December 27, 2002
Dear Subscribers:

Hope you had a great Christmas.

Regular readers will remember 3 weeks ago when I wrote about
seeing a Stealth fighter flying overhead and my subsequent
reactions to same.

The number of letters we received expressing support of our
country's service people was personally uplifting.

Yesterday I was de-icing the door step (it snows, then it melts
and falls from the roof and accumulates on the doorstep and
then re-freezes and people slip and fall...not good).

I heard the same grumbling overhead. This time there were FOUR
Stealths, flying in formation. Again I was by myself. This
time I didn't salute. I was so awed by the sight I just stood
there with my mouth open. It was like my own personal air show.

Subsequently it occurred to me that people were going to quit
believing me when I tell them about my Stealth sightings. I
knew Dwayne Aprill (a local builder) was nearby working on a
house. I drove to his location and asked him if he saw the
planes. He said no, he was in the house. I called Holloman
Air Force Base and asked them if they had any Stealth fighters
flying in formation over the mountains this morning. Their
reaction was predictable.

"Stealths? What's a Stealth?"

I made that up.

Truth is the Air Force is not given to publicizing the flight
patterns of any of their aircraft for obvious reasons. While
the Stealth was super-secret a few years ago and the government
would not admit to its existence, they now admit it exists, but
they sure don't like to talk about it much. There are still
lots of things about it that are classified.

I've been told that Air Force planes fly to areas of engagement
in groups and in formation. If these 4 pilots were on their way
somewhere to do something, I'm looking forward with every ounce
of my being to the day I see them flying in formation again...
coming home.

Seeing those guys is a lot like playing golf by yourself and
making a hole-in-one. Who's gonna believe you?

I'm not given to fantasy or an over-active imagination. I saw
them. It was a wonderful sight.

But if I'm out clearing ice in the next few days and I see a
flying saucer, you won't read about it here.

Happy New Year.

Don Vanlandingham

Cold. Into the single digits some nights. More snow in the
forecast later in the week.

Highs around 30. Lows under 10.

Here's what it looked like outside my front door on December


Over 2 feet of snow on the 23rd (Monday). Snow continues to
fall. Snow play areas are open. Snow removal crews are working
overtime, but the overwhelming snow volume has created the
need for some temporary road closures.

Check with the State Highway Department for updates on road

4-wheel-drive or chains advised, especially for off-pavement

Due to the holiday season and the weather conditions, there
might be a shortage of staples in village grocery stores.
Open all the time. Cloudcroft's only convenience store. Gas,
deli, picnic supplies. Located on Highway 82, downtown
A short day-trip from Cloudcroft.


Q - What is more energy efficient...a standard fireplace or a
wood-burning stove? Is there a difference in the safety

A - While a fireplace is preferred by many because of the
atmosphere it provides, a wood-burning stove is much more
energy-efficient. Enclosed wood boxes tend to burn the wood
more thoroughly and generate more heat. The stove itself acts
as a heat radiator, while a fireplace radiates heat primarily
from the fire source itself.

A reasonable compromise: A wood burning stove with glass doors
gives you the efficiency of a stove and the visual effect of a

Related to safety, the most important thing is the installation.
Don't burn a fireplace without a good fire screen in place. The
sparks are a fire hazard if they pop out on the floor.

Do not burn freshly cut (green) wood. It's best to let your
firewood cure for about three months before burning. Cured
woods burn more efficiently and will not deposit creosote in
the stove pipe or chimney. If you're buying your firewood from
a supplier, ask them how long the wood has been cured.

Creosote deposits can cause chimney fires and are a major cause
of house fires. It's a good idea to clean your chimney or stove
pipes once a year. Clean pipes and chimneys allow for better
"draw" and less danger of vent fires.

The most efficient fire places and stoves are obviously the most
December 31 -- New Year's Eve torch light parade at Ski

January 4 -- Nebulas and Super-Novas. Museum of Space History.

January 6 -- Cloudcroft girl's and boy's basketball in Tularosa.

January 10 -- Cloudcroft girl's and boy's basketball in Loving.

January 16-18 -- Cloudcroft girls basketball. Cliff Tournament.

January 16-18 -- Cloudcroft boys basketball. Dexter Tournament.

