JULY 27, 2001
Dear Subscriber:

Living in a wonderland like Cloudcroft, your daily activities
are what dreams are made of; walking onto the deck in the
morning with a steaming cup of coffee, listening to the late-
afternoon thunder rolling through the valleys, cleaning up 

Owning four dogs wasn't the plan. It just happened.

Tipper is our Border Collie. 25 pounds of pure 
self-centeredness. She was 2 years old when she adopted us
at the animal shelter. After a while we thought she was lonely
just having us around. We probably should have asked her
first, but...

...we were at the animal shelter one day (buying eggs...? I 
don't know) and we saw a little chocolate puppy that was a 
Labrador mixed with a pit bull. THAT conception must have been
one heckuva love affair. We brought her home. Named her 
Phoenix. Tipper was not impressed.

A few months later Peg calls me from (yep) the animal shelter.

"There's the cutest little mutt down here," she says. "They're
going to have to put him to sleep tomorrow if someone doesn't
adopt him."

I'm as soft as Peg is when it comes to dogs. "Bring his cute
little butt home," I said. We named him Pogo because he liked
to jump up and down. Tipper was not impressed. Besides that,
Pogo wasn't particularly cute.

A year ago we were driving to Hobbs. In a beat-up old roadside
park outside of Artesia (that's right, highway department, I
said BEAT UP) we saw an abandoned sad little sick puppy. Peggy
said "STOP!" I did. Her name is Misty. She's mostly English
Bull. Tipper is...well...trying to adapt.

Peg and I have a rule. When you adopt a dog it's for life; for
better and for worse. It's not like trading-cards. While all
four of our dogs love people (I like to say they like them
"medium rare"), we realized most folks are a little intimidated
when they see that many dogs coming in their direction all at
once, so we built a big fence around our yard.

Now, once a week, I do poop patrol.

It's not my favorite job, but I AM appreciated. When I get out
the big plastic bucket and don my gloves (I used to wear a 
face mask, but that's for sissies) the dogs stand around and 
watch. Usually they chase around the yard with me but when they
see I'm dressed for poop patrol they keep their distance.

It is a solemn time. It is like they know they caused a
problem and Don is there to fix it. They don't like their
environment contaminated any more than you or I, so they just
stand back and watch. They won't even make eye contact with 
me. I want to say, "It's all right, guys...it's just a natural
bodily function," but I'm afraid a neighbor might hear me so I
go about my job in silence. During the rainy season the job 
becomes, well, complicated. I won't go into detail.

There is a universal sigh of relief among the dogs, Peg and
myself when the job is completed. Everything is clean again...
until next week. I put the bucket in the back of the pickup and
as I prepare to drive it to the dump I see Tipper standing
inside the gate looking disgusted.

"So, where do YOU go to the bathroom?" I ask her. She turns,
sticks her tail in the air and walks away.

Tipper is not amused.

Don Vanlandingham

The rainy season continues. Today (Wednesday) is the first day
of the week that didn't include a strong afternoon shower. The
day, however is not concluded.

Highs are in the upper-70s. Lows in the mid-40s. No forest
fire restrictions.
2001 is the 75th anniversary of the opening of Route 66. If 
you are visiting New Mexico, you may want to attend some of the
many Route 66 anniversary events.

Here's a discussion of the anniversary:


Here's a list of the New Mexico events:


Here's a site of Route 66 links:


After intensive investigation (I made a phone call), we have
discovered that, yes, there is a fair amount of fishing for 
trout in the Rio Penasco river. It may cost you, though. While
there is a public domain law on tributaries in New Mexico 
allowing fishing on streams that are located on private land,
the trick is, that to get to those spots you have to cross 
(that's right) private land.

