Lately, my hubby has been working so much that we haven’t been able to do much exploring. But this past weekend we had two whole days off and headed west, touring New Mexico.
First, we looked into Ruidoso, a small town in the Sierra Blanca mountain range. We had recently done some research about the Sierra Blanca mountain area. The town is a winter ski resort and somewhat of a tourist trap.
We were not convinced Ruidoso was up our alley. In addition, Bobby wasn’t sure he was up to the three and a half-hour ride on his only two-day weekend for the month. However, we checked the weather. We’ve been in hot climates since July of 2018. When we saw highs in the 70s the decision was made. Ergo, we packed up the dog, the cat and our stuff, got in the truck and headed west.
Roswell, New Mexico and the Aliens
Our adventure of touring New Mexico began with a stop in Roswell. The story goes that a UFO allegedly crashed in 1947. Most of us have heard of Area 51, a highly classified Air Force facility in Nevada. Area 51 is rumored to house the remnants of the Roswell spacecraft and the remains of alien life forms.
The businesses in Roswell all make some reference to aliens or spaceships on their signs. It was fun to see all the creative ideas as we drove through.
We stopped at the Harley dealer to grab a cool, alien t-shirt. The regular, boring t-shirts had a great design on the back. Unfortunately, there was nothing alien or cool on the women’s shirts. In other words, we didn’t buy anything. To avoid leaving empty-handed we took a picture with the host at the front door. The alien has a shirt on backward to show off the design.
Lincoln, New Mexico
We are not A to B travelers. Therefore, our next stop on our tour of New Mexico was in historic Lincoln. The Lincoln Historic site consists of a group of preserved buildings and artifacts. Just $5.00 each will get you into all the sites. Much of Lincoln has been preserved as it was in the 1870s and ’80s. Lincoln’s architecture includes wooden buildings and the adobe style of the southwest.
This town’s history is immersed in the most violent period of New Mexico’s history. Lincoln’s claim to fame is the ability to walk in the footsteps of Billy the Kid, Pat Garrett, and many other infamous characters of the Wild, Wild West. The town was made famous during the Lincoln County War and when Billy the Kid killed the town’s sheriff and deputy upon his escape.
Lincoln, New Mexico has preserved its 19th Century atmosphere. One price, five bucks apiece, got us into all of the exhibits. We toured the Old Courthouse the now serves as a museum and a few other buildings. After that, we headed up the mountain. We only stayed in town for about an hour and checked out the church and a few other sites. Lincoln was worth the stop; it has a lot to offer.
- The Anderson-Freeman Visitor’s Center & Museum
- Old Lincoln County Courthouse Museum
- Tunstall Store
- El Torreón defensive tower, built in the 1850s by native settlers
- San Juan Mission Church
- The Convento
- Dr. Woods’ House
- The Montaño Store
- Preserved Historic Structures
Ruidoso, New Mexico
A very loud storm kept us up the night before we left. Ergo, we didn’t pull our house on wheels for this trip. It was a spontaneous decision to travel and we’ve been parked for several months. Therefore, it would have taken an hour or two for me to get everything put up for the drive. Full-time RVers will understand.
When we got to Ruidoso we were starving and tired from the ride, in need of food and a place to stay. Above all else, we wanted a good meal and a quiet, pet-friendly cabin for the night.
The Rio Grande Grill & Tap Room had great reviews. We almost went somewhere else because of the lack of parking. It was a blessing that we persevered. The special was Cheese Ravioli with Pesto Sauce and it was excellent. My husband had the Chicken Fried Steak. Here’s a menu. We recommend the Rio Grande; we enjoyed a relaxing, tasty dinner.
After that, I made some calls to find a cabin. There were plenty available but the prices were more than we wanted to spend, over $200. In addition, there were plenty of pet-friendly hotels, but we wanted a cabin. The waiter recommended Casey’s.
A one-bedroom cabin ran $113 plus $25 per pet and there was a vacancy. We are used to paying $40 or $50 for a night with our fifth wheel, so it was a stretch. Summer, the manager, was sweet and found us a cabin away from the road. It was well worth it. We sat out on the porch with the dog and the cat and we all enjoyed the evening.
Most importantly, it was peaceful. First, I got to feed this beautiful buck by hand on Saturday night. Second, we slept well in the cabin. We needed to flip on the heater in the morning which is a blessing after all the hot air we’ve encountered recently. Third, we took a nice walk along the babbling river on Sunday morning.
Some of the reviews are not the best. These cabins are not the Hilton. In other words, I would recommend that they do some cobweb cleanup. That said, our cabin was clean, pet-friendly, spacious and reasonable.
The Best Breakfast
My honey and I love a good breakfast. The Cornerstone Bakery came up with lots of stars in Google reviews. Reviewers compared it to Kneaders, so we were sold. The food was excellent. Loaded Rosemary Breakfast Potatoes were the high point. I ordered it without bacon because I’m a vegetarian. They were so good that I got an order to go.
In addition to a top-notch breakfast, the restaurant houses a small gift shop. We grabbed a Ruidoso ornament to add to our collection from around the country. I think our foremost reason for returning to Ruidoso would be the food.
Cloudcroft, New Mexico
We took a scenic route back to Texas to extend our tour of New Mexico. The 70 out of Ruidoso is a beautiful ride. We turned off on the 244. Above all, we made note of awesome RV parks throughout the Lincoln National Forest.
After the 244 we turned off on the 82 which we could follow all the way back home. Instead of heading east immediately, we took a right and it was the best decision of the entire trip.
Just west of the 244/82 intersection is Cloudcroft, New Mexico. Cloudcroft was the highlight of our weekend. Burro Avenue is Cloudcroft’s old west main street. There are restaurants and shops for about a quarter of a mile. This was right up our alley. The little town is dog-friendly and offers some delicious snacks and souvenirs.
The shop keepers were friendly and talkative. Everyone, even the tourists were so friendly. We were disappointed that we didn’t have more time to spend there. On the way home I did some Googling and the town has so much more to offer. Cloudcroft is located in The Lincoln National Forest and the area is stunning. Without a doubt, we will be back.
Touring New Mexico
We’ve toured northern New Mexico several times. Madrid and Santa Fe are more our style rather than Albuquerque. When planning to tour New Mexico, this southern mountain area is a great place to start. A stop in Cloudcroft, New Mexico is a must.
Time constraints kept us from enjoying all of what is available in The Lincoln National Forest and the Sierra Blanca mountain range. We plan to go back in the spring when we have more time. Next time we will camp in the forest and spend a day in Cloudcroft.
Check out some of our other posts including Luckenbach, Texas and Williams, Arizona. Colorado and Chicago visits are on the horizon, but we’ll be flying. Our next RV trip will be to East Texas for Thanksgiving, then Arizona for Christmas.
Enjoy the Journey!