Ruidoso, NM

Happy Easter, all! Hope your day is great whether you’re on the road or with family. Today I wanted to share my travels I did last week to Ruidoso, NM. My reason for this trip was simple: I’ve never been. Ruidoso is a small resort town nestled in the Sierra Blanca mountain range of central New Mexico. The population is just over 8,000 according to the 2010 census. It’s known in the state for excellent skiing facilities, a casino resort (Inn of the Mountain Gods) and numerous cabins for renting. I started off east on Hwy 70 towards Alamogordo then it veers north where it comes to Ruidoso. I then took Hwy 48 to 380 west which took me to I-25 south back to Las Cruces. The total mileage of the trip was around 247 miles.

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Heading northeast from Tularosa, NM

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My first stop was at the Inn of the Mountain Gods Casino Resort. It was a really neat place perched on a hill overlooking a lake. I wasn’t able to capture a good photo of the resort from my location, but here’s one from Wiki:

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Here I am about to enter

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The lake that the casino overlooks…

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The Hotel view

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I was ecstatic to find that there was a parking garage under the casino. I’m always a sucker for underground garages for just driving through, and taking pix.

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I stumbled upon a corner with no vehicles, so I went for a few shots.

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After leaving the casino, I then drove around Ruidoso. It’s a pretty town with lots of little shops and cafés on the main drag.

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East of Ruidoso is an adjoining town called Ruidoso Downs. This is a separate village of about 1,500, but they blend so well together that they seem like one. Ruidoso Downs’s attraction is the Ruidoso Downs Race Track (for horses), Billy the Kid Casino and the Hubbard Museum of the American West. Here’s a picture of the Downs Race Track.

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Horses are a pretty big deal here in this part of the state. Many ranches occupy the land east of the village.

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After getting a good dose of horses, I moved west back into the heart of Ruidoso and explored some of the wooded areas where folks can rent many different types of cabins. Rustic, artistic, modern…they are all there. Absolutely beautiful and peaceful. A welcome change of scenery from the desert.

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I left Ruidoso by heading due north on Hwy 48 and then caught 380 west. This stretch of road is rather flat and lonely. However, this does take you by the Valley of Fires Recreational Area which is part of the Carrizozo Malpais—a large lava flow on the west side of Carrizozo, New Mexico. This area offers camping, and hiking with many trails amongst the lava flow. It’s impressive with many cacti and juniper tree growing in between the various beds of petrified lava.

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This particular day I chose to take this trip was accompanied by 40mph wind gusts, which I was driving directly into. I must say, I was impressed as the Accord felt solid and I didn’t feel the engine straining at all. The down side? Fuel economy suffered quite a bit, and many tumbleweeds where being flung at me from the sides of the road by the vicious winds. Some as large as the car itself! Unfortunately, some tumbleweeds were unavoidable and my front spoiler scooped them up into the radiator opening. When I got home to survey the damages, I found numerous little scuffs and nicks (most of them I polished out already) but the worst of it was my left side LED was broken in half! Guess I get to spring for some OEM fog lights now. Caption for this photo: “NOM, NOM”

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The next day, I brought my sister’s 2004 Mustang over for a detail. This car has been a trooper and has taken very good care of her. My sister and her boyfriend takes care of the maintenance and makes sure the ‘Stang has a cozy garage to sleep in. So, now it’s my turn to reward it for the reliable service. Here are a few shots of it after the good cleaning.

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I always loved the interior of this generation of Mustang. Very “swoopy,” and with this particular color, very tasteful hues of tans and browns. This is the V6 Deluxe Premium with the Mach premium sound system. It kicks!

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It recently just turned over 80,000 miles. When my sister first acquired it, it had roughly 30,000 miles. I bet she’ll go another 100,000 easily.

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Hope everyone had a great weekend!

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2 thoughts on “Ruidoso, NM

  1. tysonhugie says:

    Jason – Ruidoso looks like a fun little “hick town” (and I mean that in the nicest way!). I love that you have all these great mountain escapes within a day’s drive of your place in Las Cruces. Sounds like our cars were both NOM-NOMing tumbleweeds this past weekend. Sucks about the LED lens breakage. Mustang detail turned out great! I’ve never driven one of those.

    • Jason Pawela says:

      “Hick town” is correct! Yeah, I like that the landscape can change drastically around here within a matter of a few hours. You have a same sort of privilege. One of many reasons why I love the southwest. Stupid tumbleweeds: I hit another one today. Wasn’t as big, but still annoying.

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