The Cloudcroft Chamber of Commerce has information on 
outfitters available to help fishermen find those good spots
on the Rio Penasco.
Bear Mountain Realty is located in Weed, New Mexico and serves
the Sacramento Mountain area, including the areas not often
served by Cloudcroft agents. This includes Weed, Pinon,
Sacramento, and the Hay areas. Bear Mountain Realty is a 
service-oriented business. Bear Mountain would love to be
the company you select to make all of your Mountain Dreams come
true. For more information, see their link on Cloudcroft.com's 
Real Estate page.
The New Mexico State Parks system is a tapestry of natural
wonders, historic sites, and recreational resources. New Mexico
takes pride in the diversity of its parks and the opportunities
they provide, and hope that you will take time to discover 
their enchantment! Click on the Links button on Cloudcroft.com
for more information.
Q - I am planning a trip to Cloudcroft in August. I have been
told the Haynes Canyon Vista-Sunspot Scenic Byway is not to be
missed. How do I get there? -- Cindy Henson

A - Take New Mexico Highway 130 from Cloudcroft for about 2
miles to the Sunspot Highway (NM 6563). There are numerous
vistas and hiking trails along this wide and easily negotiable
highway, culminating with the Sunspot and Apache Point
Observatories at the top. Start early in the morning so you 
can take it all in.

One of our favorite spots is the Upper Carr Canyon camping 
area where there is ample room for camping, picnicking and
"comfort" facilities (bathrooms) and great walking trails
July 28 -- Chili Cook-off. Ski Cloudcroft.
For more information, call (505) 437-6259.

August 2-5 -- Gathering of Circles. A celebration of
Native American spirituality.
For more information, call (915)-550-3302.

August 11 -- Persied Meteor Shower Watch.
White Sand National Monument, 8:30pm.
For more information, call (505) 479-6124

August 16-18 -- Otero County Fair.
Frontier Village, Otero County Fairgrounds.
Alamogordo, New Mexico 

August 17 and 19 -- Singing in the Clouds.
High School Cafeteria.
For more information, call (505) 682-2733.

August 24 -- Cloudcroft/Hagerman football game (away).

September 1-2 -- Labor Day Fiesta. Sidewalk sales,
entertainment, street dance, and games for kids.
For more information, call (505) 682-2733.

September 15 -- Enchanted Jazz Festival.
Alamogordo, New Mexico.
For more information, call (505) 434-0559.

September 15-16 -- Hot Air Balloon Invitational.
White Sand National Monument.
For more information, call (505) 682-3785.

September 16 -- Governor's 10k Run/Walk.
40k Time Trial Bike Race.
For more information, call (505) 687-2133 

September 29-30 Aspencade Tours.

Cloudcroft Art Society meets the second Thursday of each month
in the Old Red Brick School House. Call (505) 682-2494 for 
more information.

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

If you have news of public events in the Cloudcroft area, email

For an online calendar of area events, click the Events Calendar
link in the left column of our home page:


Dear "Mountain Meanies" (alias Don and Peg):

I can relate to your story about Walmart. We live on a lake 12
miles from a rather small town (but big enough to have a 
Walmart). I hate leaving the country so bad that I have a 
tendency to do without things 'til I get around to making the
trip and then, when I finally HAVE to go, I lay in stock piles
of stuff so I won't have to return for a very long time. The
amounts of toilet tissue and paper toweling I buy at one 
time is laughable. Why, I need a new shed just to store 
nonperishable grocery items!

This wonderful newsletter comes to me at work too. And it does
cheer me up tremendously. Wish I was there. Maybe I am there, 
at least for that little bit of time I am reading and smiling
to myself. It's like a weekly visit from old friends.

I will not mention your upcoming book as I see I have been 
joined by many in support of this adventure, even your REAL 
MOM! This little snowball is taking on boulder proportions. 
Just think, you could buy Peg a new hat!

Happy Summer Days (wet and cold).

Carolynne Priore
Lake Kiowa, TX

Dear Newsletter:

OK, Don, enough is enough!

