived.

I call it Yogi for the sake of clarity and because the amber-
colored, 250-pound bear has exhibited a pretty forceful
personality...demanding more of a moniker than just "the bear."

It has a black face. Sex unknown, since no one around here
wants to get close enough to check.

It first made its presence known early Monday morning (6-17).
It woke up some folks staying in a vacation home near us at
around 4am. It was going through their garbage can. The lady
of the house told me she tapped on the window. Since Yogi
wasn't able to find anything in the trash can, he moved on.

It gave us all good fodder for conversation. A bear in the
neighborhood. Information began to trickle in. Another
neighbor said the bear visited their house on the same night.
He ate the dog food in the bowl and scared the waddle out of a
couple of kids in sleeping bags on the deck.

We assumed it would be like past bear sightings in the area.
One or two overturned garbage cans and the bear would move on,
leaving us behind to lie about how big he was and how brave we
were for facing him down.

There are hundreds of bears in these mountains but they tend to
stay away from humans. The recent drought has changed their
habits. Their natural food sources have been depleted. They
have become desperate enough to raid dumpsters in the village.

Now, Yogi has discovered our little subdivision outside
Cloudcroft. While we are careful not to leave food of any kind
outside for the very reason of not drawing varmints, this guy
is tenacious.

Thursday afternoon the dogs started barking. I don't mean
"there's a raccoon over there" barking. I'm talking "you'd
better pay attention because we mean it" barking.

I was on the computer. Peg shouted, "Don...it's a BEAR!"

To clarify things for readers not from around here, we don't
see bears that often. I'll bet Davy Crocket didn't see that
many bears in his day, but that wouldn't have made a very good
legend. ("He kilt him a bar when he was only three." I've
always suspected that was the bear's age...not Davy's.)

Bears don't like hanging around people...usually.

I ran to the front door. Yogi had dragged a bag of trash I had
in my pickup camper shell into the trees behind our woodshed.
He had opened the camper shell door and helped himself.

Sometimes even I have trouble opening that camper shell door.
This was a pretty resourceful bear. He was in no hurry to finish
his picnic. After about 30 minutes he lumbered back up the hill 
and opened the camper shell again and jumped in the back. Peg 
and I were watching all this from inside the house (although I
had to hang on to Peggy's shirt tail to keep her and her camera

The pickup rocked as Yogi reconnoitered. Drat...no more
goodies. He jumped out of the truck and headed down the hill.

Cautiously I went out to check the damage. Nothing irreparable.
Dirty claw marks on the tailgate and trash scattered about. I
learned something about Yogi that afternoon. He doesn't like

We moved here in part because we wanted to be closer to natural
things. Yogi reminded us of how close we are to God in the
mountains. Enough is enough, however. In a period of 4 days
he had turned over several trash cans, scared a few people and
had left a scratch on my tailgate. Only Peg is allowed to do
leave scratches on my tailgate.

11pm this past Monday. I'm in bed half asleep and half thinking
about that piece of cherry pie in the fridge.

The dogs go into another frenzy. It has to be Yogi or, judging
from the reaction of the dogs, King Kong.

Peg is up first. Moments later those dreaded words.

"Don, it's that bear again!" A pause. "He's in the freezer!"

We have a chest-type freezer on our porch. In a few months we
had intended to enclose the porch but right now the freezer was
accessible to the outside.

I ran to the front door to see the freezer door wide open and
Yogi headed down the drive with a mouthful of frozen chicken

I'd had enough, dang it. I got my twenty-two pistol. In an
earlier conversation with the game warden, he told me a couple
of shots in the air might scare the bear away. Peggy begged me
not to shoot, but I had to defend my home. I aimed my trusty
gun at the moon. Pow! Pow! Pow!

Things were suddenly quiet. The dogs were surprised by the loud
reports. Peg was looking at me like I was over-medicated.
There in the drive stood Yogi...looking at me like "what was
THAT all about?" Unimpressed, he slowly walked out of the
shroud of illumination cast by the porch light.

Peg and I sneaked out onto the porch. It's a demeaning feeling
to have to sneak around your own porch. We located some heavy
boxes of tile flooring and stacked them on top of the freezer...
about 150 pounds worth. We went back into the house. Shortly,
here came Yogi. He had a point to make.

He opened the freezer door with the greatest of ease, sending
the weights we had placed there flying off the back. I think
he was graduating from chicken wings to tee-bones.

Now it was Peggy who had had enough. Before I could stop her
she stepped out the door, put her hands on her hips and said,
"Go away you big old mean bear!"

I had tried armed conflict. I had tried heavy industrial
materials. It was Peggy that sent Yogi loping off. We haven't
seen him since.

I know how you feel, Yogi. Peg has used that voice with me on
occasion and it does make you feel like you wish you were
someplace else.

I fully expect we haven't seen the last of Yogi. I've put large
hasp locks on the freezer and no longer leave trash sacks in
the back of the pickup overnight. The Fish and Game man says he
can relocate Yogi if he continues to show aggressiveness, but
he says relocated bears don't do that well.

