Saturday, November 19, 2005

Goodbye Old Friend

Beloved Ruidoso entertainer Bela Kronk was remembered today in a fitting "standing room only" memorial service. Kronk, the incredibly popular percussionist for the Southern New Mexico group Bad Chili passed away suddenly Thursday. His unexpected death was attributed to blood poisoning caused by contact with the forged Rolex watch that he wore.

As was expected, the remaining members of Bad Chili were grief stricken. "Ya just can't understand something like this." commented Rico. "He's gone quicker than if somebody popped him!"

Sal joined the tribute. "The essence of greatness has passed. Our music will never be the same" he added. The bereft Monk could only nod in agreement.

Perhaps the most upset from the recent tragedy was bassist Crawdad. "Can you believe that he's gone? He owed me twenty dollars!" lamented Crawdad. Bela's body will be returned to his native Romania.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Top Ten Secrets

The resort village of Ruidoso, New Mexico has an unusually large number of all types of restaurants, galleries and shops. You can easily find a wide selection of foods, arts and gifts. There are also some great lesser known businesses and services available that the casual tourist may miss. Here are my top "Ten Best Kept Secrets About Ruidoso, New Mexico" to enhance your visit. We'll use inverse order to build the suspense!

10 Disco Taco Yes, we have the upscale Mexican Restaurants. If you want a margarita and to mingle with fellow travelers, forget Disco Taco. If you want good, down to earth Mexican food without a tourist atmosphere, check it out. On highway 70 in Ruidoso Downs.

9 Bad Chili The phenomenon of the Ruidoso band Bad Chili keeps steaming along! Together only six months, the group is playing to packed houses all over town! Is it their music? Is it their style? Judge for yourself. Catch a serving of Bad Chili when you're in Ruidoso.

8 Go Ruidoso The official travel and tourism website or Ruidoso, New Mexico. Chock full of information on local events, business and the community Go Ruidoso can be a life saver when planning a vacation in Ruidoso. Check them out at .

7 Ruidoso Convention Center Nestled in the sleepy little Village of Ruidoso sits the Ruidoso Convention Center. A first rate meeting facility, the convention center is adjacent to the world class Links at Sierra Blanca Golf Course and the Hawthorn Suites. Home to events of all sizes and types the convention center is the idea place to combine business with pleasure!

6 Lincoln County Grill The grill really isn't a secret, but many still haven't tried their tasty and generous menu items. Breakfast is a treat and whatever happens remember this one simple fact about the grill...Chicken Fried Steaks!

5 Vacation Rentals Accommodations of all types can fill up fast during peak periods in Ruidoso. Because rooms are in great demand, prices rise significantly for holidays and special events. One hedge against the high lodging prices are Ruidoso's many vacation cabins, condos and home rentals. Private owners only in town for several weeks a year lease their properties out on a nightly basis. Frequently these offer amenities hotels don't...private hot tubs, pool tables, putting greens, ski equipment racks and even boot warmers. All at a cost less that a room at an upscale area hotel!

4 Chester Fried Chicken I don't do fried chicken very often but when I do, Chester's blows the colonel out of the water! Tender and flavorful, Chester's is available for take out from the Ruidoso Lawrence Brothers IGA Grocery.

3 Weasel Productions Weasel Productions is a Ruidoso hallmark in video production and photography. They feature the photographic skills of noted New Mexico photographer John T. Soden. John has been hailed by some as the "Ansel Adams of the mountain"! See his work in Ruidoso at the Hubbard Museum of the West and Josie's Gallery and Framing. Sample the talent at .

2 The Club House A small, comfortable lounge tucked away behind a gas station. Relax with a libation, visit with friends or watch their big screen TV. This favorite "watering hole" is located at the intersection of Mechem (Hwy 48) and White Mountains Drives.

Finally, the very best kept secret about Ruidoso...

1 Visiting Ruidoso, New Mexico ... this very blog!

Plan on exploring some of these rather unique Ruidoso attractions. You'll have a great time discovering new favorites during your visit.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Rebounding In Style!

It was only last week that the Ruidoso group Bad Chili was reeling from a chain of circumstances that clearly left the band's future in doubt. This week, it's back to business as usual with all problems well behind them.

The band's guitarist, Rico, was completely exonerated from racketeering allegations when Judge Roy Bean (no relation) dismissed all charges. "I see no need to continue with this poorly scripted charade." the Judge stated before leaving the country on urgent personal business. "I knew I'd be vindicated all along." maintained the guitarist.

Bela, the band's premiere percussionist had been experiencing problems related to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. "I thought it was my music causing this problem." Bela confided. "As it turned out, all I needed to do was stop wearing my Rolex when I play! I'm fine...never been better!".