January 23 -- Cloudcroft boys basketball at NMMI.

January 25 -- Cloudcroft girls basketball at Hatch.

January 31 -- Cloudcroft girls and boys basketball vs. Tularosa
at home.

February 1 -- Cloudcroft girls and boys basketball vs.
Lordsburg at home.

February 3 -- Cloudcroft girls and boys basketball vs.
Tularosa at home.

February 6 -- Cloudcroft girls and boys basketball vs.
Capitan at home.

February 8 -- Cloudcroft girls and boys basketball vs.
Hatch at home.

February 14 -- Cloudcroft girls basketball vs. Tularosa. away.

February 14 -- Cloudcroft boys basketball vs. Tularosa at home.

February 15 -- Cloudcroft girls basketball at Lordsburg.

February 21 -- Cloudcroft girls basketball at Capitan.

February 28 -- Mardi Gras in Cloudcroft. 5 days of festivities.
Call 682-2733 for more info.

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 8:30 every Tuesday morning.

Free Vitals Clinic. Cloudcroft Senior Citizens Center, every
Wednesday. High Rolls Senior Citizens Center, first Thursday
of each month.

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


Dear Newsletter:

Thanks for the Scenic pictures. They look great for we folks
here in San Diego, who have to drive many miles to find snow.

I have dear friends who have recently moved to Cloudcroft and
I am sure we will be visiting them in the near future. I
receive the Cloudcroft Newsletter and find it interesting.

I am installing a new computer. It is an awaking to know it is
already obsolete.

Thank you
Kathy Bishop

Dear Newsletter:

I just started receiving your newsletter and I love it! My
husband and I will be in Cloudcroft for Christmas Week. We are
sooooo looking forward to seeing and playing in the snow.

We're from Corpus Christi, Texas and there have been Christmas
days in the past that we have gone to the beach in shorts.
(Yuk!) I really enjoy the pictures of the changing seasons at
the one location.

Hopefully we will be able to find a restaurant open on Christmas
Day. Any suggestions?

Looking forward to visiting your beautiful city!


Dear Newsletter:

Just a quick note to let you know that I enjoy reading the
Newsletter. My wife, daughter, and myself are arriving in
Cloudcroft on the 27th of Dec. We have never been there before.
We hear a lot about the town and how beautiful it is. We hear
that there is a lot to do and see. This will be the first time 
our family has ever taken a "real" vacation.

Can't wait to get there to see what all is waiting.

Richard Long

Dear Newsletter:

"Hey Dude you gotta Dell"....

Don, I'm really not making this up. As I'm reading your
newsletter, sitting right next to me is four large boxes taking
up most of my office. Two days ago I had a new Dell delivered.
I haven't even had time to unpack it yet. We bought one for my
partner about five months ago. He loves it.

When we started this business two years ago, we both contributed
our own computers. Mine was a relatively new gateway laptop,
but outdated now for sure. I sometimes wonder if many industries
have "planned obsolescence" as a part of their marketing scheme.

My partner's was something really old and generic, but
functional. It might have been something like a Commodore 65 or
an Atari. Just kidding, it wasn't that old. However, at home we
recently removed an old computer from the depths of a "catch
all" closet. It might have actually been a Commodore 65. My wife
couldn't even give it away to a couple of local kindergarten

I found it ironic that I had just received a new Dell, also.
Perhaps our business and your newsletter have reached a sign
post in their existence, or a right of passage...I hope I get
more golf too.

What I'd really like is another trip to Cloudcroft. This Dell
can't be that good. 

Joe Wells 

Dear Newsletter:

Please, please listen to the wise words of Nanci from Florida
(last week's issue). There has to be a way to keep the beauty
and solitude in the mountains. She was right to say that is
why the tourists go to Cloudcroft.

I own a cabin there, but am sorry to say that I cannot go as
often as I like. I hope to someday be a permanent resident,
and would be so sad and disappointed if the mountains became
a "commercialized tourist trap". There are so few "pure" places
left anymore, that I believe it is our duty to try our best to
preserve them. I would like to hear from other folks that agree.

Thanks for listening,
Kathy Jackson
Blackwell, Texas

Dear Newsletter:

I very much enjoyed reading your article about your new
computer. Did it ever bring back memories and a sense of time
moving by fast, fast, fast.

