September 17, 2004
Dear Subscriber:

This is the best time of the year to visit Cloudcroft but it's
kinda quiet around here.

It's all about demographics. Moms and Dads have to be at home
to put their kids in school. This is the time of year when you
have to walk up and down the isles at WalMart and K-Mart and
all the other Marts across America and find the right backpacks
and tee shirts with those wiseacre sayings on front and school 
supplies (I want the pink protractor, Mom) and places like 
Cloudcroft have been relegated to a memory of the past summer.

I'm not so old that I don't remember the smell of new Levi's
permeating the hallways of the school building on the first day
of class.

This is when we in the village catch up. Now is the time for
us to get ready for winter. Not that visitors are not welcome.
They are...but you might find the natives a little preoccupied
with the stuff they put off doing until September.

I called in the tree experts today to take a look-see around
my place.

I'm not interested in cutting down trees for firewood. I might
be a feisty old buzzard but I still think trees are a big part
of our life here but sometimes some trees have to go because
they're sick and can spread that illness to healthy trees.
We've been through all this before.

I may even have to lose Biggun.

Biggun was the tree that caught my eye when the real estate guy
first brought us out here in 84. She's a huge pine over 80
feet tall and probably 150 years old.

I asked the real estate guy back then, "Is that tree on the
property?" He said yeah, he thought so and I said, "We'll take

When we had that monstrous 10 foot satellite dish next to the
house, Biggun was in the way of sight of two satellites. The TV
guys said I could get all the channels if I would just cut down
that tree.

I told them no. That tree was here long before I was. I'm not
a Greenie, but I believe in the concept of first come, first
served. Biggun was here long before we were. Old Biggun was
not going to be cut down just so I could watch the Denver

Andy told me today that Biggun was dying.

Andy's an expert on this forest. He's lived here all his life.
He's worked with trees most of that life. He's the Dr. Kildare
of trees. I trust his word. If he says one is sick...it is.

He showed me the holes the beetles had made. He explained to me
how the tree had lost its root system because it was too close
to the road and too close to the house. It's natural defenses
against insects had been compromised.

Andy said when Biggun dies her roots are likely to give way and
she'll fall...probably onto my house.

"If there's a house around, these old ladies will fall on them.
I think they do it out of spite," he smiled.

Andy and his crew will do the deed sometime next week. I like
watching lumber guys do their jobs. There's a lot of precision
and not just a little danger in what they do.

But I may just have to be somewhere else when they bring Old
Biggun down. It's hard to see a friend go...especially when
they're over 80 feet tall.

Don Vanlandingham

No new precipitation this week. High during the reporting
period 75 (Wed. 9-15 at 3pm). Low 42 (Thurs. 9-9 at 5am).

Total precipitation for the calendar year, 16.35 inches.

We have added a new page to our 24-hour live Cloudcroft 
weather report that tracks the daily highs and lows. See
the link to our live weather pages in the left margin of
Cloudcroft had its first football loss of the season this past
weekend, losing to Loving in the closing minutes, 13 to 7.
Cloudcroft is now 2-1 for the year.

Run for the Aspens vintage car show this weekend at Buckhorn
I didn't see much difference in this week's picture as compared
to last week. Maybe it's because of no new moisture this week,
but I'm just guessing. I guess it's like they say...A Watched
Pot Gathers no Moss (or something like that).


Experience Olive Branch Coffee (in the Cloudcroft Hotel Mall).
Taste our Mocha Blast or Atomic Coffee Cooler. Try our hearty
sandwiches made with Boars Head Meats or huge delicious
breakfast burritos. For more information, email
contact@olivebranchcoffee.com or see the link to our web site
on the Dining page of Cloudcroft.com:


Now showing...NASCAR.


Q - Can Cloudcroft expect a White Christmas?

A - Cloudcroft ALWAYS "expects" a white Christmas.