I wish Yogi no harm. His apparent lack of fear of humans has me
a little unnerved and I'm still a little ticked about the
scratches on my pickup.

I guess we could shoot him with a tranquilizer gun and, while
he's asleep, give him a manicure.

Don Vanlandingham

Still dry. Only occasional light afternoon sprinkles. Forest
restrictions still in effect and officials are saying the longer
the drought continues, the longer it will take for the rainy
season to replenish the moisture.

Highs in the low-80s. Lows in the mid-40s.
The new well we reported on a couple of weeks ago has turned
out to be a bit of a disappointment.

The well was expected to produce about 100 gallons per minute,
but is only putting forth about 40 gpm.

Water restrictions remain in force within the village limits.
Blending old time craftsmanship with state-of-the-art
technology, we provide a precut log wall system, kiln dried
logs, and thru-bolt construction. Modify our plans or we'll
design one for you. Lodge Logs. For details, call 505-687-3818
or 800-896-9936, fax 505-687-2649, or email
Q - Does Cloudcroft have a community band?

A - No, but I personally think it's a good idea. There are
enough talented musicians around here to make up a good band.

Meanwhile, we have a fine high school band that turns out for
the village parades and celebrations.
June 28-30 -- Bluegrass Festival. Music all day.
Open Air Pavilion, Camp Chimney Springs.

July 4 -- Celebration of Independence Day in Cloudcroft.
Check with the Chamber of Commerce for events. (505) 682-2733.

July 6 -- July 4th weekend celebration. Zenith Park

July 7 -- Crystal River at Cloudcroft United Methodist Church.
One service only on that day which will begin promptly at
10:30am. This will be a patriotic service with the Holloman
Honor Guard participating by posting the colors.

July 7 - Crystal River Return Engagement. Pavilion in Zenith
Park, 2pm.

July 12-13 -- Melodrama. Covered Pavilion.

July 13 -- Founder's Park memorial dedication. Alamogordo.

July 13-14 -- July Jamboree.

July 13 -- Flower Show at the Community Center, l-5pm.

July 13 -- Street Dance. Burro Avenue.

July 19-21 -- Weed Blue Grass Festival

July 27 -- Train Load of Talent. Covered Pavilion.

July 27 -- Chili Cook-off. Ski Cloudcroft.

August 16, 17, 18 -- Singing in the Clouds.

August 25 -- Music Night, Ice Cream Social, and Silent Auction.
Cloudcroft Methodist Church, 5:30pm.

August 31-Sept. 2 -- Labor Day Fiesta.

August 31 -- Street Dance. Burro Avenue.

September 7 -- Methodist Men's Auction, 9am-5pm at the Covered
Pavilion in Zenith Park.

Cloudcroft Art Society meets the second Sunday of each month,
2-4pm, in the Old Red Brick School House. Call (505) 682-2494
for more information.

Mountain Garden Club meets every third Monday of each month.
Call (505) 682-2910 for more information.

Senior Van from Timberon to Alamogordo leaves the Timberon
Lodge promptly at 8:30am every Tuesday morning.

Free Vitals Clinic. Second Saturday of each month, 11am to 1pm.
James Canyon Fire Department, 2346 Highway 82.

If you have news of public events in the Cloudcroft area, email

For an online calendar of area events, click the Events Calendar
link in the left column of our home page:


Dear Newsletter:

I thoroughly enjoyed your editorial.

My husband is preparing for his 50th High School Reunion in
Temple, Texas in Oct. of this year. My 50th will be held next
summer in Belton, Texas.

You certainly "hit the nail on the head." The longer we are
distanced from those high school years, the more we remember
the wonderful times and the friends who shared our formative
years. Our last reunion of the class of 1953 was two years ago
and I believe that there was more of a feeling of family at
that reunion than any of the previous ones.

As a matter of fact, last summer when I came to Cloudcroft to
spend the summer months, playing golf and visiting with the
wonderful friends we have found there, two of my best High
School "girl" friends visited me for a few days. In a matter of
hours, we were back in school and all of the stories made us
laugh and have the greatest time.

When we went in to town to eat one day, someone asked us if we
were sisters and I suppose we are in many ways. This summer on
the 8th of July there will be four visitors from the past and
it will be twice as much fun.

Next summer, I hope that more of us will gather and we will have
to rent another town home at Spur Landing. There were 9 of us
in our group of friends and although we lost one of our little
gang a few years ago, I would love to eventually have the rest
here to reminisce and laugh about our foolishness and fun during
those days and catch up on news of children, grandchildren and
in at least one case Great Grandchildren.

We aren't even shocked anymore at how old we've become since
after that first hour or two, we all look just as we did in
school. I found all of my keepsakes from that bygone time in my
attic in San Antonio, and am bringing some with me, as are my

Look out for the Ya Ya's the week of July 8th. We'll be the
group of "young" Grandmothers who have perpetual smiles on our
faces. We've survived cancer, loss of spouses, loss of children,
business failures, divorce, business success and all of the
things that come with life and we are here to say that there
is still joy and thankfulness that we have looked life in the
face and said "Bring it On". 

