October 3, 2003
Dear Subscriber:

When I was 22, I visited Southern California.

What a wonderful place. The weather was nice. The ocean was
overwhelming and beautiful. The homes were out of this world.
The people were...well...the weather was nice.

I went to Disneyland. When I was a kid I watched The Wonderful
World of Disney on TV religiously. In my mind's eye I can still
see Tinker Belle opening the show with her magic wand. I was
under the impression that Disneyland was a little like an
American Mecca. Everybody in the country went there at least

I was a young West Texas boy visiting the equivalent of another
planet. They had nothing like Disneyland around Lubbock. I
took lots of pictures. The California friend I was staying with
nicknamed me "Click Click".

We were having lunch at The Pirates of the Caribbean. We sat at
the same table with a young couple we had just met. As we ate,
we talked. I asked them if they had been to Disneyland before
and they said no. I asked them where they were from. They said
they lived two miles away and had grown up there.

I was flabbergasted. They lived two miles from the world's
most famous playland and this was their first visit? Their
explanation: They always knew Disneyland was there and they
would go when they had the time.

I understand. There are people that live blocks from Texas
Stadium in Irving and have never been to a Cowboys game.
There are those that live within a stone's throw of the White
House in Washington DC and have never taken the tour and don't
really care to.

I bring this up because I made the same mistake in judgment.

Cloudcroft is truly one of the most beautiful places on Earth.
Peggy and I bought our property here in 1984. We moved here
as full time residents in 1995. While we should have gobbled
up the sights and happenings here years ago, there are places
just a few minutes away that we've never visited. We have been
busy trying to make a living or improving our property to
venture out much. We thought it was there when we had the

This week, we set about the challenge of changing all that.
Carla and Cheryl are our neighbors. They moved here a couple
of years ago and have decided not to allow the wonder of this
area to go un-tasted. They cross-country ski and snowmobile in
the winter. They work like slaves to their mission of improving
their house. Life is for the living in their minds.

Yesterday we joined them in a little journey into the wilderness
around Cloudcroft.

It's the perfect time of year for exploring here. Things have
quieted down after the peak tourist season. The trees are
staging their color show. It's still not cold although the
hint of winter is whispering.

We took our ATVs into areas that aren't accessible in regular

Cheryl packed a picnic lunch for us and for 4 hours we
enjoyed an undisturbed multi-colored world. The only glitch
in the whole day-trip was a little dirt under my contact lens.

Somewhere up above was Tinker Belle with her magic wand.

I'll make my new year's resolution early. Peggy agrees. Daily
chores can wait (to a point). There are places to explore. Our
annual visitors already knew it. Color me ignorant.

Don't email me and ask me where we explored. I won't tell,
besides it was only the tip of the iceberg. There are dozens
of places like where we went within 5 miles of my address.
Like kids with a secret hiding place, it's for us to know and
for others to find out.

I never considered leaving this area. Now I'll never ever
consider leaving.

Don Vanlandingham

Highs around 70. Lows in the upper-30s. Rain when you least
expect it. None in the past few days.

If you're coming to Cloudcroft in October, pack short sleeves,
long sleeves, warm jackets, rain slickers, sun blocker and
thermal underwear...just in case. There are still a few
hummingbirds around, but they're showing signs of wanderlust.
The SeasonScape photo experiment by Kit Richards continues:


Here are 2 additional photos by Kit: a sunset taken from
Sunspot in early September and rain on the far side of the
Tularosa Basin, also taken from Sunspot in early September.



Here's one taken by his wife Jan of the balloon festival at
White Sands on September 20.


To the chagrin of some, there is evidence Cloudcroft is
becoming more popular with visitors.

Village merchants say there was a record number of bikers
visiting Cloudcroft last weekend during the Ruidoso biker's
festival. From village limit to village limit in Cloudcroft,
millions of dollars worth of motorcycles and thousands of
dollars worth of chrome polish.

Here again are the photos from the last Newsletter.



