Our shuttle driver was a great guy. Our fellow passengers were two New Yorkers heading to a wedding upstate. I felt a little guilty, because my first cousin twice removed is getting married this weekend, but we did not get an invitation until we had already set up our vacation plans. So the happy couple in California will have to make do with the cool gift we got off the registry. But I feel badly about not being there.
I liked the driver and the New York bound couple, so the shuttle drive was easy.
We arrived at the airport early, For some reason, TSA;'s machine could not read my wife's boarding pass, but she replaced it in good order. Flying on the Thursday before Labor Day is far less hectic than flying on the Friday evening of Labor Day weekend.
We caught the 11 a.m. to Roswell, New Mexico. The 90 minute flight was uneventful and pleasant. I liked the mini-pretzels and little biscoff cookies. When we landed in small Roswell, a slide show played just above the tiny baggage claim area. This show had pictures of all the things to do in Roswell. We are not big on alien conspiracy stuff, a Roswell tourism staple, though we both believe in extra-terrestrial life. But we believe in contemporary art. We decided to go to the Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art. This free museum was in a huge but unassuming building that looked like it had an earlier life as a business of some kind. Local artist and business guy Don Anderson started an Artist-in-Residence program in 1967. Ever since, artists have come to Roswell to participate. Lots of intriguing works by these artists are on display in the museum. The collection is extremely eclectic. We enjoyed spending time there--we could easily have spent a couple of days, but took only part of an afternoon.
The woman who assisted explained that she and her husband were artists, and her husband had been an artist-in-residence years ago.
We liked so many works that we saw by so many artists. The museum was a must-see. Best of all, we nearly had the museum to ourselves. I tire of being crowded at museums. I had some work-related calls and emalls to handle on Thursday, but I seemed to get things done in good shape.
We found a neat Thai place for a late lunch called Lemon Grass. It was delightful, with great, casual service. We almost went to Roswell's other main museum to see the Hurd and Wyatt paintings, but we decided to head to our ultimate destination, Ruidoso.
The 90 minute drive to Ruidoso was pleasant, with light traffic. The elevation went from 3,600 feet above sea level to 6,900 feet. This made things cooler when we arrived. We checked into our cabin, which is very nice. We watched a Mule Deer and her two fawns walk by.. I worked while my wife explored the neighborhood.
Then we headed to the Ruidoso River Trail, a paved sidewalk trail through pinewoods by a creek. We saw Stellar's Jay and a profusion of Acorn Woodpeckers. We met a nice couple of birdwatchers from the Austin, Texas area, retirees who brought their casita behind their vehicle and stayed at an RV park for a month. They told us about places to eat, places to walk and places to bird. We enjoyed their company.
We went to walk some more at Cedar Creek, a trail in the Lincoln National Forest. It was a nice place to hike. The weather showed clouds, but no rain fell.
We had dinner at a steakhouse which had a great salad bar. We had a quiet evening.
Saturday morning I walked around the Upper Canyon neighborhood where our cabin is located. I saw several Mule Deer, several Acorn Woodpeckers, and a charming Olive-side Flycatcher. I liked the way the neighborhood and deer seem copasetic with each other.
After I got a little work done, we drove to Ski Apache. We took the gondola to the top of Sierra Blanca Mountain. At the top, we saw White Sands in the distance. We hiked a bit on the Lookout Trail, but a lightning warning sent us indoors. My wife was intrigued with the zipline, so we decided to go back down and sign up for it.
Our first effort did not succeed, because a new lightning warning came out. We got some lunch at the very good outdoor grill cafe. I liked my hot dog ,and my wife's chicken breast sandwich looked great. I liked watching the birds at the base of the ski area--Mountain Bluebird, Yellow-Rumped Warbler, and Dark-Eyed Junco, among others.
A second lightning warning kept us indoors. Finally we could sign up, and pay our fee, and get trained on their zipline equipment.
But then the lightning came out again, and they closed the Ski Apache facility. We hope to go tomorrow, if weather permits. Even though we did not get to do the zipline, we did get to hear a great presentation from a zipline guide about the Mescalero Apache people. Also, all the staff and all our fellow patrons were really nice.
When they used a sports utility vehicle to slowly evacuate us from the mountain, the driver pointed out to us hundreds of elk grazing in the distance. It was lovely.
My wife handled the rainy drive down the mountain with skill. A motorcyclist allowed us to pass so that the rider could follow us and have better visibility. When we all made it to the bottom on the 12 mile mountain road, the female rider flashed a heart sign to my wife.
We went tonight to Alto Lake around the lake. We saw lots of cool birds, hiked on the trail, and saw still more Mule Deer.
We dined at a charming neighborood Italian place. We chose it after other choices were swamped with customers. We had a great margherita pizza. The day went nothing like expected, but it was all a great day.
from Dreamwidth, because two posts of the same text are twice as nice