I am by no means a computer expert, but I also have a Dell
computer and I remember seeing a setting that will allow the
keyboard to make old fashioned typewriter noises. Go to
settings and then look for audio settings.

Merry Christmas and happy clacking!

Brigitte Elerick

Dear Newsletter:

I am loving the pictures on this site. Gosh, I feel like I have
visited Cloudcroft. The name of that special little village
brings warmth to my heart. Loved it for 30 years.

Patricia McNutt

PS: Does anyone there remember the Siegenthalers? 
Dear Newsletter:

I am so glad I found your news letter. I look forward to
receiving it every week. 

My husband and I and our 2 kids visited Cloudcroft last year
after Christmas and were really touched by the friendly people
and down home look of your little town. We had received a 2
night stay in Ruidosa as a gift, but after one evening and
part of the next morning, we packed up our things and took the
back road to Cloudcroft. The drive was breath taking and we
enjoyed that much more than the hustle bustle in Ruidosa. (Way
too commercial.)

We were unable to get a room to stay in as we had no idea we
would not stay where we had planed, but we spent the entire
day there letting the kids play in the snow and looking around
and just driving around. 

We decided that we would no longer go to Ruidosa, instead we
would go to Cloudcroft. We did not make plans far enough in
advance this year to book us any rooms, but we are going as far
as Hobbs, NM to stay with family then we will come up and spend
another fun filled day in your lovely little town.

I love all the information in your newsletter and the pictures
are great. I have to save those to show the kids so they can
see the snow progress. You see in SOUTH TEXAS we do not see
much snow. Now we plan to make this our yearly trip from now on
and plan to look around for a good place to try and make
reservations to stay longer next year.

Again thank you for all your information!

Denice Lansford 
South Texas USA

Dear Newsletter:

I am not sure where to mail my question, so hope to get an
answer. We were in Cloudcroft years ago and at the moment
cannot remember the names, but I believe it was Peaches. They
owned the "General Store"? It is on the corner, and had lots
of old stuff and bear skins, etc...real neat.

Well, they also had "bear grease". I would like to know if they
are still there and if they still sell "bear grease". She was
kind enough to go home and get what little she had left to sell
to us and that was in a baby food jar.

I still have it to this day in my kitchen window, but I don't
think it is effective anymore. We farm, and we kind of like the
"unusual" items! If you could find out for me, I would love to
get a "fresh" supply.

Thank you so much. Enjoy your newsletters! 

Gina McKinnon
Littlefield Texas 

Dear Newsletter:

You hit a home run with #141. Have a hot Yule log and a moist
New Year's Eve

Bert Shipp 

Dear Newsletter:

This is my second time writing in since I signed up for your
newsletter. I've never physically made it to Cloudcroft, but
after receiving your newsletters for almost a year, I feel as
though I have been there. You remind me much of Andy Rooney on
60 minutes. Don't know if you like being compared to him or
not, but I like Andy's humor and so I think it's a good

Thanks for getting my weekend off to a good start. I say
weekend because I don't see your newsletter until Friday
mornings. I work part-time 7:30 - 12:30 and have left the
office by the time you send it out on Thursdays.

By the way, have your dogs been into any mischief lately?

Sandra Mata
Houston, TX

Dear Newsletter:

Boy, do I miss Cloudcroft!

I left there in June to come back to Texas to help my Mom who
was in bad health and to help with the church here. I have
since become Pastor and am enjoying all the blessings that go
with it.

My grand-Angel, Sadie, and I both miss "our mountain" as Sadie
called it, and can hardly wait till we can come back for a
visit. There's no place on earth like Cloudcroft. Come on down
here to central Texas and you'll believe every word of it. No
pines... no snow.

We lived out on 16 Springs Canyon Road and there are no roads
around here to match that one, I tell ya! It's cold here today,
and the rain is coming down, and we may get some ice before
it's all said and done, but you can pretty much be assured we
won't get a single flake of snow.

Oh well... I guess God has to have someplace reserved... like
Cloudcroft. Just wanted to say hello and I hope all our friends
out there that we miss so much have a wonderful Christmas and
are looking forward to a great new year to come.

God bless you all... and think of us poor flatlanders now and
then, will ya?

Mikel & Sadie McGinn

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