Traveled from Alb NM 200 miles south to Ruidoso NM Twin Spruce RV Park camp on Wednesday ….for a few days trial run with grandsons on their first overnight.
On approach to the mountainous area nearing Sierra Blanco [12,000′], the hills are low gear demanding, for a significant time. The Nogal ‘shortcut’ east of Carrizozo is pretty steep in sections.
Co-pilot noted a forest fire on the horizon towards Cloudcroft NM. The Timberon Fire eventually encompassed about 400 acres and consumed 20 homes. Fire risk is historically present across mountainous NM during hot summer days.
The Ruidoso, Capitan, Alto Fire was extreme a few years back and the remnants of wide spread destruction are still visible today.
As entering Ruidoso, low gear is the mandatory method to save the rig’s brake rotors and pads. Driving down through the narrow main street of Ruidoso is a bit tight when tourism is at peak. There is the Gavilon canyon route that saves a bit of nerves, related to pedestrians and slow traffic through town.
As the junction leading to Twin Spruce is in sight, we slow for the turn and mosy on into the RV park where site reservations are waiting. Three rigs arrived all at the same time. Took a bit of maneuvering to sort out the rigs and for ‘Stump’ to guide us up the steep hill into our site for three nights camp.
First time away from the grand sons parents, extended nights sleeping in the RV. Campers told of evening herd of Deer and one regularly wandering Black Bear that raided some leftover watermelon from a nearby campsite. The kids sat up for a while, watching for the Bear and Deer.
They did fine and seemed to have a bit of fun in the process of setting up their fold out sofa bed each night. Days were wasted in leisure as we prowled around a few little touristy shops, finding some crystals of quartz to add to their collections.
Entertainment for us grandparents, watching as they drove gas powered go carts for first time….. around a figure 8 track, under an overpass, several laps, 15 minutes, while racing other kids. Enjoyed their laps enough to do it again on 2nd evening.
Although a swimming pool is on RV park property, they never showed interest. When the three grand daughters living in Alb, went with us as youngsters years ago, All they wanted was to be in the pool. When the little one even had a poopy problem, she wanted to go jump in the pool… yuck.
Brought along an Airsoft rifle that I had acquired at a charity shop, but had no little plastic BB’s.
As obviously destined, we were assigned site #78… further up the hilly sites on the mountainside… which by chance had been occupied previously by three families with a lot of kids.
They had dropped hundreds of little colorful plastic Airsoft balls. So many were on the ground, stuck in cracks of the deck and laying around the sites nearby, that our grand sons ‘re-shot’ airsoft BB’s for days, with never running out. The forested mountain range was next to our site, so no campers were in danger of little colorful BB’s in their stew :>)
Flying J Wranglers were performing in their ‘Bonito Village’ entertainment town. Thursday eve, we arrived at 6pm and left at 10pm, poking around their little village, shooting wax pellets from real six shooters, then watching a gun fight in the street.
Sheriff said “Take ten paces, turn and fire at will”. Troublemaker then shot his own partner, claiming his name was ‘Will”.
When Sheriff addressed the bad guy to stop, draw and fight, the troublemaker just turned around, walked away from the Sheriff, while replying to the Sheriff,
Sheriff said “just where do you think you are going”? He defiantly replied…” I’m going to Rehab”… “Just like everyone else today.”
Troublemaker walked away, replied, “I’ve seen you shoot, I’m not worried”
Sheriff shot at him anyway, in a finale of crowd laughter as he shook and rang to the tune of a cow bell after bragging, ‘You missed me…sort of”.
Then the tasty dinner was served efficiently to the large group, on steel plates from the chuck wagon serving line as we hustled through in orderly fashion. Lots of seconds and thirds left everyone fed up.
One grand son went back four times for the Bar B Q Chicken, must have liked it :>) Lots of Cowboy/Cowgirl singing, guitars and comedy during a well done fun performance ……after trail chow was served.
One grandson desired a train engine of vintage new HO ga at a little train shop. His allowance went for that ‘investment’.
The other grandson had not spent all of his wealth on rocks or trains and saw a little plastic rifle-pistol set at the little shop in the Wrangler’s Village. It took lots of older wisdom to get him to wait until Walmart, to see what the same allowance wealth would buy.
After a call to his parents for approval and blessing, he now owns his first Daisy Red Ryder. Lots of gun slinger lessons later, as he went through his first little jar of BB’s, he has not “Shot his eye out’..yet..
One grandson and I walked down the hill to the office shelter and breakfast served from 8am to 10am on Saturday. While waiting for her son to prep our order, Kay the owner, stopped by for a chat. Have not seen my friend Kay since last time, two seasons ago. Great biscuits and gravy, two pancakes and bacon for me and one pancake and bacon for grandson. He loves bacon.
Break camp after dumping and rinsing the holding tanks. Grandsons were fascinated by the fast flow of poop passing through the clear viewing tube. Doesn’t take much to interest kids.
Hook up the Honda tow, remembering to connect the additional stop and tail lights taped to the roof. Gradually descending the steep hill to the highway, we bid adieu [until next trip] to Twin Spruce.
Taking the Gavilon Canyon by-pass to save bit of traffic and tight hill climbing through town, we were on our way. AC blower circuit [resistor block?} had failed a few times in the past, so a 12 ga jumper wire to the cigar lighter socket, kept the blower functioning on the return during a very hot driving day… 99 degrees.
200 mile trip home after three nights in camp, was four hours total. 1/2 the distance was of up and down mountainous driving in low gears, followed by a long stretch of volcanic lava scenery across Valley of Fires and of interstate 25 into Albuquerque.
The twenty miles or so, of maturing Pistachio or Pecan groves were interesting near Belen NM, south of Alb NM. Today’s temp was 99 degrees. Kind of warm but, as true in NM, no humidity to sweat about.
Parents picked them up on arrival, as they showed their mountain treasures and a rock… a big rock.