The band's troubles continued to disappear as bassist Crawdad has been released from hospitalization for exhaustion. "They totally replaced all of my blood." Crawdad explained. "Now I've got plenty of reds and whites and it's going to stay that way! I've vowed to get at least two hours of sleep every night to help keep things in balance."

Band member Sal is relieved about the shift in the group's momentum. "I just can't tell you how concerned I was!" mused Sal. "It's great to see the guys back together again! I'm ready to put it all behind us!"

As if the group's new outlook weren't enough, President George W. Bush decided to help them celebrate! "The President has been a big
Bad Chili fan for a while now." said a White House spokesman. "He's got both CDs and has been looking forward to meeting them." he added. "It was really the President!" exclaimed guitarist Monk. "I almost couldn't believe my eyes!"

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Big Trouble in River City

As you'll notice the recent problems facing the Ruidoso, New Mexico group Bad Chili have garnered their share of national attention. Is this the end of the band who's meteroric rise to fame in Southern New Mexico has taken the center stage in the national media?

An anonymous source close to the group reports that despite the circumstances that have plagued the band over the past week it's business as usual. "They may be down, but don't count them out!" the source commented.

The week's woes began as guitarist Rico was arrested and jailed pending arrainment on the "three strikes" provision of US racketeering laws. The action was particularly ironic with Rico arrested while attending...a baseball game! "I'm confident that I will be vindicated shortly." Rico maintained. He declined further comments and was accompanied by representatives from Dewey, Fleeceham and Howe retained to represent him.

If things couldn't have gotten any worse, percussionist Bela is reported to be under care for Carpel Tunnel Syndrome. "I've been using my wrists all my life! Why does this happen now?" the drummer lamented.

The downward spiral continued as bass player Crawdad is reportedly suffering from exhaustion. "I've never felt so really spent in all my life!" Crawdad remarked. "It's a fine creel of mudbugs to be in considering our recent success." He was hospitalized after collapsing during his statement to the press.

Guitarist Monk is said to be despondent over recent events. "He's so depressed he's even considering reversing his retina transplant!" our source reported. "He's not taking it well."

The only one not affected by the recent developments is lead vocalist Sal. He was frank in his conversations with our source. "I told those guys to slow down! I mean...really slow down! I was hoping they'd listen. I was hoping they'd listen."

Bad Chili fans everywhere are devastated, with candle light vigils planned to demonstrate the fans' support. "We're confident they'll maintain their recent level of success." stated the president of the Bad Chili Fan Club. "We've got to let them know we're there."

Will Bad Chili be able to keep their incredible momentum alive? Updates due next week will hopefully allow the band to continue their concert tour and success. "We're all hoping for the best here." offered Sal.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Bad To The Bone

The stat
e of New Mexico has an official question..."Red or green?". It refers to your choice of chili, red or green. It augments many menu selections..."Did you want the red or green chili on that sir?". Now New Mexico adds a third chili, green chili or Bad Chili !

Meet the Ruidoso, New Mexico band
Bad Chili. Bad Chili is a rather recent addition to the Ruidoso music scene, drawing upon over 100 years of combined music experience. Their repertoire includes material from Van Morrison, Led Zepplin, Kansas and many more classics. While they haven't yet inked a regular club gig you can find them appearing at the area's finest events. Their individual characters and styles contribute to the overall feel of a lighthearted but intent focus on their first, and in some cases, only Let's meet the group:

Bela - Brooding and contemplative Bela adds the beat to Bad Chili. Kind of like the cumin in a chili recipe Bela is that certain "something" that makes the mix. Too little and it's just not right! Too much and, well...

Rico - What can you say about Rico? Stoic, sensitive and immersed in the music, Rico mastered the guitar on his last stint in maximum security. He also joins in on vocals. If asked, you like his performance very, very much! Right?

Sal - A wonderful vocal range plus talents on the guitar and harp make Sal a good front for this bowl of Chili. A native of Lapland, Sal settled in Ruidoso because it reminded him of the Lap-plains of his Lap-homeland. Sal also enjoys Lap-dances.

Monk - What can you say about Monk, the master of the strings? Moving fluidly between guitars, mandolin or banjo Monk adds a real depth to the Chili experience. Blind since birth, a recent retinal transplant has allowed him to realize a life long dream...driving legally.

Crawdad - The mirth of the mixture, Crawdad is always burning a bass or trashing his amplifier. Embracing the "show" in each performance, Crawdad's antics are a real crowd pleaser. By the way, it's really not polite to stare at the lobotomy scars.

