Wow the temperatures for this part of New Mexico had predicted highs over the next few days of 108,106 and 104 at the SKP Ranch in Lakewood, NM. Needless to say we were needing a place to escape to when, luckily for us, our good friends Merrill and his wife Sonja invited us to the mountains to stay at their new home in Ruidoso, NM. The last time we drove through Las Cruces we visited them and drove over to see the house. Since then they bought it and now use it as their summer place since their home in Las Cruces is still for sale.
Since we have decided that we were not going to stay in Roswell for our next stop (over 100 degree temperatures are predicted to linger through the weekend) we took a long loop drove over to Ruidoso to include a drive through of Roswell.It is about an hour north and the drive up 285 is a straight shot through the desert. The town itself looks interesting and one that we may have to explore on our next journey this way. We then drove on westward into the Sacramento Mountains and eventually pulled into Ruidoso.
Since we arrived earlier than planned we stopped by Ruidoso Downs since the ponies were running. We pulled in a bit late for the fourth race so we placed mental bets. Sharon picked one as the winner and I picked a long shot to place and both would have been winners! Seeing this as an omen we placed a bet each on the next race, each picking a horse to win. With only five horses in this race we had great odds to win but of course we didn’t. Oh well, nothing ventured nothing gained.
Next we drove over to the Inn of the Mountain Gods Casino and Hotel where we walked inside and ohhhh’ed and ahhh’ed at the fabulous view of the lake from the hotel lobby. Stunning to say the least! We played a little video poker and by the time we had to leave we were up a little so with those winnings we only lost $3.50 for the day gambling… well worth the entertainment value we received.
After the visit to the casino we headed up to our friends house. This house sits right on top of a mountain and it has a million dollar view of all the mountains below. Seemingly the only mountain above their house is Sierra Blanca. We were excited to see our friends we haven’t seen in two years. After salutations we opened a bottle of wine we brought and went out on the deck to enjoy the views and to catch up.They also told us that the early evening and morning hours it is common to see Mule Deer and Wild Turkeys. Stellar Jays, Dark Eyed Juncos and Black Chinned Hummingbirds. What a wonderful place to be instead of in the hot, hot desert!
We spent a few days visiting and even made a road trip over to Cloudcroft, New Mexico a town I haven't visited in many, many years. We a a fun time walking around time and reconnecting with Merrill and Sonja. We stopped by the Western Bar for cold adult beverages which made the day even better… Back at their home on the mountaintop we had to go out on the deck for one last look at their million dollar view… very nice indeed!
We left Wednesday morning and took most of the day going back home as we stopped several times in the mountains knowing it was about 105 in the desert below. We rolled into our RV park in the early evening and even with the windows left partly opened it was 99 degrees inside the motorhome. It took several hours but we did get the temperature way down for sleeping. The next morning we headed north. We had planned to stop for three days in Roswell and visit the aliens but with temperature above 100 predicted we continued further north. After about 240 miles we parked in the foothills of the Sandia Mountains just 10 minutes east of Albuquerque where daytime highs are expected to break records but only in the very low 90’s. Much, much better than 105-108!!!