Just for Fun

Our second day in Alamogordo, New Mexico, consisted of plenty of wind. Wind around here is normal and expected.  After all, it is the wind that helps form the sand dunes at White Sands National Monument.   That’s why I scheduled a minimum of a three-day stay in the area.  Weather is not always accommodating.Cloudcroft New Mexico

So just for fun, we headed off to the small mountain town of Cloudcroft.  Not only did we want to explore this little mountain town, Al and I wanted to check out the road to see if we would be comfortable pulling the RV via this route.  Several folks highly recommended against taking this road with the RV but we’re from Colorado and seem to be a little more comfortable with elevation changes and mountain passes so we wanted to lay our own eyes on the route.Lincoln National Forest

Our starting point was Alamogordo, New Mexico, at an elevation of 4,335 feet and our destination was 19 miles to the east.  Cloudcroft sits at 8,650 feet in elevation.  Thus there’s a 4,315 foot elevation increase in less than 20 miles.  Yep, that’s quite the pull and although there was nothing scary or intense about the road, we would probably avoid driving it with the RV just to refrain from straining the truck.

Ranger Station Lincoln National Forest

Can you guess what day we visited the Lincoln National Forest?

Once in Cloudcroft, we stopped in at the Lincoln National Forest Ranger headquarters (on Halloween I might add) to pick up maps and info on the area.  The campgrounds were already closed for the season and it was definitely colder than we anticipated.  As a matter of fact, colder than our hoodies would accommodate.  A quick drive around town and we were on our way back to warmer temps LOL.Old Apple BarnOn our return trip, we stopped at the Old Apple Barn.  It’s fall and anything ‘apple’ gets my attention.Cloudcroft High Rolls New Mexico

Old Apple Barn

The Old Apple Barn was a fun stop. Hmm, pie and coffee???

Back in Alamogordo our next stop was a pistachio farm. McGinn’s Pistachio Tree Ranch was recommended to us by friends and this too turned out to be a fun stop.  There was plenty of sampling to hold our attention.


This is one large pistachio!

McGinn's Pistachio Tree Ranch

First we started with the sampling of pistachios followed by wine tasting.  And of course, there were a few purchases made.New Mexico wineries

Our friends particularly enjoy the Chocolate infused Cabernet by Arena Blanca Winery and although good, we opted for a bottle of their red wine called “Outlaw Red”.  It’s a fruity red that is actually served chilled.

Back at camp, we made short order of the bottle of wine and bag of nuts.  The pistachios turned out to be some of the best we’ve ever eaten and we regret not having bought a larger bag…….  yet another reason we’ll be returning to Alamogordo, New Mexico.New Mexico wine tasting

Precision Kitchenware – Luxury Corkscrew and Wine Stopper Set – PK002
Keurig K130/B130 Brewing System


39 thoughts on “Just for Fun

  1. …colder than our hoodies would accommodate, that was too cold. I really like the last photo. It will be down to 38 degrees here tonight. I remember when the luxury corkscrew first came out was like $200 a set 🙂

  2. The drive into Oliver Lee through Cloudcroft was the first time I had ever driven with the T@DA in tow. By the time we finally got through the tunnel, I had to pull to the side of the road and collect myself – I don’t handle tunnels well, and the added stress of driving + towing nearly did me in! To top it all off, we even had a bit of snow blowing around. Not a great day for me, and I think John’s knuckles were as white as mine by the time we finally pulled into Oliver Lee! A marathon day for a newbie driver/tower!

    It sure is nice out there though, isn’t it? 😉

    • Three years ago I think I too would have been stressed driving that road while pulling, but over the past couple of years we’ve encountered some pretty intense roads and have a better feel for the truck and fiver. That said, that severe elevation change I feel is best avoided even for the most seasoned of traveler. So kudos to you 🙂 Ah, but the beauty of it all ….. worth the white knuckles!

    • I think you’ll just need to go back. Carlsbad Caverns is on our agenda as well. We’ll try on our return to Phoenix in February. Let’s hope it’s not too cold OR windy 🙂

  3. Red wine and pistachios, my kind of day. 🙂 Cloudcroft is an interesting little place but I would not want to be in the truck while pulling the rig over that pass.

    • Pulling the fiver to Cloudcroft would be working that truck engine something fierce and coming down the other way …. well let’s just say, the trailer would be pushing the truck. Either way sounds like white knuckles. And yes …. wine, nuts, apples, fudge over a campfire was pretty fun – paleo approved of course LOL!

  4. If you are in the Sacramento, California area between Sept and Nov you can visit Apple Hill. It’s a collection of 50 growers and wineries. Some even have a vendor area where you can do a little gift shopping. Here’s a link to their home page: http://www.applehill.com/. It’s one of my favorite areas to visit during the fall.

    • My son is in Sacramento this week for business so I’ll be sure and pass along the website – thank you. We’re hoping next falls travels will include California 🙂

  5. Thanks for the info on the drive from Cloudcroft, often wondered about it. Will have to remember the Pistachio farm next time we are out there. Looks like an all around fun day.

    • On your way to Phoenix next time, you’ll need to include Alamogordo. We were pleasantly surprised. We still need to see Carlsbad Caverns and may make that stop in February 🙂

  6. Yes, that is quite a climb in a short distance. Good you checked it out first. It still amazes me how much colder it is several thousand feet higher. I know it will be colder but I am still surprised.

    Love pistachios!! We’ll make sure to check out this place:)

    • Seriously, they were the best pistachios and if you read Larry’s comment below, he even buys them online. Even after living in Colorado for twenty years, I still forget about the drastic temperature change with elevation. Sometimes I just don’t expect it to be that much colder 😉

  7. We have never visited Alamogordo, New Mexico. We will be going through Las Cruces this winter. I pinned your post so as not to miss the area when we either head to AZ or on the way back to TX. Thanks for doing such a neat post.

    • You can easily do a day trip to Alamogordo and the White Sands NM from Las Cruces. It could be a very fun day. We enjoyed ourselves more than we thought we would 🙂

    • Those are the best pistachios, aren’t they? I’m thinking about ordering some myself or better yet, I’ll convince hubby we NEED to go back 😉

  8. I’m sorry that I missed you coming through the area since I live in Las Cruces. 😦 I’m curious about how the Smart Tiles came out. I recently bought a Lazy Daze and am in the process of getting solar, towing equipment, etc… installed. I ordered some Smart Tiles too, but I’m a little lame when it comes to the “home improvement” department. Looks like you both had a good time…

    • Gosh, I should post a photo soon of the finished tile, shouldn’t I? It turned out nice. It did take me about 3 hours and some redoing. Thank goodness the glue doesn’t set up for a while and they can be pulled off, repositioned, and put back on.
      Sorry we missed you too…. I’ll let you know next time through. Love your backyard 🙂

    • We totally forgot it was Halloween until we walked into the National Forest office and yes the wine and nuts were the perfect way to end the day along with another gorgeous sunset 🙂

    • We’re starting to stop a little more frequently to sample local products and are usually pleasantly surprised. Fun find – fun day 🙂

  9. Looks like a fun and yummy day! I’m with you, it’s always a good idea to stay a few days somewhere so that our adventures aren’t limited by the weather.

    • Too many times we’ve visited an area and the weather has been less than cooperative. Just recently we spent 3 days in San Antonio and it rained steadily and heavily the entire time. Fortunately we didn’t have anything in particular to see this time through because it was really very unpleasant outside….. perfect for getting caught up on the blog 🙂

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