Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Ruidoso: Downs & Dunes

We landed in Ruidoso on Friday, late, exhausted, but so happy to have arrived! We chose this for our first stop because our realtor and friend, Don, and his wife Susan offered up their vacation home for a few nights for us. And do we pass up free vacation homes? No, no we do not.

Neither of us had been there before and didn’t know what to expect, but it’s very reminiscent of Colorado...the smell of pine needles, dry air, and perfect summer weather – 85 and sunny during the day, 65 at night. The house is on the side of the mountain, which makes for awkward driving in the Pleasure Way but fantastic views!

Things to love about Ruidoso:

1. A fabulous cup of piƱon coffee (Katie, thought you’d appreciate this)

2. Going to the Ruidoso Downs and discovering I (LB) have a gift for betting on racehorses, and Brian has a gift for…being there when I win.

3. Porch-breakfast companions

4. The World’s Largest Pistachio 

Accidental side road sighting. 
Behold: pistachio wine, acquiring green chili & garlic pistachios, and pistachio ICE CREAM

5. White Sand Dunes Nat’l Monument

Okay. So we go to these amazing dunes. We slide on silly discs down the dunes. Then we decide to poke around on a 5-mile trail around 6:45 p.m. We’ve been told by the Park “Obviously Everything I Say Is Correct” Ranger that the trail is 1 ½ hours long, and we’ve checked to see that sunset is at 8:30 p.m., so we’re good to go. Basically you traverse these dunes and just keep heading for the next marker. They weren’t marked with distances, so we just kept track of time to estimate how far through the trail we were. It was incredibly beautiful – no one else in sight. Really nothing in sight at all, except dunes dunes and more dunes.

Look in the horizon to see the next marker. Ouch.

It was all fun and games until we reached a clearing at sunset and realized, heyyyyyyy those aren’t the mountains that we were facing when we started! Ergo, we’re on the opposite side of the dunes. Ergo, we’re only halfway through. Then began the portion of the night where we literally RAN up and down dunes for 45 minutes, only to find ourselves back at the trailhead approximately five minutes before total pitched-blackness. I called this our "race for survival"...Brian said it awesome, of course...potato, po-ta-to.

Happiness and soreness ensues.

Next up: Sedona! Tips welcomed.


  1. Ha - I'm glad you decided to share this story on the blog - too funny!

    Sedona is gorgeous! Make sure you have your camera at all times!

  2. so the getting lost story is great and scary and all that.

    but brian - sweet ride! so fun!