October 10, 2003
Dear Subscriber:

There was a big national media stink this week concerning mixing
politics with athletics. We talked about the same topic in this
column two weeks ago (before the story broke and the football
hit the fan). I guess that means we're ahead of the curve when
it concerns late breaking news and social commentary.

If I could predict the outcome of the next reality TV show,
that would REALLY put us on the map.

The whole sports brouhaha was over the racial issue.

My opinion...football must be color blind. How else can you
explain teams all across the country wearing such gosh awful

Someone said Oregon's football helmets actually glow in the
dark. Whassup with that? Football is a game played in all
elements (rain, sleet, snow, wind, a bear economy), but it's
NEVER played in the dark.

While we're on the subject...why aren't other sports played in
all kinds of weather?

I personally think it would make tennis more interesting if the
players had to play in a driving rain. The same with bowling.

They say golf can't be played in heavy rain because the metal
shafts of the golf clubs act as lightning rods and could cause
injury, death, or, worse, a double bogey.

My opinion...when a thunderstorm comes up, the golfers could
change to rubber-shafted golf clubs.

Now, wouldn't THAT be interesting?


My mother visited last week from Lubbock. She and some friends
came to Cloudcroft to see the foliage change and go to
Oktoberfest in Zenith Park. As a group, we ate too much

They stayed in one of our vacation cabins. I told Mom there
would be no charge, but when they left early Sunday morning 
they left behind a money tree. An old bush stuck in a flower
pot in the middle of the table with money tied to the branches.

I've spent the past few days looking for seeds.


I can feel it in my legs. It's almost time for the thermal

I wear thermals all winter. It's not an old man thing...it's a
practical thing. I wear jeans most of the time and jeans are as
good as chicken wire for insulation. Thermal long-johns solve
the problem.

I have discovered since living in the mountains that the best
battle against cold with regard to clothing is layering.

Two pair of socks. Waterproof boots (snowmobile boots are
good). The above mentioned thermals. Jeans (don't forget the
jeans or people will stare at you). A long-sleeve tee shirt,
flannel shirt and maybe a sweater. Then, if it's REALLY cold,
insulated overalls.

Ski gloves and a nice over-the-ear cap will keep you warm and
make you look cool. Add sunglasses for killer cool.

It takes about an hour to get dressed in the winter. You dress
to go outside after breakfast and then it's time to undress to
go back inside for lunch.

Don Vanlandingham

The days are markedly chillier with occasional precipitation.

Highs in the high-60s. Lows in the upper-30s. The foliage
change is well underway with peak colors probably in a week or
A new eatery in Cloudcroft. The Front Porch Grill. Used to be
2 Bears (located on Highway 82). Specializing in pizza,
sandwiches and movie rentals.
For all your shopping needs, visit the Cloudcroft Hotel & Gift
Shop Mall. The Mall offers many different shops. Get your
souvenirs and gifts at the Cloudcroft Gift Shop, or your
antiques at Mountain Comforts. How about some candy at the
Cloudcroft Candy & Nut Shoppe or stained glass at Mr. Air
Gallery? Or you can go to Susan's Change of A'Dress for any
clothing you may have forgotten. Tired? Relax with a cup of
coffee at the Olive Branch, then have your old-fashioned picture
taken at Mountain Foto. For more information, call
(505) 682-3414 or email cloudcrofthotel@zianet.com.
Q - We are summer residents. We are preparing to leave for the
winter. Instead of winterizing our fresh-water pipes, someone
suggested we just leave a drip going at each faucet. Does this
prevent freezing?

A - Not a very good idea. It doesn't guarantee your pipes
won't freeze and if they do, and then thaw, your house becomes
a swimming pool.

That drip also adds up to thousands of gallons of wasted water
over time and a possible overflow in your septic system.

Another winter hint...bring in all your adhesives (pipe
glue, wood glue, etc) from your tool box and store them in a
closet or some place where they will not be exposed to extreme
temperatures. Many glues lose their sticking power after being
exposed to very cold.
October 11 -- Cloudcroft at home against Faith Christian
(2pm) Varsity football.

