The Lady of the House and I went on a weekend road trip to Ruidoso.
That’s what I like about Clovis: just a few hours drive and you can find just about anything. Well OK, not everything. It’s a long way to the beach.
Ruidoso means different things to different folks.
To me, Ruidoso means hanging out near that big ol’ mountain, Sierra Blanca. I think it’d be cool to hike to its top. There are big, tall pine trees and brisk breezes too.
To The Lady of the House, Ruidoso means hidden finds in mountain thrift shops, Italian food at her favorite restaurant and quiet time in the cool mountains.
Then there was Ed. Ed and his crew were doing some remodeling for us. He heard us making plans for our mountain getaway.
“Ruidoso, hunh?” he said. “Going up there to gamble?”
“Dude, we like our money too much,” I said.
“You don’t gamble?” he said. “Then what are you going to Ruidoso for?”
Ed’s words brought back the memory of the one time I poked my head into the casino near Ruidoso. It was row after row of folks sitting in front of slot machines, pumping in coins, hearing the gears and stuff inside go “clink-clink-clink” and making the bells go “ding-ding-ding.” Plus there was that wonderful nightclub fragrance of cigarette smoke and alcohol wafting around.
Not my cup o’ tea.
Ruidoso meant something totally different to our friend Carol.
“Oh there are all those art galleries,” she said.
“And all those fun stores, then, of course, you end up spending too much money.”
I suppose we could browse downtown Ruidoso but we have a pretty good idea what’s in the galleries and shops. The last cool thing I bought in a Ruidoso shop was a bobble-head of a man in a Hawaiian flowery shirt wearing sunglasses and a grass skirt; you know, one of those things that sit in the back window of your car and jiggle as you drive down the highway. I had to have it. It looked like me.
Nurse Marty was in on the vibe The Lady of the House and I have about Ruidoso.
Nurse Marty has moved off to the little Sonoran Desert burg of Phoenix and, I believe, has a newfound appreciation for our New Mexican mountains.
“The green,” she wrote in an e-mail to The Lady of the House. “It’s so green there. I miss that.”
And what did we end up doing? We ate incredibly rich Italian food for dinner and gobbled up a delicious skillet breakfast. We took a drive outside of town down a lonely road where we stopped at a country store and found delicious pistachio brittle sold by a guy who sure liked to talk.
We went to thrift shops and found some great bargains: a 1974 vinyl LP for 50 cents that I surely would’ve paid too much for anywhere else, an iron fairy for our garden for five bucks and a bunch more great stuff.
We stayed in a cabin that was incredibly quiet. It was far from town. All we could hear was the wind in the pines. And the sound of the deer munching on stuff outside the window in the early morning.
Ruidoso means different things to different folks: art, shopping, gambling, getting away to the mountains.
In Ruidoso, we got exactly what we came for.
Grant McGee hosts the weekday morning show on KTQM-FM in Clovis. Contact him at: