Thought we’d show you how much the terrain changed during our drive to Ruidoso today.
1. This is what it looks like heading north about 2 miles from our RV park:
3. Finally, in the mountains again just west of Hondo:
We noticed that the new leaves got newer and smaller as we went up, up, up!
We drove through Ruidoso Downs where the All-American Futurity (the richest quarter horse race in the world) has been held every year since 1959. We thought the place looked pretty shabby for a famous racetrack…
Just up the road we stopped at the Ruidoso Chamber of Commerce and were told that the Kite Festival that we had come to see was cancelled because of a blizzard yesterday (a tent blew down in the high winds and injured some of the people). Someone said that they thought some people were flying kites anyway, so we drove up to the White Mountain Sports Complex, which was essentially a big green field near the schools. Lots of kites and great fun to watch them – especially the little kids crawling under the big, blue “puffer fish” kite.
Here’s big Dad in the air.
The star kite was not as odd but still cool…
After eating our lunch there in the car we went back down the road a few miles to Ruidoso Downs to visit the Hubbard Museum of the American West. Wonderful museum! Curt and Diane - put this one on your list to see – you’ll love it!
This amazing bronze sculpture was just inside the front door. It’s of “Touch the Clouds”, a 7 foot tall chief who was a cousin and lifelong friend of Crazy Horse.
The displays here were well done as would be expected since it’s a subsidiary of the Smithsonian.
We were surprised to find John’s dream kitchen here, too. Didn’t expect that!!
Obviously, the calf never knew what hit him…
Then we made a stop next door at the Billy the Kid Casino which is right next to the racetrack. In a measly 20 minutes, we managed to lose $20 and get our clothes all smelly from cigarette smoke – time to leave! We don’t make a habit of hanging around casinos when we’re losing a dollar every minute!
We took different roads home: Hwy. 70 south to Hwy. 244 which connected to Hwy. 82 back to Artesia. It was more mountain driving but very fun! The highest pass was 9,122 feet. There was still a fair amount of snow up there and the drive through the Ponderosa Pines of the Lincoln National Forest was beautiful. This route also took us across part of the Mescalero Apache Reservation – they may have some of the best looking reservation lands in the U.S.
A stop for ice cream at Walmart in Artesia was the topping on the day. We arrived home around 6:30. Even put the slide out again – the winds haven’t been this quiet since we got here.
275 miles today, but well worth it!