M-A's Musings and Travels

A place where I can ponder and remember wonderful trips, camping excursions and hiking adventures.

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Location:Whitefish, Montana

Friday, April 22, 2005

Day 14 - Manzano Mountains, NM

On our way up through the Sacramento Mountains, we had traveled through a very beautiful canyon, James Canyon, but were amazed at how many private residences we passed in what we thought was national forest land. Also located within the Lincoln National Forest was the little picturesque town of Cloudcroft. It reminded us of the little Western town of Winthrop in Washington with lots of neat store fronts. We decided to check it out and have breakfast there before we left. However, we were up so early, and since it was Sunday, there was not an open restaurant in sight.

Instead, we traveled north through the Mescalero Apache Indian Reservation to Ruidoso where we hoped to find an open restaurant. And mind you, just not any "plastic" one but one where we could have a good ole' home-cooked Mexican style breakfast. We drove up and down of what we thought was the main street of Ruidoso, but all we could find open was a Denny's. However, there was a Walmart Super Center in Ruidoso - how in the world could Walmart think to make a profit in such a remote location. Oh boy were we in for a surprise!

But I get ahead of myself. Since all we could find was Denny's,we were hungry enough to give it a try. We should have saved ourselves the money. How can anyone ruin something so simple as scrambled eggs! Need I say more. So we left, promising never to eat at a Denny's again. As we turned off to continue north, the little town continued as well - with lots and lots of wonderful little stores, galleries, restaurants, gift stores, etc. Very reminiscent of Sedona, or any other very touristy and chic American tourist town. We could have kicked ourselves for not having had more patience. There were lots of very fancy residences in Ruidoso and it was quite obvious to us that this was a very ritzy (property prices were probably sky high!) place to live. One of the reasons, of course, is the wonderful mountain scenery and the nearby White Mountain Ski Area.

In the afternoon, as we approached Manzano Mountain State Park, the weather turned threatening, especially over the mountains in the exact direction we were traveling. Once we got to the park, it started to snow and the only other two campers in the park left, and we were once again the only campers.

While it was snowing outside, we were snug inside, watching Tiger Woods win the Masters on TV as light snow fell off-and-on all afternoon. Great bonus, we were able to watch Desperate Housewives before crashing for the night.


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