We feature reasonably priced quality handmade Indian Jewelry
and the rare white turquoise jewelry from Tonapok Nevada! We
also carry unique rugs, pottery and baskets. Email
elkins@pvtnetworks.net, call (505) 682-3327 or come see our
unique collection at 507 Burro Street.
Only two public visits to the site of the first atomic bomb
explosion are scheduled each year and this Saturday is one of


Q - Where is the Cloudcroft village cemetery?
David Hannebutt...Stephenville, Tx.

A - The village has no cemetery. There are several church and
family cemeteries around the area. Contact the Cloudcroft
museum for more information. (505-682-2932).
October 4 -- Tour of Trinity Site

October 4 -- Cloudcroft at home against Carrizozo. (2pm)
Varsity football.

October 4 -- Cloudcroft Art Society Sale and Show. 10am-4pm
Old Red Brick School House.

October 4, 5 -- Oktoberfest Juried Art Show. Zenith Park.

October 5 -- Cloudcroft Art Society Sale and Show. 11am-5pm
Old Red Brick School House.

October 11 -- Cloudcroft at home against Faith Christian
(2pm) Varsity football.

October 17 -- Cloudcroft at Capitan. (7:30) Varsity

October 18, 19 -- High Rolls Apple Festival.

October 24 -- Cloudcroft at Mescalero (7:30). Varsity

November 1 -- Cloudcroft at home against Hagerman. (2pm)
Varsity football.

November 29th -- Santa Land opens. Cloudcroft.

December 13 -- Pet Parade. Burro Street. Cloudcroft.

Cloudcroft Art Society meets the second Sunday of each month,
2-4pm, in the Old Red Brick School House. Call (505) 682-3004
for more information and details on the Cloudcroft Summer Art

Would you like to help deliver meals to the homebound around
Cloudcroft? Monday through Friday deliveries. Call the
Cloudcroft Senior Center at (505)-682-3022. For information on
other Senior Center services, see their web site, listed on the
Cloudcroft.com Links button.


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:

I've been receiving your newsletter for a couple of months or
so and wanted to thank you for taking the time to prepare it
and then share it.

My husband and I will be coming to Cloudcroft in a couple of
weeks to spend a week at Maple Crest Cabins. We are looking
forward to it.

We haven't been to Cloudcroft in several years, but from your
news it doesn't sound like too much has changed...except for
the better!

Thanks again for the newsletter!
Belinda Stewart
Abilene, TX

Dear Newsletter:

Now here's a switch!!

When I think of Cloudcroft and other wonderful places and
things in New Mexico's Sacramento's, I think of cool,
wonderfully refreshing weather.

It was cold and rainy here in Post, TX, this Thursday as I
read the newsletter. What do I see in photos of downtown
Cloudcroft? Cloudless, pure, blue skies and sun-drenched
folks with short sleeve shirts and blouses!

Cloudcroft just keeps beckoning!

Don Ammons

Dear Newsletter:

I loved the pictures of the poppies. All of the pictures make
your newsletter come alive. Even though I can't be in
Cloudcroft, this is the next best thing. Keep the pictures

Gayla Dixon
Azle, Texas (the hot & humid place)

[If you missed our March, 2003 photos of the California
Poppies in the desert areas around the White Sands Missile
Range, here they are again.

Conditions have to be just right to get this kind of
bloom from these desert plants. Some people say they have
not seen such a bloom in 20 years.]









Dear Newsletter:

I wish to share with you and others in Cloudcroft my experience
regarding control of the moth problem.

We have had a place on Fox in Cloudcroft for the past 30 years
and for many years have experienced the BATTLE OF THE MOTHS.

Some 10 years or so ago a friend gave us a small cardboard roll
(similar in size to a roach motel) which housed a microscopic
biological insect control called trichogramma.

We placed it inside on a window sill upstairs and 'voila' no
more moths for years.

We are told the trichogramma is a specific destroyer of the
lepidopterous (moth) eggs. Again this year when we opened our
place, moths, moths and more moths. We vacuumed them up and
placed a new little trichogramma motel in the upstairs window
and the rest of the summer had maybe only 10 moths.

My friend has given me the name of the supplier should you like
to contact them for more information or for ordering.

Gothard Inc. Box 713 Valentine, Nebraska 69201.

Good Luck,
Virginia Taylor

PS. I so enjoy your weekly newsletter. Thank you.