Now you know Bad Chili as well as anyone. If you have the nerve to attend an event featuring the quintet, you'll drink as much as the rest of us! For booking information or to just jawbone a little, call Crawdad at 505.257.4031.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Humanitarian Relief

There is no doubt that the effects of hurricane Katrina (I'm sure glad they're female again) will, in some way, impact everyone in the country. The storm has already destroyed billions of dollars of personal property and left thousands devastated and homeless. If you have not yet made a donation a good place to start is with the American Red Cross.
There is a movement across the United States to help house those affected by this tragedy. Many all over the country are generously willing to donate homes, apartments and mobile homes to those in immediate need. It has been suggested that some care in the selection of recipients may be in order to keep folks from finding out that they are actually housing looters and rapists instead of distressed flood victims. At first glance, that may seem reasonable enough. But if you think about it, here's a chance to rise way above just one disaster.
The crime rate in some urban areas is staggering. Imagine redistributing some of the burden to more rural areas. The place to start is New Orleans. Imagine a small town official calling the mayor of New Orleans with an offer to take a half dozen looters off his hands. "We've got a good police force and we can handle 'em even if they have baseball bats." he might say. A local civic organization could volunteer to take an arsonist or two. The offers to help evenly distribute the crime rate would pour in, not only for New Orleans but other crime ridden communities.
The mayor of Crystal Forks, North Dakota would dial up the mayor of say...New York City. "We'll take a dozen of anything ya' got except murderers. We don't need none o' them murderers!" The potential here is unlimited.
This could evolve into a national crime barter system. One rapist is worth six jay walkers or two cat burglars for one armed robber. You get the idea. Rural America reaches out to the beleaguered cities to help share the national disaster of rising crime. Now that would be humanitarian aid.

Sunday, August 14, 2005


This past weekend celebrated the 150th anniversary of historic Ft. Stanton, New Mexico. Ft. Stanton, Inc. that operates the fort and spearheads the Ft. Stanton restoration effort sponsored an intriguing look at life during the long history of the facility. During the Civil War, Ft. Stanton was temporarily occupied by Confederate Troops and the re-occupied by the Union in 1862. The anniversary celebration took place August 13th and 14th, 2005. Historians, re-enacters, musicians and period craftsmen joined together to create the time machine that transported those in attendance to eras gone by. Tents of soldiers and settlers lined the main street for the two day event, and presented an amazingly real atmosphere. There were moments when, just for a second, this was the past! There were military and atillery drills with vendors demonstrating the crafts of the period. Blacksmiths, weavers, candlemakers and even a genuine tin type photographer added the trimmings which helped fuel the suspension of disbelief. Fife and drummers marched, mounted units performed. For a moment, this was Ft. Stanton in it's finest hour.
Throughout the festivities it was curious to note that I heard no one in all of the demonstrations and awards that was aware of the word "cavalry". Everyone was talking about "Calvary demonstrations", "Calvary hats", "Calvary units". Was there to be a re-enactment of Christ's Crucifixion? Had this become a religious event? Not even Tony Hoffman, the energetic bard of Ft. Stanton, Inc. had the slightest idea that the cavalry was a mounted military unit and Calvary was the mountain on which Christ was crucified. Not exactly the mettle of true historians.
The event drew thousands that were treated to a real "step back". Congratulations to the many staff, volunteers and friends of Ft. Stanton on making the event a great success!

Monday, July 04, 2005

Air Head

Ruidoso, New Mexico averages only 2 days per year over 90 degrees. Because Ruidoso's climate is so moderate, many of the cabins, condos and homes for rent in the area do not have air conditioning.

When you visit Ruidoso during the summer months, do not assume that all accommodations automatically have cooling systems. If cooler temperatures are important to you, ask up front if the property you're considering has air. And note the differences between the types of "air conditioning".

Good old central, refridgerated air conditioning remains the favorite. It provides consistent, whole house comfort. A window air conditioning unit also provides refridgerated air, but just to a section of your rental. It may provide just enough cool in just the right area to help insure your comfort. Evaporative cooling (aka swamp coolers) are an effective way to cool areas in a extremely dry environment. Evaporating water can provide suprising cooling results in a desert climate.

With a temperate climate, air conditioning should not be a major consideration for most when visiting Ruidoso. The warm dry days and the rather crisp evenings make for some of the most ideal weather known to man. Add the consistent mountain breezes and you have an ideal climate for your summertime...or anytime...visit.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Ruidoso Central Reservations Website Posted by Hello

With reservations...

Ruidoso has all the magic that the New Mexico slogan promises, truly...the Land of Enchantment! Because Ruidoso is a resort community, accommodations may be tricky at peak periods. No problem, if you keep a few simple facts in mind.