Remember how HOT it gets in Big Lubbock??? Well, 111 degrees 
was recorded at Reese AFB one day this week! My heart bleeds
for you up there in God's Country on Top of The Mountain! I 
don't blame those Alamogordo folks for giving you trouble with
all your braggin' ways...just wish I were there, also. Hope to
visit again soonly...can never get enough of Cloudcroft & the

Mostly sincere,
A fellow Lubbockite who once enjoyed listening to you on the

PS: Bob Greene & some other fine fellows have compiled their
columns/thoughts/sage sayings into book form, & you definitely
need to join them...it would undoubtedly be a Best Seller in 
record time! Remember, Mother always knows best!

Dear Newsletter:

Yes we know exactly what you mean. We left Ruidoso Tuesday at
1pm and it was 58 degrees and raining. By the time we hit 
Roswell it was 100 and now we are back in TX (ouch) and it is
103. We are now ready to put the house on the market and move
for sure!! Not to the basin however.


Dear Newsletter:

Reading your latest newsletter story causes only one thought to
pop into my over-sized, under-packed head, "SHUT UP!" I don't
mean to sound rude, but we who live and work in PHOENIX (a bird
rising from ashes) Arizona, pray for days in the lower hundreds.
We laugh at Alamogordo's puny 105.

Around here, when the mercury drops into the 90's, it not 
uncommon to see sweaters starting to appear. During the deep
winter, temperatures during the day sometime dig all the way 
down into the low 70's, and sometimes when we are lucky, the 
high 60's.

All kidding aside, I don't think we have ever been over 122 
degrees here in the summer. Normally our summer peaks at 
between 112 and 115 degrees and the 100 mark has seldom come
earlier than mid-to-late March. We generally have seen the last
100 day around mid-October.

When you consider that I have lived almost 50 years here in the
"Valley of the Sun," living and working in such beautiful 
weather with a valley-wide population (metro area) of 
approximately three million people, people who are every bit
as happy about the over crowding, packed freeways, nasty-mouth
store clerks and beautiful weather as I am, I believe it becomes
quite clear why I jumped at the chance to purchase my land in

After reading this I would imagine that the residences of 
Cloudcroft will become concerned about the possibly of a 
tightly-wrapped, over-heated individual moving into their 
community. I can see special sessions of the Village Council 
being called to deal with the problem of banning big city 
psychos from invading the community.

Well, it's not to worry. I still have four more years before
I can retire to the mountains. And everyone knows that the
warranty on a human living in such an environment is only 50
years, and we also know what happens the moment a warranty runs
out on something.

However, knowing that I have that land just sitting up there,
waiting for me, has aided in placing just a smidgen of peace in
my soul. So who knows, maybe I'll make it! If I do, I promise
to be good and try not to bother anyone.

Bill White
Phoenix, Arizona

PS: I'm normally a good tipper. Also I do try to smile at least
once every day.

Dear Newsletter:

Don, regarding your neighbors in Alamogordo, we found that they
don't seem to be particularly friendly folks. Certainly nothing
like the residents of Cloudcroft. I don't think it's the hot 
weather that makes them appear sour.

We visited over Thanksgiving weekend and received the same 
unfriendly attitudes when we visited WalMart. My 16-year old 
daughter, who usually doesn't say anything about such things,
also noticed the chill. We thought that they may have somehow
recognized us as Texans.

My husband grew up in Alamogordo and he and his mother are the
farthest thing from unfriendly! In fact, when those 
telemarketers call my mother-in-law, I seriously think they 
strike her off their list immediately. Before they realize it,
she has suckered them into listening to her brag all about her
"wonderful" family.

We love New Mexico and get back there as often as we can. We've
attended my husband's class reunions and I enjoyed it more than
I did my own. The folks that graduated with him from Alamogordo
High are some of the nicest people you'd ever meet. Perhaps the
people that we happened to run into are actually transplanted
from the land of unfriendly. That'd be the only explanation.

Luci Kumpunen

Dear Newsletter:

I just re-read your bit on degrees of meanness.

Good job! I don't know how we measure such things, but seems to
me that at the far end of that spectrum are the ones the Bible
calls truly evil.