In the past 10 years, since we made Cloudcroft our home, we
have had 7 snow covered Christmases, so the odds are good. Yet,
I don't know of anyone in the village that is willing to bet
money on it.
September 18 -- Lumberjack day. Cloudcroft.

September 18 –- Dinner with Gary Johnson. Cloudcroft Middle
School. 6pm. $15.00/adult, $7.00/children under 12. After dinner
presentation of Mount Everest climb by Gary Johnson. Tickets
available at Copper Butterfly or Buckhorn Cabins or by calling
(505) 687-2133. Proceeds benefit Sacramento Mountains Sports

September 18, 19 -- Run to the Aspens Car Show. Cloudcroft.

September 18, 19 -- White Sands Hot Air Balloon Invitational.
7am both days.

September 19 -- Gary Johnson’s Cloudcroft Run. World’s highest
certified 10k run. For more information call 505-687-2133.

September 25 -- Mountain Garden Club Style Show.

September 25 -- Cloudcroft Bears football vs. Ft. Sumner.
Home. 2pm.

October 2 -- Flea Market/Garage Sale. 9am - 5pm. Cloudcroft
Elementary School Parking Lot. Cost of each booth: $15. The
$15 space rental goes to Cloudcroft Schools. (505) 687-3263.

October 2 -- Cloudcroft Bears football vs. Hobbs JV. Home

October 2, 3 -- Oktoberfest. Cloudcroft. Aspencade tours.

October 8 -- Cloudcroft Bears football vs. Haggerman. 7pm.

October 16-17 -- High Rolls Apple Festival. Over 50 arts/crafts
vendors, local apples and apple products, food, kids' stuff,
and entertainment. Admission, parking, and ambiance are free.
For further information visit www.highrollsfestivals.com or
call (505) 682-1151.

October 16 -- Cloudcroft Bears football vs. Capitan. 2pm.

October 23 -- Cloudcroft Bears football vs. Mescalero. 2pm.

October 29 -- Cloudcroft Bears football vs. Carrizozo. 7pm.

November 27 -- Beginning of Christmas in Cloudcroft and Santa

Cloudcroft Art Society meets the second Thursday of each month,
5:30-7pm, in the Old Red Brick School House.

Would you like to help deliver meals to the homebound around
Cloudcroft? Monday through Friday deliveries. Call the
Cloudcroft Senior Center at (505)-682-3022. For information on
other Senior Center services, see their web site, listed on the
Cloudcroft.com Links button.


Mountain Garden Club meets every third Monday of each month.
Call (505) 682-2910 for more information.

Senior Van from Timberon to Alamogordo leaves the Timberon
Lodge promptly at 8:30 every Tuesday morning.

Free Vitals Clinic. Cloudcroft Senior Citizens Center, every
Wednesday. High Rolls Senior Citizens Center, first Thursday
of each month.
Dear Newsletter:

Don, just had to ask. Do you write this in your pajamas?

Larry Hays
Las Cruces, NM

Dear Newsletter:

I sure missed CC while having to be in West Texas for a sudden
family health crisis. Been coming here since I was a little
tyke – finally packed up and actually made the move this year!

I was gone for almost three weeks – and it sure is good to get
back to the slower pace of the mountains! Don’t know if my 
Dad’s stroke will prevent my folks from visiting us again after
his rehab – trust that is not the case, though, as their 
travels here have always been a respite for them! 

Sure was good to see the trees and feel the breeze and watch
the night skies in peace. Dorothy was right – "there’s no place
like home." 

J. Dalton
Cloudcroft, NM 

Dear Newsletter:

Suggestion: When posting your Fall Foliage Countdown pictures,
please just add the next new picture and leave the others up.
This way we can compare the progress each week.

I really enjoy your reminders why Cloudcroft is so neat to
Tommy Woodward 
Midland, TX


Dear Newsletter:

Thanks for the first photo in the series of the fall foliage
change. I'll save them all for a slide presentation to be 
shown my children and grandchildren on Thanksgiving Day. 