Dear Newsletter:

To the gentlemen from San Antonio with raccoons in his crawl
space - try mothballs.

I have evicted squirrels and ringtail cats from the attic with
mothballs. Apparently the critters can't stand the smell and
voluntarily leave.

However - don't scatter them all over. Just open the box and
leave them in the box. You won't like the smell of them either
drifting up through the floor, so when the critters leave, you
can simply remove the box.

I learned the hard way. I scattered mothballs from one end of
the attic to the other - too many to retrieve, so we had to
smell moth balls for what seemed like forever after the
squirrels left.
Love your newsletter - keep writing!
Dusty Bruns
Comfort, TX

Dear Newsletter:

Thank you so much for your newsletter.

My husband and I and are 7 month old son are moving to
Cloudcroft in two weeks. We are so excited. We found your
little town last year on vacation and we haven't been able
to get it out of our minds since then.

So after we had the baby we decided that this is the perfect
place to raise our family. We don't know any one there yet,
but we are hoping to make a lot friends. Thank you.

Alex and Melisa Lawrence
(soon to be residents)

Dear Newsletter:

I was just thinking while reading about all those people who
just loved Cloudcroft and when they retire they are going to
move there.

I have been reading about this for years now so my question is
this: Has Cloudcroft grown to the size of Santa Fe yet or has
it reached Albuquerque proportions already?

Peace and love,
Mtn. Home, AR 

Dear Newsletter:

I just wanted to say thank you for the information about dogs.
My dog was sprayed by a skunk and we have not been able to get
the smell out.
Ontario, Canada

Dear Newsletter:

I really enjoyed your story about the bed. I’m afraid I’ve had
all too many similar episodes. I think that is why I so look
forward to your newsletter each week. It is wonderful stories
about the things that go on in each of our lives. Keep up the
great work!

I was in Cloudcroft last weekend with my bike. As always, I was
again thrilled to mingle with the wonderful people you have
there. I look forward to getting one more trip this year,
hopefully before the snow flies.

Thanks again for this bright spot in my week.

Kevin Haley
Abilene, TX 

Dear Newsletter:

What a day. I have had days like that myself. It doesn't pay
some days to get out of the bed. Hope you like the bed after
going to that much trouble.

Thank you for the newsletter every week. They're the high
light of my email.

Shirley Myers

Dear Newsletter:

Have you ever tried to answer your telephone with your TV
remote control?

Drives me crazy when I do that....

Gay Lynn Chism
Cedar Hill Guest Quarters
Wimberley, TX

Dear Newsletter:

We just recently closed on a cabin in Ponderosa Pines and spent
the first weekend there clearing out about a year's worth of

I was searching for info about them on the internet and your
newsletter #177 was a hit. I enjoyed your newsletter and could
so relate to the comments about the pesky moths.

We are looking forward to coming to Cloudcroft once a month or

I will look forward to receiving your newsletter at our Plano
home, so we can feel in touch with a place my husband and I
have grown to love over the past 5 years.

Aileen and Chaz Duc
Plano, Texas

Dear Newsletter:

I just got home yesterday after spending the last six weeks in
our Twin Forks cabin.

I like to make my coffee at night, so I discovered that those
Saran Wrap covers (like old-fashioned wind bonnets) over the
coffee pot keep out the Miller Moths. I didn't want to discover
how they tasted.

I also wanted to add a reason to shop in Alamogordo. I shopped
on Tuesdays. They have some of their first run movies at the
mall for $2.50. They are never that cheap in El Paso.

I already miss the temperature, the deer and raccoons in the
yard and the smell of pine trees.

Eleanor Martin
El Paso and Twin Forks

Dear Newsletter:

You mentioned that you love politics. Are you aware that at one
time State Representative John Mershon of Cloudcroft and State
Senator Aubrey Dunn of High Rolls controlled the purse strings
on New Mexico?

For a number of years, in the 1970's, it was their task to go
to Sante Fe ever January and try to budget the state with very
little money and under the State Constitution, New Mexico
cannot operate in the red.

It was these far-sighted men who established our state general
permanent fund, not to be confused with the state school
permanent fund, which was established prior to statehood.