October 12 -- Art Society meeting

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

October 18, 19 -- High Rolls Apple Festival. As always, parking
and admission are free, and the sponsoring High Rolls/Mountain
Park Lions recently expanded available parking. The Festival
runs from 9am to 5pm daily, and is at the High Rolls Lions' 
Hut/Community Center.

October 20 -- Mountain Garden Club meeting.

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

October 24 -- Cummins Industrial Tool Show and Sale. Chimney
Spring, 2679 Highway 82, Mayhill 11am-7pm.

October 25 -- Harvestfest

October 26 -- Return to Mountain Standard Time (back one hour).
October 31 -- Trick or Treat Costume Contest. Call The Chamber
for details.

October 31 -- Blackwood Legacy Quartet Gospel Music. Chimney
Spring, 2679 Highway 82, Mayhill 7:30pm. $10 per person.

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

November 22 -- Cloudcroft Chamber of Commerce banquet.

November 29th -- Santa Land opens. Cloudcroft.

December 6th -- ULLR Fest.

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

December 20 -- Christmas in Cloudcroft. Zenith Park.

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:

If you ever meet up with the stealth pilots please please tell
them thanks. I had the unfortunate task of burying my father
last Friday in La Luz and it was like it was on que. As they
took the casket from the hearse 3 stealth bombers flew over the
cemetery it was awesome as he retired from Holloman and was a

It got even more chilling when taps were being played and a
lone stealth flew over in the middle of the taps really

So if you ever see any of those pilots tell them it was an
incredible send off for dad.
Jim Polk
Livingston, Texas

Dear Newsletter:

We just got back from what will be our annual fall visit to
Cloudcroft (now that we aren't limited to school vacation times

It was rainy the first couple of days that we were there, but
we found that we love Cloudcroft even in the rain. We did get
to experience several non-rainy, beautiful fall days, however,
and my husband was able to set up his telescope and do some
observing. The skies there are unbelievable.

We spent one night in our new tent, which we discovered, once
we had set it up, has a "sun roof." Maybe I should more
accurately say a "star roof."

We camped on the lot we have recently bought near Mayhill, and
we were the only ones on that mountain that night--just us and
the stars and the wind in the pines. 
As much as I love reading your newsletters, there is only one
reservation I have--I wish we could keep it more of a secret!
I know that's selfish, but we don't want anything there to
Barbara Ray (one more Texan)
Missouri City 

Dear Newsletter:

I feel the same way you do about Cloudcroft --IT is a jewel.

I live in Irongate when I am not in Houston. My orchestra
conducting does not allow me enough time in Cloudcroft, but
when I can--I hurry to the Sacramentos and soak up the spirit
of the place-- have my soul cleansed and my mind put back in
touch with the things that really count.

I just left Cloudcroft--after six weeks out there, and my soul
hurt for three days once I returned to the big city.. Now if
we can just keep from damaging "our jewel" by squeezing out
every little corner of private land for sale purposes, 
unintentionally marring the visual beauty--we will be fine.

Our beautiful environment in Cloudcroft needs to stay that way
as much as possible, so we don't erode it --and lose why we
all came there in the first place!

Dr. Robert Linder

Dear Newsletter:

Years ago, while I was the Director of the Cloudcroft Chamber
of Commerce, I used to offer a hospitality class to employees
in the businesses of Cloudcroft.

One of the things I liked to stress most was to explore your
own backyard. Many people live and work in and around our
quaint village and have never explored the wonders of the area.

I urge everyone to take the tour at Sunspot and see firsthand
how smart some people are (there are many things to see there
but smart people always amaze me). Take a hike on the Osha
trail, or sit quietly in the woods and listen to the trees
sway in the wind or the birds sing. Oh how I love it here!

And to further the experience I showed them some wonders of a
nice one or two day trip to the counties surrounding ours. New
Mexico is, in my opinion, the most diverse state in the union.
Of course, let me say that I haven't been to many others. But
why should I when I have the best right here!

Within a few hours drive you can see ancient cliff dwellings
near Silver City, dive into a bottomless lake in Roswell, ride
the mile long tram in Albuquerque for a most breathtaking view,
or watch Native Americans pass traditions down from many
generations by way of dance and ceremony. Who wouldn't want to
live in New Mexico?