When I went through the police academy in Harris County, I
asked a Criminal Psy. guy after a lecture on the criminal mind,
how contract killers, for example, could live with their
consciences. His explanation was that some consciences are so
seared that there is no recognition of wrong, and they seem to 
justify their behavior, at least to their own mind.

It worries me that I see that kind of attitude in my court room.
But thankfully, I don't think you and Peg fall in that category
for having a little fun with the Alamo folks.

I'd like to think I don't fit that evil mold either, even if my
opponent in a run-off race in '94 claimed he lost because I had
the "mark of the beast". (I won by 666 votes.)

Take care and give Peg our best. Hope to see you all soon.

Al Cornelius

Dear Newsletter:

Two weeks ago, I had the distinct pleasure of visiting your 
beautiful town. I had traveled to Ruidoso a few years back and
was enchanted by the area. I found out about Cloudcroft from 
some friends and made a promise to visit on my next trip 
through there. Wow! It exceeded my every expectation. The 
climate was delightful. The people were kind and welcoming. I
felt like I came home to a place I'd never been before. The 
peace I felt there has carried over for several weeks and your
newsletter has rekindled the 

I had an opportunity to look at several properties and hope to
find a home there soon. Many thanks to the kind folks there 
for such a warm welcome.

Ken Davis
New Orleans, LA

Dear Newsletter:

Years ago when the program "Northern Exposure" went off the air
I was very disappointed as that was my favorite TV show. Well,
thanks to your newsletter that adventure lives on. I guess it's
"ClouldCroft Exposure" now.

Thanks for such down to earth writing.

Listen to your Mother, she's very wise. 

Joshua, TX 

Dear Newsletter:

My family and I have a cabin in Cloudcroft where my parents 
stay all summer and the kids and families and kids come to visit
for two-three weeks.

We attended the Ray Froman art school as well. We have been 
coming since the 1960's. We take walks back behind our house 
and we were astonished to see how many trees were cut down!!
It crushed us. I cried!! It was not the same forest!!! Is this
really necessary to prevent fires?

I miss it up there as we have 100 degree weather in Austin. We
will soon move to Seguin.

Thank you,
Libby, David, and David Robert Yancey

The Harlesses are my parents up there...we love Cloudcroft 
and our forest!!

Dear Newsletter:

We just got back from Cloudcroft tonight and the first thing I
did was pull up your newsletter to remind me of the cool air we
are missing.

Unfortunately our trip, which was supposed to be for a month,
was cut short to a little less than two weeks. My wife had been
short of breath for about 2 months, but when she got to 9,000
feet she struggled for each breath.

To make a long story short, after trips to the emergency room,
to doctors in Alamogordo and Lubbock, she was diagnosed with 
Pulmonary Hypertension. We were told this was a very rare and
serious disease and the thin air of the mountains made it worse.

I don't want this to be a downer letter. We are thankful for 
our time in Cloudcroft and my wife probably would have never
gone to the doctor if not for being at a higher altitude.

We may never get to see our favorite place in the world again,
it looks like we will travel now mostly to the Mayo Clinic in
Minnesota, but we will faithfully read your wonderful 
newsletter. That will keep our memories fresh of your wonderful

David Hanebutt
Stephenville, Texas

Dear Newsletter:

Well...I thought I'd write you a letter since I just subscribed
to your newsletter.

Cloudcroft sounds like a wonderful place! I'm really not that
good at letter writing, and I normally don't just pick up and
write to someone, but I thought it would be a little interesting
since I have a few remote family connections to Cloudcroft.

I have some relatives still living in Cloudcroft, and the 
surrounding areas, the problem is I just don't know their names
yet! All I know is that my relatives used to own the Cloudcroft
Lodge back in the 60's.

I thought I'd check the city out over the internet, and then I
saw your newsletter and thought I'd join and try and learn 
whatever I could before I came there and visited. I do know that
some of my relatives, I think it's maybe the ones that owned 
the Lodge back in the 60's, went to another city close by and 
had another Hotel...maybe a Holiday Inn or something similar to

It's awful not knowing all of the correct names of your 
relatives, but I'm sure I'll find out all of that information
in the next few months. 

