Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Girl's Weekend Getaway in Cloudcroft and Surrounding Area

Friday-Sunday, September 7-9, 2014

A dear friend and sister Red Hatter from Weatherford, Texas, Barbara Farley, and her friend from Houston, Texas who graduated from high school with Barbara many moons ago, Saundra Dean, flew to El Paso, Texas, rented a car and drove to Cloudcroft, New Mexico. They were gracious enough to invite me to join them in this exquisite cabin they had rented situated on the side of a mountain.

I became a tour guide for the trio after they drove down the mountain to Alamogordo to pick me up. Our first stop was the wonderful Casa de Suenos Restaurant in Tularosa, New Mexico and my husband, Doug, joined us for this delicious lunch. We drove back to Cloudcroft and toured The Lodge, a beautiful Inn with a famous haunted restaurant named after the ghost, Rebecca. We did some shopping in their gift shop.

The monsoon season was still in evidence and it rained every day they were here until Sunday. It especially rained in Cloudcroft because the elevation there is around 8000 feet and those clouds really hug the mountains while dispensing their moisture. However, it was a light rain and quite enjoyable.

Saturday, after eating a healthy breakfast of fruit and such, we drove through the Mescalero Apache Reservation to Ruidoso, New Mexico to the Western Museum situated near the Ruidoso Downs Race Track. When we finished looking at all the wonderful western artifacts, we drove to Sudderth Street (main street in Ruidoso) and shopped in several establishments. By this time, we were hungry again and we drove to the Inn of the Mountain Gods, also on the reservation, to enjoy a delicious lunch in their Wendell's Restaurant. After which, Saundra and I went into the casino and made a moderate donation to the one-armed bandits (one really can't call them this anymore because they are all computerized so you just push buttons). On the way back to Cloudcroft, we stopped at Big Daddy's Diner in Cloudcroft and bought some posole, apple pie, blackberry pie, etc. for dinner in the cabin.

We talked and visited for a couple of hours while we dined on our posole and pie. Barbara was tired and went to bed. Saundra and I stayed up and watched "Enough Said", the last movie made by James Gandolfini before his death and co-star Julia Louis-Dreyfus. It is a fabulous chick flick and I highly recommend it.

Sunday, after breakfast, we drove to Malpais (Badlands) National Park near Carrizozo, New Mexico. This is a lava flow that came from fissures in the soil about 5000 years ago. At places, the lava is over l70 feet deep. Many plants have made this their home over the years as well as many critters. The National Park Service has built a 2/3 mile walkway out into the lava and it is quite interesting from which to view the whole scene.

We drove back towards Alamogordo, stopping at the Three Rivers Trading Post near the Petroglyph area handled by the National Park Service. We opted not to go into the area because it is better suited to hikers than it is to three mature ladies. However, we did go into the trading post and the woman owner is a Flathead Indian from Montana. She had wonderful stories about the petroglyphs and enthralled us for quite some time.

We were getting hungry again and since we were going in the direction of Tularosa, the girls liked the food at Casa de Suenos so much that we decided to go there again. We called Doug and asked him to join us and, of course, he was delighted to do so. Afterward, Doug went home and we drove to the White Sands National Monument especially since Saundra had never been there. We were thinking of riding one of those round sleds down one of the dunes but, when we thought about walking to the top of the dune just to slide down, we decided to just enjoy them from where we stood.

Barbara and Saundra brought me home and we visited some more before they headed back up the mountain to Cloudcroft to stay the night and pack for their return on Monday to Texas. We had a grand time together and Barbara's friend, Saundra, became my friend as well.

L to R: Carla, Barbara and Saundra at Casa de Suenos (Photo by Douglas A. Kerr)
Carla got up early enough to catch this sweet deer on the path

A shot of the central area of the cabin. It is absolutely beautiful and for sale.
Two Mountain Bluejays on the road below the cabin.
Saundra made sugar water for the hummers and filled two feeders. They loved it.
These little birds really love their sugar water
Just one more shot in silhouette
The double-sided fireplace in the central room
Saundra astride a horse at the museum. Barbara nor I could get up on that horse!
The view in front of the Inn of the Mountain Gods from the backside
We have arrived at the Malpais (Badlands)
This is a Desert Lily at the Malpais
Another shot of the Malpais
Barbara enjoying the cool breeze at the Malpais
See how the lava flowed and came together in ripples and waves
Saundra opted to stay up top while Barbara and I walked down the trail
Barbara and Carla at White Sands National Monument (Photo by Saundra Dean)
Saundra and Barbara at White Sands National Monument
The monsoons have left wading pools in the white sands
Barbara and Saundra
We need to do this again sometime. It was truly a girl's weekend and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

This is all I have to say for now.

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