July 21, 2000
Dear Subscriber:

Antacid sales will likely increase in Cloudcroft this weekend as
the annual Chili Cook-Off takes place. The event will be staged
this Saturday at Ski Cloudcroft.

I was honored to serve as a finalist judge for several Terlingua-
sanctioned cook-offs when I lived in Lubbock. The finalist
judges judged the best 10 chilies in the competition, which meant
we got to sample the best-of-the-best. There was no fooling
around about the judging, either. These folks take their chili
very seriously. My wife, Peggy, was told she couldn't sit with
me at the judging table. Undue influence or some such. One guy
came by and playfully tossed a five dollar bill on the table
saying it was a bribe. No one laughed and they almost shot him
on the spot. With that much attention paid to quality control,
you know the chili should be great and it always was. I expect
the chili at the Cloudcroft cook-off will rise to the occasion.

Peggy and I had brunch with Lewis and Lisa Peeples at the
Peeples place in Silver Cloud this past Sunday and their guests
also included Bonnie and Bill Whalen. The Peeples and Whalens
are close neighbors in El Paso. Bonnie said she was a fan of the
Cloudcroft Online Newsletter, but she said she would like to see
me get more opinionated and occasionally controversial. Those
that know me are aware that I seldom shy away from expressing my
opinion and for a village the size of Cloudcroft there are
plenty of sources for controversy, but as for the newsletter, I
look upon this project as more the responsibility of a reporter
and not so much as my own sounding board. For those of you that
may not know, my background is in broadcasting news and other
radio programming.

I will express an opinion or two in my replies to your emails,
however. For you, Bonnie, here is an opinion:

I didn't like pedal pushers when they were popular with all the
girls in my Mom's generation and I don't like them now that
they have become popular again. There... I've said it. If you
have an argument with my position on this subject, send them to

NEW - We have added a Moon Phase Calculator that lets you see
the phases of the moon month-by-month. To check this out, click
on the Moon Phase Calculator link in the Weather section on our
General Information page:


Don Vanlandingham
There are signs that the monsoon season of 2000 in Cloudcroft may
be coming to an end. The past week has been evenly divided
between sunny and cloudy with fewer showers than earlier in the
month. Highs have reached into the low 80s in the sunshine and
dropped into the upper 40s at night. The showers are less
frequent, but are still keeping hikers, bikers and golfers on
their toes.
With the dramatic changes in weather conditions since May, the
Forest Service has opened up fuel wood areas to the public.
Permits can be obtained for cutting firewood at the Sacramento
District office of the National Forest Service. Remember, it is
State law that you have a permit for cutting firewood, whether it
is removed from public or private lands by permission.
The folks at Emerald Forest are extra special to us. They were
among the first real estate offices in Cloudcroft to link their
web page to Cloudcroft.com almost two years ago. They are local 
people with an intimate knowledge of property around Cloudcroft. 
If you're thinking about selling property, they can handle the
marketing of it for you. Looking to buy a vacation home? What
a great investment! Check with Emerald Forest. See their web
site under real estate on Cloudcroft.com.
Alan Hale is a scientist and part-time astronomer who makes his
home in Cloudcroft. He is also the "Hale" in "Hale-Bopp," as in
"the Hale-Bopp Comet." Alan Hale discovered the Hale-Bopp Comet
through the lens of his backyard telescope near Cloudcroft
within minutes of the same time the comet was reported by Thomas
Bopp in Arizona. The official reports were so close together that
the comet was named for both men. It was about 1000 times
brighter than Haley's Comet when first discovered, and it came
closest to the earth on March 22, 1997.

Alan Hale made a few television, radio and lecture appearances
during the time the comet was in the news forefront. He spoke out
about the lack of proper funding for science and the relegation of
the field to a secondary importance in American education.
Q - Why do aspens grow in "clumps" or "groves," and why are there
many more aspens in Cloudcroft than in Ruidoso?

A - Aspens are actually more related to the grass family than the
tree family. They proliferate in areas that might not be as
friendly to the pine trees, such as areas recently burned or places
where disease has affected the other trees. Their root systems are
not as extensive, so they tend to topple over with age or disease.
Aspens grow best in the upper altitudes, which is why few are seen
in the Ruidoso area, except for higher elevations. In the summer
the aspens become very animated with their leaves shimmering in the
light breeze.
July 21, 22 -- Melodrama. Cloudcroft Light Opera Company (CLOC).
Open Air Pavilion. Zenith Park.

July 22 -- Chili Cook-Off. Call 682-2733 for information and

August 3 thru 6 -- Gathering of Circles. For more information
see http://www.jps.net/trvlnell/goc/

August 12 -- Puttin' on the Ritz -- A talent show to benefit Scott
Able Fire victims. Open Air Pavilion, Zenith Park.

August 13 thru 16 -- Otero County Fair -- Alamogordo

August 18 thru 20 -- Singing in the Clouds. Spiritual singing.
High School Cafeteria.

August 20 -- Governor's 10k Run.

September 2 and 3 -- Labor Day Fiesta -- Downtown Cloudcroft.