To give you a little background, my Mother, Aunt, and myself
are coming back to Cloudcroft August 31 – Sept. 7th, and will
be staying in Cloudcroft visiting relatives and sightseeing. 
They are the ones who know everybody so this is going to be a
new experience for me.

From what my Mom tells me, Cloudcroft is a beautiful place! 
Heck...maybe I won't want to go back to Kentucky. My Mother 
and Aunt, well...and myself, (me at Holloman AFB), were born
in and around Cloudcroft many years ago. I'm 48 myself and 
only got to stay in Cloudcroft for about 2 weeks before I was
shipped out to Kentucky, and I've been there ever since! 
Actually Don, I think the town my family was raised in is a 
place called High Rolls? Have you ever heard of that place? 

Well...I don't know what else to say, and I sure don't want to
bore you with my family history. But I thought I'd write and 
say hello, and I'm looking forward to visiting your beautiful

Take care,
Calvin Fey

PS: Ohhh...my Mom's maiden name was Nancy Boring, and her 
sister is Mary Boring. Ever heard of them?

Dear Newsletter:

Several newsletters ago, Valerie Rickerson wrote and asked if
there were any rescue groups in Cloudcroft. This letter is to
let you know there soon will be!

We are the English Family, from El Paso. I am also a Don, with
wife Patty, and two sons Sean 11, and Paul 8. We are in the 
process of moving to Cloudcroft and plan to be there by the 
time school starts.

This has been a project we've been working on for several years
and now is the time for it to become a reality. We've been 
coming to Cloudcroft for years and years, at all times of the
year I might add, and it is a wonderful place we've grown to
love. We want our children to grow up in this environment.

For the last 3 and 1/2 years we have been working with the 
Greyhound Adoption League here in El Paso. These dogs come 
off the racetrack in Tucson, Arizona. We bring dogs into El
Paso, foster them in our homes, and then adopt them out. 
Several families do this, and we're always on the look-out 
for more foster homes. 

Greyhounds make great pets. They are mostly lazy, loving, and
quiet couch potatoes. They are basically inside pets due to 
their extremely low body fat and must be kept on a leash or in
a fenced in yard when outside. These dogs are already leash 
trained and make perfect walking companions. 

In Cloudcroft, we will make information available to interested
parties and bring in dogs on a special order basis. We certainly
don't expect to place many dogs in Cloudcroft, but I wanted to
make this information available to everyone.

If anyone is interested in learning more, please email me for
more information. "english@zianet.com" or, after August 6th, 
our telephone number will be 505-682-7527. Don, I'm looking 
forward to meeting you!

Best regards,
"Another Don", soon to be in Cloudcroft! 

Dear Newsletter:

Hope all are well up there in the sky.

I'll be making my annual journey to Cloudcroft on the 29th, and
as always, I can hardly wait. I gather with some friends for
camping on the top of the mountain and it's always wonderful.

It is an exquisite taste of God to be on the mountain. However,
last year, we had a caterpillar experience while there. It was
actually more like an invasion, but they were there first. None
of us knew what they were exactly, but they were everywhere!

Small, light colored caterpillars all over the pine trees. If
you were unlucky enough to accidentally squash one while 
scratching because one got under your clothing, it would burn
the skin and cause a rash. I was careful and just picked them 
off if they crawled - or (shudder) fell - on me and set them on
the nearest tree.

Do you have any idea what kind of caterpillar/worm/creepy-crawly
things they were? We have never experienced them before and 
we've been gathering for 6 years now. Just thought you might be
the folks to ask.

Keep Care and thanks for the always enjoyable weekly stories
and local updates. 

S. Young
Temple, TX

[If anyone can identify these caterpillars, let us know.]

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Copyright © 2001 Cloudcroft Online
The Travel and Visitor's Guide to Cloudcroft, New Mexico.
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