1) Plan EARLY. A lot of people are amazed that some lodging can be full a year or more in advance of arrival. If you're headed for Ruidoso during summer or winter weekends, advance reservations can be a lifesaver!
2) Have the exact information regarding your exact needs and dates. Don't rely on "We'll be coming in the weekend of the 4th". Be specific... "We'll be arriving on the 3rd and departing on the 7th" will leave no margin for error. Have the exact number of people handy. Strange as it may seem, children are actually people and do count. If you'll be using a credit card to make the reservations, have it nearby.
3) Ruidoso presents a LOT of lodging choices. In addition to a hotel you may choose to stay in a cabin, lodge, condo or vacation home. If you're completely lost on making a decision try the service offered by Ruidoso Central Reservations. They make reservations for many types of lodging throughout Ruidoso and can help match your exact expectations with the perfect accommodations. They can also provide a depth of information on area activities and attractions.
4) Make sure that you understand the policies and procedures for the accommodations you've secured. Find out about check-in and check-out times as well as the cancellation policy. Cancellation can vary widely and ranges from just 24 hours prior to arrival up to 14 days.
5) Keep records. File documents in a folder for the trip. Have directions, confirmation data and the name and local phone number for where you will be staying. I've seen many souls wandering Ruidoso trying to figure out where they are supposed to stay because they've lost their lodging information. Enjoy your stay! Don't allow these inconveninces to cost even one minute of your precious Ruidoso vacation.

These simple tips can save you a lot of time and energy when visiting Ruidoso. Along with a little common sense, you'll insure a carefree stay in enchanting Ruidoso.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

CT Harrison Posted by Hello


I first met CT Harrision in Ruidoso, New Mexico. He had answered a help wanted ad in the local newspaper. He was confident, carried himself well and seemed like he'd be a good employee. He learned quickly and soon was able to do the job well. Occasionally though, he did seem distracted and not quite focused on his job. Then again, at that time in his life CT had a lot to occupy his attention. CT and his wife were near the end of their relationship...something that can really sap your time and energy. CT just kind of left one day, gone another. I guess I really didn't understand why.

Part of the reason may have been that CT was also occupied with his real love, music. Fleeing Ruidoso, CT headed for Florida and then Nashville. Once in Nashville the pieces started to come together. The product of this transition is a Country CD entitled "Waiting For The Other Heart to Fall". On it, CT demonstrates his considerable vocal and percussion talents with the same confidence that I had seen before. The songs are first rate, with one even broaching the subject of child abuse.

It's good to see the talent ooze out of CT and I suspect there's even more inside. Give the material a listen on his new website.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Cedar Creek 2001 - John T. Soden Posted by Hello

Ruidoso in the Summer

No matter where you stay or what type of lodging you choose, you'll have many opportunity to enjoy the wooded, mountain areas of Ruidoso. Majestic vistas require a little thought and a little effort to maintain. Please try to keep the following in mind when traveling in Lincoln County.

Ruidoso is in the middle of the Lincoln National Forest, which is managed by the U.S. Forest Service operating out of the Smokey Bear Ranger Station. Avoid being corrected by the's Smokey Bear and NOT Smokey "The" Bear. You'll avoid the standard reprimand of, "You don't say Easter The Bunny or Santa The Claus, do you?" Consider yourself warned.

Ruidoso is also in the desert, making forest or wild fires of constant concern. When you come to Ruidoso, be prepared to follow the local fire regulations in effect during your visit. This always means no fireworks, and at times may include no campfires, no smoking outoors and restrictions on grilling with charcoal. Naturally, care and common sense are always in order when handling fire outside. Make sure things are completely out and ashes are drowned or quite cold before disposing of them.

Equally important is avoiding impact with local wildlife. The deer are protected and are quite brazen. Be prepared to have traffic suddenly come to a halt to let a group cross the road...especially in the hours around dusk. Please be careful and dispose of trash. Failure to place garbage, especially containing food scraps, into a proper receptacle can cause situations with the bears. And whatever you do, DON'T feed the bears.

Just keep these simple guidelines in mind when visiting Ruidoso. It will make your stay more enjoyable and insure that Ruidoso will be the same for your next visit.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Technology - Isn't It Wonderful?

Ahem! Let me clear my throat! Proudly announcing that Visiting Ruidoso is now available via RSS feed. RSS is an exciting new medium for the delivery of content via PDA's, cell phones and web sites. You subscribe to an RSS feed from an aggregator that captures thousands of RSS feeds and catalogs them for you. You simply pick an area of interest and then indicate which of the feeds available you would like to receive. Through the use of an RSS reader, you can view the feeds that you have elected to receive.

One of the many sources to subscribe to RSS feeds is Yahoo, through a personalized "My Yahoo" page. You can select to have horoscopes, recipes, sports scores and other RSS feeds appear on your personalized page. If you already have a My Yahoo page, you can add this feed by simply pressing the Yahoo button on the right side of this page.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Staying in Ruidoso During the Motorcycle Rally

We're in the middle of the Aspen Cash Rally here in Ruidoso. I sit on Mechem Drive (Highway 48) and the satisfying sound of engines from all over the country punctuates the afternoon. If you plan on visiting Ruidoso during either Aspen Cash or Golden Aspen Motorcycle Rallies here are a few tips to make your visit more enjoyable.