Jane Harrison

Dear Newsletter:

We passed through your beautiful village yesterday.

It is always wonderful to get away to your mountain paradise.

I inquired about you and Peg to the nice lady that works at the
Artisan Alley. She said you were both great, and always good
for a laugh! Please continue to keep up the good work, and
words. I look forward to them every week.

Patti Powell

Dear Newsletter:

Thanks, Sandy Woods of Austin, but my son who raced greyhounds
a few years ago says Remadil is a no no for greyhounds and
whippets, don't remember why, but they are sensitive to flea
collars and anesthesia affects their kidneys. I have her on
some medication that helps her, but it affects her kidneys
also. we have to let her out at 3 am or she wets her bed.

My son thought he wanted to race greyhounds a few years back,
but he couldn't destroy them when they didn't run fast enough,
so he quit and started adopting out greyhounds that didn't
make it on the track, he still adopts out dogs he picks up.

My wife and I met a vet from Idaho at Seminole Canyon back in
March, he suggested Remadil, said he treated a few whippets,
he also said he cut their tails off to keep them from jumping
a fence. So much for his advice, I told him I didn't care much
for mutilating animals, that ended that conversation.

I love to watch them run and they love to run, but greyhound
racers are in it for the money. While my son was in Phoenix, 30
greyhounds were found in an orchard shot to death and their ears
cut off to keep their owner from being identified. Too expensive
to have them put to sleep. Poor things couldn't run fast enough.

Truly poetry in motion, they are.

But I'd better sign out,
John Armstrong
Kermit, Texas 

PS: Anyone wishing to adopt a beautiful sleek loving greyhound
can call 1-800-ghounds and they will be put in touch with the
nearest adoption center or keyword greyhound adoption on the
internet (AOL).

Dear Newsletter:

Many years ago our very first camping trip with our two sons
was at one of the parks in Cloudcroft. We had practiced setting
up that tent in our back yard in West Texas and thought we were
well prepared for our very first camping night out.

After driving many hours, just as we arrived at our camp site,
there was a heavy downpour. Again, thinking we were doing the
right thing, we set up that tent as it was raining. My husband
and our oldest son were digging the trench around the tent as
our younger son and I sat on the suitcases inside watching the
water rise all around us.

It was a losing battle trying to get things ready for camping.
We packed up the whole muddy mess, tent and all, and stayed in
a small motel nearby to dry out. I can't tell you how wonderful
it was to have a solid roof over our heads as the rain kept
It also took us many hours to find the city of Cloudcroft. By
looking at a map it showed a short-cut through the mountains. 
It turned out to be a rocky, bumpy, narrow path just wide enough
for our little car.

We are anxious to get back to Cloudcroft for a fine golfing
vacation without the problems mentioned above. We plan to stay
in a hotel/motel and take no back roads to get there.

Doug and Donna Wiehe
Lake Jackson, Texas

Dear Newsletter:

Has Blue Bell Ice Cream made it to Cloudcroft? It has arrived
in Jacksonville, FL and it surely ought to go West as people
were advised.

We'll be your great country July 22 for a month. Looking forward
to cool weather & hope there will be enough rain to allow us to
have a campfire.

Betty & Allen Johannes

PS: Our cat will only eat Blue Bell and she travels with us.

Dear Newsletter:

We have just returned to the high plains of Texas.

It is nice to be home, but we do miss Cloudcroft. I was there
for the art workshops sponsored by the Cloudcroft Art Guild.

It was a good workshop and I learned many new things about
watercolors. Great week! My dream is to live in Cloudcroft
permanently. But until then, I will remember the friendly
people and the beautiful mountains.

However we did think that the first 3 days of last week were
going to be like the ones we have here. Hot & dry! But we did
have those wonderful cooler days and some mountain sprinkles
on Thursday & Friday. So the "mountain gods" did smile on us.

Thanks for retaining the unspoiled quiet mountain atmosphere
in your beautiful town. In spite of the many people there, you
have managed to retain the relaxed uncommercialized feeling.

Looking forward to returning one of these days.

Marian G.
Hereford, Texas

To unsubscribe, email: unsubscribe@cloudcroft.com
To subscribe, go to
If email to an address bounces (returns to us), that email
address is automatically deleted from our mailing list. If you
cease getting this newsletter suddenly, probably your provider
bounced your newsletter. This can happen when a provider is too
busy or is shutdown for some reason. If this happens to you, 
just revisit our site and re-add your email address to our list.
If you have comments or suggestions for this newsletter, please 
direct them to: newsletter@cloudcroft.com
Please feel free to pass this newsletter along to your friends.
However, we ask that you keep it intact and forward it in
its entirety.

Copyright © 2002 Cloudcroft Online
The Travel and Visitor's Guide to Cloudcroft, New Mexico.
Previous Newsletter Next Newsletter