Each one of them shares the same love of the mountains as I.
I'm sure they will appreciate your effort as much as I do. If
you're not the photographer, please give that person my thanks

Don Ammons

Dear Newsletter:

You wrote: "...Hey, Junior...take this camera and this 
microphone and go out there and dodge coconuts. Then, maybe
next time, if you're still alive, you can cover a political
campaign speech."

Actually if I were a reporter, I think I would rather cover
the hurricane than a political campaign speech. A lot less
hot wind in the hurricane.

Peace & love,
Mtn. Home, AR

Dear Newsletter:

In response to the story about young reporters broadcasting in
the middle of a hurricane, it was said correctly, reporters
don't position themselves in the middle of tornadoes...so true.

What I don't understand, they have been notified days before
the hurricane hits and still some chose to stay and some 
report. On the other hand, with new technology, tornadoes can
be pinpointed and circulation can be detected. Some people may
only have minutes or seconds to hit the deck.

Bottom line: there should be minimal casualties during a 
hurricane....given the time they have to prepare to leave. 

Michele Thompson
Claremore, OK
Tornado Alley

Dear Newsletter:

I agree totally with the weather reporter story. However, if
you have nothing better to do, on a really weather-worthy day,
start flipping channels and have a "stupidest weather reporter"
contest among the stations. It can be so hilarious! 

Probably the funniest weather report I have ever seen was 
several years ago when there was a devastatingly bad ice/snow 
storm in the panhandle of Texas. The ABC station in Dallas was
covering it by sending a very young, thin and cold female
reporter to stand on the highway and show how cold the winds

She was underdressed for the weather and was being blown by
high winds, standing on ice, and shivering and chattering so
badly that the entire report was totally not understood. 

When they turned back to the studio, Tracey Rowlett was 
laughing so much he couldn't continue and they went to a 
commercial break. You gotta love this serious reporting stuff!
Nancy Hamouch
Carrollton, TX (Carlsbad)

Dear Newsletter:

I agree with you about the silliness of TV reporters being on
camera out in the storm. In the recent FL storm it was not
just cub reporters but also Dan Rather. Obviously he was
reverting to his youth when he reported a storm for the 
Houston station for which he worked. Somehow that led to his
break and now he's the anchor of a national network.

For several years a Dallas TV station had a beautiful blonde 
who was regularly out in snow storms, wind and rain - hair at
90 degrees, clothes about to be ripped off by the wind. 
Valarie's windblown experiences probably put her station above
the others in ratings.

But you are still right. It's silly!

Bob Gartman

Dear Newsletter:

After reading your recent newsletter, I wondered if you and I
can figure out that you have to be pretty dumb to stand in the
middle of a flood to report on a hurricane why is it that the
news people can't? 

Maybe they are trying to be the news. Or maybe you have to be
mentally challenged to be a news reporter.
Love your newsletter and pass it on to all my friends.
Thank you,
Yvonne Nihart
Seale, Alabama

Dear Newsletter:

There are weather reporters who just love to be out in 
hurricanes. Jim Cantore of the Weather Channel, for example,
who has been positioning himself for years in the path of the
biggest and baddest.

And as for tornadoes...talk to the storm chasers at the 
University of Oklahoma.

I personally do not enjoy hurricanes, especially when viewing
the aftermath when your favorite trees and shrubs have been
reduced to green mulch and the power is out for days. I had
just as soon watch Jon Hall and Dorothy Lamour in the 
"Hurricane" of 1937.

Best regards,
Peter Chase
Alpine, TX

Dear Newsletter:

Enjoyed your newsletter regarding the hurricane situation. Am
worried, in that I have a niece, nephew and their new kitten
in Jacksonville, plus a cousin on the Gulf side in Spring Hill,
North of Tampa. They're taking it all in stride.

Barbara Karcher

Dear Newsletter:

Just received my first Newsletter from you. It is areal 
pleasure to read some good news for a change. My wife and 
first visited Cloudcroft in 1978 when my daughter was only 8
months old. 