1) Ruidoso is in the mountains. This means we have a LOT of rather steep inclines, many of them with gravel surfaces. Some riders prefer level access...some don't. Ask if your accommodations have easy access for a bike.
2) Do you have enough parking? Not only for bikes but for trailers and other vehicles which still leaves enough room for easy maneuvering.
3) The physical location of a property in Ruidoso is not too terribly important. At under 8000 inhabitants no where in Ruidoso is more than 10 minutes away. If you have a preference, fine. If not, you're never far from the action.
4) Book early. The may Aspen Cash Rally is smaller than the Golden Aspen in September...BUT is growing rapidly. Housing is easier to find in the spring, but still plan on an early decision to have the best selection.
5) Area lodgers will frequently raise rates during special events. One way to beat the high cost of individual hotel rooms is to choose a vacation rental. Whether you choose a cabin, condo or vacation home, you can stay in Ruidoso for as low as $21./night per person!
6) How do I know I'll be happy with my lodging? You don't. Choose wisely. If you're looking for a hotel the chains are always an obvious choice, but there are a lot of wonderful local properties as well. Ruidoso has a unique Central
Reservations agency. They match your requirements with local availability and can steer you toward the reputable local establishments. If you're looking for a cabin or condo, consider a reputable property management firm over an individual owner. This assures you of a clean, up-to-date unit that meets the standards of the management company. If you're within easy driving distance plan on visiting Ruidoso prior to the event and touring your choices. Nothing like a little hands-on! If the unit is constantly "unavailable" for inspection or they try to discourage you from this the course is clear. Look elsewhere.

You'll find that your mountain experience will be even more enjoyable if you take a moment to do some simple planning.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Texas Treehouse Posted by Hello

Texas Treehouse Deck Posted by Hello

Tantilizing Treetops

One of the more unique places to stay in Ruidoso is the Texas Treehouse. A true all log home, the Treehouse was built by N & H Log Homes of Ruidoso. The firm is responsible for some of the areas most popular log homes.

The Texas Treehouse is located in Ruidoso's picturesque Upper Canyon, with the Rio Ruidoso River not far away. At 2400 square feet, the Treehouse can accommodate up to ten people. Not only is there a spectacular view...the home also sports a hot tub, wrap around deck, wood burning fireplace, Culligan water system and every bit of the rustic, mountain atmosphere you'd expect in Ruidoso.

Naturally this unique area accommodation is very popular so plan on booking early.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Flying J Wranglers Posted by Hello

Git along little doogies!

The Memorial Day weekend in Ruidoso carries a lot of excitement. The start of horse racing season, a large muti-state softball tournament and the usual complement of folks just coming to enjoy a mild climate in spectacular surroundings.

One of the noteable events taking place that weekend is the season kick-off for the gang at the Flying J. Ranch. The Flying J features chuckwagon supper and an outstanding western stage show. Come with the family to the miniature western town, Bonita City. You'll enjoy shops, an ice cream parlor and of course the obligatory gunfight. Make sure you come early for the pony rides that will delight the youngsters.

After the "seconds welcome" BBQ dinner you'll enjoy a polished, entertaining show by the Flying J Wranglers. Sit back, relax and enjoy the sweet sounds of James and Cindy Hobbs and the talented Wranglers. You won't be disappointed (you'll come back again and again).

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Howdy with a dog in the back!

One of the things you'll notice right off is how friendly everyone is in Southern New Mexico. It's not uncommon to have most everyone you encounter wish you a "Good morning" or "How's it goin'" or "Howdy". The city, rural areas...just about everywhere you go people are genuine, real and friendly.

The rural areas have their own form of "Howdy" and that's the New Mexico Wave. When you're out for a country drive, you'll find a lot of the oncoming traffic acknowleging you with a wave. This can be a wholehearted, out-the-window wave. Very physical. Sometimes the greeting will be more subtle. A finger raised off the steering wheel (usually the index finger) or a slight tip of the hat...but a heartfelt greeting just the same.

You can imagine that New Mexico certainly has it's share of pickup trucks. They come in all sizes, all colors. If you have a pickup is is absolutely necessary to have a dog. Dogs also come in all sizes and colors. Some of the "pickup canines" have the luxury of free reign in the back. Others are tethered by chain or leash. But all are enjoying a spin with their people up front and barking a friendly "Howdy" from Ruidoso!

Friday, May 13, 2005

Starry Night in Lincoln - John T. Soden Posted by Hello

Beam me up Scotty

The skys have fascinated man since the dawn of time. Very little has changed, with the exception that these days it's highly conceivable that man will reach the planets (if not the stars) in the near future.