On the other hand, give me the opportunity to see Mickey, meet
the mouse, and spend the day in the happiest place on earth, I
would be in Disneyland for a day every month. But for the other
29 or 30 days of the month, I want to be here. Where I drive to
work each day in awe of the beauty that God created. How
blessed I am to have this mountain to live on and to look at
each day.

Thanks for the great newsletter. I look forward to reading it
each week.

Kathy Swope

Dear Newsletter:

So, Don...if Dallas/Ft. Worth is considered in North Texas and
Lubbock is (somewhat) farther north than DFW, how is Lubbock
in West Texas and not in North Texas? Is the panhandle in North
Texas or West Texas or is it only west of Oklahoma?
Just kidding you! I really enjoy the newsletter you so
faithfully distribute. We signed up several years ago when we
were looking online for "Christmas cabins" where our family
from "all parts" could gather for the holidays. The gathering
never happened, but we are still signed up for the newsletter
and enjoy hearing about Cloudcroft.
I worked a college summer as the wine steward at The Lodge in
Cloudcroft. That would have been about 15 years before you and
Peggy bought your property.
Just so you know I'm not "anti-Texas", I was born in Lubbock
and raised in Wink (yes, that's right.....Wink), home of Roy
Orbison. I have the hat and sunglasses to prove it.
Keep those newsletters coming.
Ron Creek
Las Cruces, NM

Dear Newsletter:

Hello and thank you so much for your newsletter.

I know that you probably get inundated with emails from people
dreaming of moving to a mountain paradise, well here is another

My wife and I have been dreaming of relocating for many years.

Last year we decided to get serious about it and start looking
for a weekend/vacation cabin or condo. Our area of interest had
always been Angel Fire, Eagle Nest or Red River as I grew up in
NW Oklahoma and vacationed in those areas.

I fell in love with the mountains and have longed to live there
since I was in the 3rd grade (so my mother tells me). As I grew
the desire must have faded because when I graduated college and
started a family, money was the prime motivator in choosing
where to go and what to do. I have matured some (I hope) since
then and have realized that no matter how much money you make it
cannot make you happy.

Being in the mountains has always made me happy. So about a year
ago we decided to sell our previous home in a community outside
Tulsa, OK and we had every intention of purchasing a condo in
Angel Fire. 

We were so convinced (primarily by our realtors comments) that
our home would sell quickly and for a very nice profit, that we
looked for and found the condo we wanted. I went so far as to
get a part-time job on weekends during the ski season last year
to become familiar with the area and the residents. It was a 300
mile one way commute each weekend, but I was (and still am)
committed to making this happen.

Well, a year later our house still hasn't sold, our realtor has
since been replaced with a different one but with no better
results. Maybe it is a sign or something that our selected
location was not the right one. During this past year we have
evaluated what we would like in a new community and had begun
to look more at Red River and Ruidoso as options for a number
of reasons.

In looking at Ruidoso I came across Cloudcroft and have added
it to our list of sites to look into, since it seems that we
have some time before this dream is to be realized. Everything
that AF was lacking seems to be present in Cloudcroft, mind you
this is all academic at this point as we have yet to be able to
come and visit. We are planning a visit later this month,
hopefully after our house in OK sells, ever the optimist you

Sorry for this to be such a long winded tale but it has been a
long drawn out process. The point for my email is to find out
what things would be good to know about Cloudcroft if one is
deciding on where to buy/relocate.

We have now spent a great deal of time in the Moreno Valley
area, but have only been to Ruidoso twice, once in the winter
and once in the fall, and as mentioned have not been to

While I can understand why you want to keep your mountain
paradise all to yourself and not attract anymore Texans, lol...
I'd be very appreciative of any advice and/or info you have
on the area that you feel pertinent. I have been to every
website that has info on the area, but would really like insight
from people that have made the move before. When looking at
Angel Fire we were lucky enough to talk with a number of people
that have made that move over the years and had it not been for
a slow real estate economy in Tulsa we would already be
part-time residents there.

Again my apologies for the length of this email. I'm sure I'm
not original in my request/desire to escape to the mountains but
I'm none the less sincere about them. Thank you so much for any
info you might have.

Best regards,
Mike Butler
Pampa TX

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