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!