And where better to view the heavens than in the crisp, clear skys of New Mexico. Tonight I'll be attending the fourth annual "Starry Night in Lincoln" event at the pageant grounds in Lincoln, New Mexico. The evening begins shortly before dusk. Prior to the beginning of the program we'll get to sample the local fare...Hamburgers and Lamburgers (good local lamb) and perhaps even catch a cold one at the historic Wortley Hotel (Billy The Kid slept here) made famous during the Lincoln County Wars.

At dusk, teachers and students from New Mexico University will present a program on our solar system and beyond. After the formal part of the program it's "hands on" for all in attendance on a wide assortment of telescopes provided by the school. It's a fun way to really put things into perspective as we try to imagine exactly where man fits into this celestrial crossword.

The event is sponsored by REDTT, an organization dedicated to promoting tourism in rural parts of New Mexico. Other events include Fiber Fest and Arts In The Orchard. It's a great way to prepare to "go where no one has gone before"! See you behind the lens!

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Mark Remington Posted by Hello

Talent in no shortage on the mountain

One of the nice things about Ruidoso and the area is the large number of talented musicians. One of these is Mark Remington. Mark fell in love with Ruidoso in the early 1980's and several years later, decided to make it his home.

After living in Ruidoso for a brief while, Mark became so inspired by Sierra Blanca or "White Mountain" that he wrote a musical tribute to the area, oddly entitled "White Mountain" which he featured on his album "Generations". Session musicians were not hard to find. Mark's dad Herb Remington, Country Music Hall of Fame steel guitarist called upon several friends including fellow Hall of Famer, violinist (fiddle player to some) Johnny Gimble to help out.

Mark plays throughout the area, including occasional gigs at Ruidoso's Pasta Cafe. Two years ago, the songwriter became so concerned with Wild Fire Prevention that he penned a new ode to "Smokey Bear". The song was so well received locally, that Mark decided to send it to the Forest Service in Washington, DC who embraced the song as a contemporary reminder of our responsibility to our forests.

If you run across Mark in your Ruidoso travels invest the time to sit down, listen and enjoy. You'll be glad you did!

Monday, May 09, 2005

Relax in style Posted by Hello

Lady Marmalade's Posted by Hello

A Unique Mountain Getaway

Got a group of people wanting to get together in Ruidoso? It could be for a family reunion, church retreat or just several families getting together for some mountain relaxation. Here's the perfect spot to keep any group, young or old occupied.

Meet Lady Marmalade's River Cottage. Lady Marmalade's used to be a premiere Bed and Breakfast in Ruidoso and is now available for families or groups. It's located on a sleepy, shaded street that runs along the Rio Ruidoso River. Looking for amenities? Lady Marmalade's has them! Try:
5 bedroom
4.5 Bath
Large wooded fenced lot
6 TV's
High Speed Internet
Hot Tub
Pool Table
Putting Green
2 Horseshoe Pits
and it's just steps to the river for year round fishing! Too good to be true? Not at all! Lady Marmalade's beckons.

Lady Marmalade's is just one of the many unique accommodations available in Ruidoso. Whether you want an all-log cabin, secluded mountain getaway or a room in the middle of town, the perfect stay is waiting for you!

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Kitchen - Amanda's View vacation rental Posted by Hello

Lincoln County Grill Posted by Hello

What's Eating You?

Whether you've decided to stay in a Ruidoso hotel, cabin, condo or vacation home you will have to eat. If you're lucky enough to have a fully equipped kitchen, you'll be able to prepare your own taste-tempting meals. If you're in accommodations lacking kitchen facilities, or you just plain refuse to cook, plan on eating well during your stay in a wide assortment of restaurants, bistros and pubs.

Everybody has their favorite dining choices. Here are some out-of-the-way favorites of mine:

For a moderately priced meal, big portions and a variety based menu consider the Lincoln County Grill. My favorites include the seafood platter, chicken fried steak or for starters, try a basket of battered green chili strips. The atmosphere is friendly and the service is warm and prompt. The Lincoln County Grill is located at 2717 Sudderth Drive in the heart of Ruidoso's mid-town area.

Regardless of your schedule, fast food occasionally enters the horizon. For the very best hamburger or sandwich in all of Ruidoso (and honestly, Lincoln County) try the Hall of Flame (cute, huh?). The young husband and wife team that own and operate the grill labor from 11 am to 7 pm seven days a week. They are two of the hardest working people I know PLUS the burgers are fabulous! Try the bacon cheese with avocado. The Hall of Flame is at 2500 Sudderth Drive, in the Four Seasons Mall.

