Adventures in the Southwest

Most people know that my job takes me all over the U.S. and parts of Canada (I haven’t been lucky enough to be sent overseas…yet). Although travel has been slower this year than the previous year, I was able to travel to New England (one of my favorite areas of the U.S.), and to the south (meh – Kentucky). One area my company seems to never want to send me is the west (California, Oregon, Washington), but they do like to send me to the southwest. Last year, I went to Arizona twice.

I’ve been sent back to the southwest, this time to New Mexico. But not a big, huge city like Albuquerque or Santa Fe. Nope. I’ve been sent to Roswell, NM aka UFO Country. I somehow got sent in the middle of the week again, so I’m here over a weekend. This is becoming a common pattern now, it seems.

Regardless, I went around and around about what I should do over the weekend. I had originally planned on driving to Albuquerque to see a friend and go up this mountain in a tramway, even though I’d already done that. Since I’d been there before, and it’s almost 4 hours away, I decided to stay put in the Roswell area. The problem with Roswell is that it’s sort of in the middle of no where and the nearest city is at least 1 1/2 hours in any direction.

I was able to entertain myself though. I scoped out all the amazing signs and memorabilia in Roswell that deals with aliens and UFO’s. It’s unreal how people eat this up! I went searching for the sign that lets you know you’re near or at the crash site of 1947 when the whole UFO craze began. No such luck. It’s apparently on private property and is inaccessible to public.

However, this weekend I went to Ruidoso, NM. It’s a small ski area in the mountains about 75 miles west of Roswell. I must say it’s absolutely beautiful! It apparently thrives more in the winter time when the ski lodges are in business, but it’s still a neat little town with shops, galleries, restaurants, and a scenic byway to drive through in the mountains. Although I didn’t spend a lot of time there, I feel like I spent enough time to see what it had to offer.

There is a lot to see and do there. For one thing, there’s free parking every where. I didn’t see a single meter, which was a huge plus. The main attraction of the downtown area is a stretch of about 6-8 blocks. It doesn’t seem like a lot, but there are so many little shops to stop into and see all the local artists works. I saw so many local artists’ work including crafts, jewelry, clothes, paintings, etc. Also, stop into Noisy Water Artwear and go into the back of the store. You can do free cheese tasting and for $5, do a wine tasting of local wines from New Mexico vineyards. I was able to try some unbelievably good wines, including one that was infused with green chilies. If you hop into your car and drive around, you can take advantage of the pull-offs on the highway to see spectacular views of the mountains.

If anyone is ever in this region, I’d recommend going to Ruidoso.


On the way to Ruidoso, I took a detour through two little towns, Lincoln and Capitan. This is Capitan Mountain. It can be seen from Roswell if you look west.


That’s the same mountain seen from Roswell.


Driving to Ruidoso is a series of turns as you go through the mountainous region.


You’ll see many fruit stands on the side of the road traveling to and from Ruidoso. Except, you won’t find any fruit there. You’ll just see lots and lots of hanging chilies.


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