I had the pleasure of being one of their constituents for many
years. Since both retired, John Mershon moved to Arizona, but
Aubrey Dunn is still around the mountain area and loves to talk
politics. If you get a chance to talk to him, don't miss it.
He is a wealth of information. Both were democrats.
I really enjoy and look forward to your editorials and thank
for keeping me abreast of my former home area. 
Dick Trone
Carlsbad, NM

Dear Newsletter:

When we were living in our log cabin in Cloudcroft, we also
were visited by 'critters' who came to visit or to stay.

One fall, after picking apples in High Rolls for drying, I
decided to make apple pies with the rest of them. I baked 5
pies, and left them on the wood cookstove to cool while I went
to work the 3-11 PM shift at the hospital.

When I got home about 1 AM, a huge raccoon was sitting on the
stove with the last pie!

There were a few crumbs of crust in one of the other pans, but
no pie.

The raccoon tried to leave the way he entered, by our cat
entrance, which was about a 4-6" hole left in the ceiling, with
a 2X6' board running to the floor for the cat to use. He was
too fat, with the 4 pies he had eaten, to leave.

He ran, upside down, back and forth across the ceiling looking
for an opening he could leave through. There were no others.

We opened all the doors and left him to calm down and leave by
himself after we decided there was no way we could remove him.

By morning he was gone. Even the last pie had to be left out
the next night for him.

We have a skunky story, too, but it is long.

Ilda Calvert
Jerusalem, Arkansas

Dear Newsletter:

My husband and I enjoy your newsletter so much. Don has a
wonderful gift for writing.
Your story about "Littlebits", in your Sept. 25th newsletter,
was a tear-jerker. I grew up with dogs even though I lived in
the "big city" of Georgetown, Washington, D.C. My first dog
was named Tippy, then there was Susie, then Greta whom we
called "Ittybits" because she was a toy Manchester Terrier.
As Ittybits aged, her nickname changed to "Jellybelly".
Somehow as I have aged, that nickname could possibly be mine,
but my friends are too polite to use it. 
When I got married, my husband and I acquired two Great Danes
who ate us out of house and home. Then there was Pepe, and
then Brandy, a black Labrador whom we had to give away when
we moved to Japan with the Air Force. In Colorado, we had
another black Lab named Sparky, whom we nicknamed Sparky
Dolittle. Later on the name Dolittle became Sparky Donuthin'. 
Next came Wrinkles. We inherited this darling Shar Pai puppy
from one of my sons. I wasn't too crazy about her name...it was
so original? I tried to change it to Raisin, since her coat
was a dark chocolate color and she looked like a shriveled up

Alas, it didn't work, as we were all too used to calling her
Wrinkles. Darn! I used to be embarrassed when someone would
ask me her name. If it was a stranger asking, I would respond,
"Oh, her name is Raisin, or Periwrinkle, but I'd never tell
them it was "Wrinkes". Most of the time, though, we'd call her
"Baby". She was the best companion we ever had! She passed over
the "Rainbow Bridge" in the fall of 2001. We buried her in the
pet cemetery at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, UT,
among the trees and wind chimes, and surrounded by mountains.
I only visited her grave once, as it was just too painful to
go there.
The dogs we have now are named Cody and Holly. They are siblings
and they are half Shar Pai and half yellow Lab. They are
absolutely gorgeous dogs! Our veterinarian keeps bringing
people in to see them whenever we have an appointment with her.
Many people have said that we should start a new breed.

Too late now...they've been spayed and neutered. We rescued
Cody and Holly after their three other siblings froze to death.
We used to call Holly "Butterball" before we named her, as we
hadn't planned on keeping the puppies originally. We were
getting up in years and it's a long, as well as expensive,
commitment. But you know how they can grow on you! 
Holly and Cody are three years old now, and we've moved them
from Utah down to Texas, where it's too darn hot! We bought
some land outside of Cloudcroft...just for them, where we
hope to build a summer cabin in the spring...just for them.
Did I mention that dogs can be expensive?
Bill and Jeri-Lynn Sandusky
Georgetown, TX

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Copyright © 2003 Cloudcroft Online
The Travel and Visitor's Guide to Cloudcroft, New Mexico.
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