September 2 -- James Canyon Fire Department Barbeque and Auction,
in the Red Barn at Cloud Country Estates. Serving of dinner begins
at 5:00 pm sharp.
Dear Newsletter:

We have been coming to Cloudcroft since the 60s. Three 
generations have now been coming. We are from Austin where the 
temperatures are at 103. We are coming next week and I can not 

Libby and David and David Robert Yancey

Dear Newsletter:

Although I am a year-round resident of the Cloudcroft area, I 
still very much enjoy your newsletter. Keep up the good work.

Barbara Hardison
Cloudcroft, NM

Dear Newsletter:

My family and I had a great mini family reunion in June in 
Cloudcroft. Enjoy the newsletter and it is usually the first item
I open when it arrives. Very happy you received good rain and are 
able to relax some about the fires. Would love to live there full
time, but will take an annual trip and guess be happy. Keep the 
newsletter coming

Gerald Holmes
San Antonio

Dear Newsletter:

First, let me say that we thoroughly enjoy the CC Newsletter. It
is good to keep in touch, especially for friends.

Please put in your announcements about the James Canyon Fire 
Department annual Barbeque and Auction on Saturday, September 2nd
(Labor Day Weekend), in the Red Barn at Cloud Country Estates. 
Serving of dinner begins at 5:00 PM sharp. For more information, 
contact one of James Canyon volunteers. 

Keep up the good work. Thanks again for the newsletter. 

Reginald W. Duncan W5UWY

Dear Newsletter:

You can't imagine the joy I receive from your written "visits".
My husband grew up in Alamogordo. I lived there for about 2 years
almost 30 years ago but we didn't meet until we both worked for 
NASA in Houston years later. We get up to Cloudcroft as often as 
we can, which is still not often enough for me! We truly love it 
there and look forward to being one of your year-round residents.

Thanks again for keeping us up to date on all the happenings and 
for bringing Cloudcroft a little closer to us each week. You're 
the bright spot in my workweek!!!!!

Luci Kumpunen
Arlington, TX

Dear Newsletter:

My husband & I just recently bought a second home in Cloud Country
in Mayhill & we are just dying of the heat here in the DFW area. 
We can hardly wait to get back up there, hopefully this month. We 
had been coming to Cloudcroft for about 5 years & we decided to 
spend our children & grandchildren's inheritance and buy a home 
there. They all wholeheartedly agreed!

Our neighbors Jerry & Ann King in Cloud Country sent an e-mail 
Saturday telling us they came face to face with a black bear at 
their backdoor early Saturday morning. They had had a previous 
sighting 2 weeks before then. Is it normal to have bears in a 
populated area so "friendly" or did the fire push them closer into 
town? We always have deer & elk sightings in the summer but bears 
are a little bit unnerving to say the least.

Bears or not, we can hardly wait to be able to move up permanently
to our place, we've named it Black Bear Lodge. For now, I guess 
we'll just be sunbirds.

I pull your web page up at work just to remember why I'm working-to
pay off our place of course & spend more time in the beautiful 
Sacramento Mtns!

Sherry & Jaron Wilson
Weatherford, Texas

Dear Newsletter:

I just left Cloudcroft yesterday, and already I am "homesick"!! 

Coming back to El Paso's 98 degree cloudless weather certainly 
makes one question one's sanity. My family had a wonderful time 
at the July Jamboree--the array of vendors and talent gets better 
every year. The only negative aspects of our week in Cloudcroft 
were the bears on our porch and a "bear" behind the counter at a 
local shop--perhaps he just was pooped from the onslaught of 
tourists, but I thought everyone in Cloudcroft was extremely nice 
and receptive (save one)!

For anyone thinking of visiting Cloudcroft for the first time 
this summer--NOW is the time. It is the lushest, coolest, and most 
green it has been in at least a decade, and there is something 
for everyone--great hiking, mountain biking, shopping (even a 
health-food store with an amazing selection that rivals El Paso's--
and less expensive), and arts/crafts stores. There is even a yoga 
class, massage therapists, a chiropractor, and other alternative 
ways of "blessing out", if the view doesn't do it for you.

The townspeople (except for one, that I know of!) are exceedingly
friendly and gracious, and make you feel like you are at home. So
if you have not yet visited Cloudcroft, there is no excuse not to! 

Now for a bit of politics: There are a number of housing 
developments in the works surrounding the Cloudcroft area. If you 
are considering buying a home in Cloudcroft, may I suggest 
(implore??) you take a look at already-existing homes that are on
the market. There are tons of homes for sale, none of which would
further cut into the beautiful forest!! There is no need to add 
more lots at this time, considering the great selection of homes 
currently available... think about it--we come to Cloudcroft to 
get away from crowding and noise. If we continue to build, we 
simply re-create what we are trying to escape, and hence destroy 
the very reason we come up to Cloudcroft in the first place. Just 
a thought....

Amanda Kemp
El Paso, Texas

Dear Newsletter:

Today we decided to check-out Cloudcroft, and we found your 
newsletter and immediately subscribed to it. This is a big thrill 
for us because we consider Cloudcroft a very special place that 
we love dearly. Every chance we have, we drive for Cloudcroft. 
Thank you for establishing this newsletter. We will see you soon.

Bette & Rex Wagoner
South Padre Island, Texas

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Copyright © 2000 Cloudcroft Online
The Travel and Visitor's Guide to Cloudcroft, New Mexico.
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