Mexican food is plentiful in Ruidoso...after's the great Southwest! If you want the pretty places with lots of tourists you've got 'em. If you're looking for authentic, fresh and incredibly tasty Mexican food, look at Disco Taco. Disco Taco is located east of the racetrack in Ruidoso Downs and offers excellent food with a...well...pretty basic atmosphere. People do not come for the surroundings at Disco Taco...they come for the outstanding food. The shrimp cocktail is marvelous. You'll find Disco Taco at 141 Highway 70 East in Ruidoso Downs.

What restaurant only serves one day a week? Rustic Roots Catering in Capitan (about 20 miles from Ruidoso) delivers tasty catering to festivals and events throughout Southern New Mexico. Every Thursday, they feature "Mom's Night Off". They have a rotating menu...brisket, enchiladas, baked pork chops, etc. Each meal features everything...plastic dinnerware, side dishes, dessert and condiments. You have to place your order the day before, on Wednesday for pickup Thursday between 4 pm and 7 pm. The food is genuine home cooking and should not be missed. Call them at 505.354.3229. THEY'LL explain how to get there.

We'll cover additional "must try" dining selections from time to time. If you're looking for something special, let me know.

PS I just finished lunch. For the BEST fried chicken try the Lawrence Brothers grocery store at 721 Mechem Drive. They feature Chester Fried, fresh and light years better than the "finger lickin'" folks.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Bet On It

Games of chance abound in Ruidoso. With three (that's right...THREE) casinos in the area you have the opportunity to choose...or cover all bases and loose at all three (or win)!

Next to the Ruidoso Downs Racetrack is the Billy the Kid Casino. It is physically the closest to town and offers machine games of all types. The Mescalero Apache Nation operates two casinos. The newest, at the recently opened Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort promises to become a local favorite. It features brand new faciities and is situated in a picturesque lake setting. The tribe operates another casino at their roadside Travel Center located on Highway 70. It also boasts a covenience store and truck stop. All three have outstanding food and beverage service and a visit to either can highlight any trip to Ruidoso.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Cedarvale Cemetary, White Oaks Posted by Hello

May and June in Ruidoso

Nearby Fort Stanton, a well preserved link in the defense of Indian uprisings hosts the History and Humanities Conference on May 7th. Special events continue throughout the summer at the fort as they celebrate 150 years of history at the installation. After a slow April, Ruidoso again blooms with activity in May. The Aspen Cash Motorcycle Rally returns May 19th - 22nd. Bike enthusiasts from all over the country descend on Ruidoso for a mountain of two-wheeled fun! And they're out of the starting gate on Memorial Day weekend as racing returns to the Ruidoso Downs Racetrack. The track plays host throughout the summer to race personnel and fans, including the richest quarterhorse event in the world! The first Saturday in June, the 4th this year, is the date to mark on your calendars for White Oaks' Miner's Day. White Oaks, once a gold mining town, has reincarnated as an artist's community. Every year on the first Saturday in June thousands flock to White Oaks to remember the past with reenactment, a parade, food, music and the popular Stink Bug Races.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Ruidoso Information Sources

There are a number of resources valuable in seeking more information on Ruidoso. Our Ruidoso newspaper is, oddly enough the Ruidoso News. Their website is Other great sources for local Ruidoso news are KEDU our community radio station at or KWES radio at

For general travel information the best website to visit is REDTT (Rural Economic Development Through Tourism) sponsors events to promote travel to rural areas of New Mexico and Lincoln County. Find them at The official site for the Village of Ruidoso is If you're looking for accommodations in the area, Ruidoso has a novel Central Reservations agency that makes reservations for most of the top lodgers in the area. If you don't know what you're looking for they're a great start to help compare alternatives...

Additional fun sites:

Hubbard Museum of the American West
Smokey Bear Park

If you're looking for specific information that you can't find above drop me an e-mail and I'll try to help. In the next post: events around Ruidoso this month.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Casa del Cocinero Main House Posted by Hello

West Winds Pool Posted by Hello

Unchain My Heart

Ruidoso has a variety of lodging accommodations. The big chains are here...Motel 6, Hawthorn Suites, Comfort Inn and many more. After having traveled more than a few times on business, I've seen enough of the chains formula. It is clean, comfortable and predictable but then again that is what they want! For my money, locally owned and operated hotels, cabins and lodges add charm and intrigue to your stay. No two are the same and each has their own brand of amenities and environment. Let's meet some of the best!

The Village Lodge in an all suite facility. The entire lodge is non-smoking with one and two bedroom suites. Each suite has a kitchenette and fireplace with a shared hot tub and picnic area on the grounds. The Village Lodge is owned and operated by Charles and Jane who have a knack for making each and every stay enjoyable. The lodge is located at 1000 Mechem (Hwy 48) in Ruidoso.