We came up in the last week in October and stayed for a week at
the Tall Timber Cabins. When we arrived to our surprise, 
Cloudcroft had just had a real good snow...we came up to see
the leaves. 

We were real excited to see the snow...it was beautiful...the 
owner of the cabins didn't have the same "zeal" that we had 
about the snow. I told him how excited we were and he said, "Oh
yeah, you're in cabin 3." But none-the-less, we had a great 
time and have been back many times. 

In fact we have been bringing he entire family up to the Inn of
the Mountain Gods for Thanksgiving week for the last few years
until they tore it down to put up this brand new shining hotel.
Well, I guess it was all too good to last. 

My daughter is 26 now and out of school and I am retired due to
health problems and my wife plans on retiring soon. So...we are
planning to add to all of the confusion in Cloudcroft and live
out our days there. It has become a second home to us and we 
have enjoyed it many times and now plan on making it our home.

Paul Smith

Dear Newsletter:

Your "hurricane reporter" article was the best. Really comical
and "right on", since we have noticed the same thing, just have
not articulated it as you have. 

Hey, maybe they should do a better job of reporting forest 
fires, like have some wieners to roast, in order to show how
hot the fire is.

Jack/Sheila Carroll,
Brownwood, Texas

Dear Newsletter:

Thanks for the newsletter, every time I read it I am filled
with memories of the times I have been to Cloudcroft back to
when I was a kid. 

Some of the earliest memories I have are from the late 70's and
early 80's. One of my favorite things was just walking along
the mountainside and picking and eating wild raspberries the
grew alongside the road. 

Besides our cabin, the ones that always made me smile were 
Eenie Meenie Miney and I forget the other, no it was not Moe.
How about this one, I remember playing mini golf at Der 
Golfstock when all the the obstacles were working! The 
lighthouse, which is now put off to the side, the little log
cabin that had red and green lights that would turn on and 
off, and the little man made creek that wound its way down 
the course to the pool at the bottom which is now covered by

Of all the fun things to do, my favorite was bowling at 
Cloudcroft's very own 6 or 8 lane (I forget) bowling alley. You
walk in get your shoes and ball and bowl on the only non 
electric pin setting bowling alley I have seen. The very last
time I bowled there it was me and a cousin of mine and we asked
if we could go set the pins up for each other, we were granted
our request and so one of us bowled while the other sat up on
the little plank that was the above and behind the pins. 

When the ball came down and hit the pins, I would jump down pick
up the ball and put it on the track that sent it back to my
friend and picked up the felled pins and in time to look up and
see a ball coming right at me. 

I took me only that long to realize, pick up the pins first,
then give him the ball back!

I also have a few memories of the stables behind Burro avenue,
I also remember a friend of mine getting bucked off his horse
just a few hundred yards away from the stables, we all laughed
and from then on referred to the horse as "Gluey" or something
like that. 

We also would go to High Rolls and go cherry picking or go to
Silver Springs for some fishing, and of course go to all the
shops along Burro avenue, and my favorite had to be the indoor
mini golf course which used to occupy the Emporium, I still
remember trying to get the ball to go through the loop de loop
made from an old tire. 

Later on in life I got into real golf and played the Lodge
Course, I still remember the first hole...my thinking... "I can
put this sucker!" So I did, albeit with a more forceful swing
than usual when putting, but I got it half way down and decided
not to try it again. 

The only regrets I have is that we did not get a lot of 
photographs of the bowling alley, the indoor course or along 
the horse trails, and now those things are no more. So to anyone
visiting Cloudcroft...take pictures! A memory can fade after
time, but a photograph or video of such common events while
vacationing will last and last!

I step off my soapbox now, for I could go on for pages of the
things that are still there that I love (Mountaintop Grocery --
Mercantile now).

Keep the wonderful newsletters coming!
Mitch London
Austin, Texas

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Copyright © 2004 Cloudcroft Online
The Travel and Visitor's Guide to Cloudcroft, New Mexico.
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