Further north on Highway 48 is the Casa del Cocinero Bed and Breakfast. Translated from Spanish that would be "House of the Chef". The inn is operated by Hal who happens to be quite a chef and one of the most accommodating men I've ever met. Breakfast is the event but other amenities including an in-room hot tub make the Casa del Cocinero one of the areas most rewarding "finds".

The Sitzmark Chalet is a touch of old world Europe in the heart of the New Mexico Mountains. Your hosts, Todd and Lori have a small but extremely comfortable hotel. Located near the heart of Ruidoso on Sudderth Drive the Sitzmark has reasonably priced rooms, a hot tub and picnic area. Stop and say Hi! Todd and Lori will provide a generous dose of area hospitality.

Nestled in the heart of Ruidoso is the West Winds Lodge. Bob and Kristine will welcome you to a warm, inviting getaway complete with a hot tub and indoor swimming pool. The lodge is just a short walk from the restaurants, galleries and shops dotting the Ruidoso mid town area. A walk through the Porticos of the West Winds Lodge will create memories for a lifetime.

style="color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">You can see photos of any of these local lodgers at the Ruidoso Hotels link on this page. Don't be disappointed. Make your reservations early!

Sunday, May 01, 2005

The Grizz Vacation Rental Posted by Hello

Casa Bella Vacation Rental Posted by Hello

When to visit Ruidoso

If you're not into skiing or horse racing you may want to consider a stay in Ruidoso during our "low season". There are some outstanding values from the last week of March through the middle of May or from the last week of September through until Thanksgiving. Area lodgers have specials during these periods and Ruidoso abounds with low cost accommodations. Local restaurants, galleries and attractions are less crowded and you can enjoy the "Mountain Cool" of the area.

Noted wild west outlaw Billy The Kid hung out in Lincoln County and there are many museums and displays depicting the times. Smokey Bear Park in Capitan is perfect for the youngsters and the young at heart. Particularly emotional, Smokey's final resting spot is on the park grounds. Did you know that old Smokey is the only celebrity with his own US zip code? Several staff members answer thousands of letters yearly as the message of Wild Fire Safety continues.

Ruidoso is truly an artist's community. Almost everyone, the guy at the convenience store, your waitress or the folks next door are aspiring artists. Ruidoso is alive with galleries containing every form of expression imaginable. At the very least plan on one of the rather unique carved bears...a Ruidoso signature!

Three casinos add the element of chance the year round. The Billy the Kid Casino, and two Mescalero Apache casinos will give ample opportunity to try your luck in search of the elusive "jackpot".

If you like the excitement of a bustling resort community, by all means come in season! Ski Apache, at 12,000 feet, has the largest lift capacity in the state. More skiing...less waiting! Horse season has it's own magic...with summer residents from all over the country. Naturally, lodging in Ruidoso books solidly for many prime weekends. Due to the laws of supply and demand, room rates rise during the "high season". During many periods Ruidoso is booked solid, with many quite content to stay in adjacent communities as much as an hour away. One of the more economical lodging alternatives are the area's vacation rentals. Private owners place their cabins, condos and homes on the rental market when they are not occupying them. Units offer amenities not available in commercial accommodations...private hot tubs and pool tables only begin to scratch the surface. Due to the fluctuation in lodging rates they can be an economical and enchanting alternative for your stay. The key to staying in Ruidoso is....BOOK EARLY! It's NEVER too early to plan that journey.

For additional information the best travel website for Ruidoso is It contains a wealth of information on all aspects of the Ruidoso experience. Enjoy your stay!

Saturday, April 30, 2005

John T. Soden Posted by Hello

John T. Soden Posted by Hello

Where is Ruidoso, New Mexico

Ruidoso, New Mexico is in the southern part of the state, about 120 miles north of El Paso, Texas. Ruidoso is a resort community of approximately 8,000 people that can grow to over 30,000 during the winter peak of our skiing season and in the summer for horse racing. When the snow flies thousands head for the slopes of Ski Apache, owned and operated by the Mescalero Apache Nation. In the summer, the attention turns to the Ruidoso Downs Race Track, the home of the richest quarter horse event in the world!

The purpose of this blog is to offer suggestions and advice for visiting Ruidoso based upon my own personal experience. We'll look at lodging choices, dining, area attractions and events. We'll also feature some of the out of the way stops that usually don't appear in travel guides. I'll introduce you to some "characters" from our community who will help provide insight on a Ruidoso experience.

I was lucky enough to re-locate to Ruidoso at the insistence of friends already in the area. This allowed me an opportunity to painlessly acclimate to my new surroundings. I hope that you'll share a similar experience from this blog...the ins and outs for a visit...from a friend in Ruidoso.

The photos are from local photographer John T. Soden...the friend who convinced me to come to Ruidoso.