Petroglyphs; Sun, Wind, and Inner Peace.

What is The Spirit of the American Southwest?

 It is a body of rich Traditions: Native American spirituality, Spanish culture, Mexican resilience, and the wild, rugged and free character of the American cowboy.

History has blurred ethnicity lines, and although several features of these strong traditions can be identified in the elements of the Southwestern culture, they are, simultaneously, one in substance and nature – The Spirit of the American Southwest.

Native American Spirituality is without a doubt the chief influence and foundational creative force in the Spirit of the Southwest. Being able to experience the Southwest means being in direct contact with its essential elements, and these Petroglyphs speak of that holy communion between man and nature.

The Spirit won’t admit your problems and worries. It won’t allow distractions or lack of commitment. It requires your full focus and undivided attention. It needs a clear mind in order to make a connection with your soul.

The petroglyphs at Three Rivers testify to the connection that can be made.

Take a 360 look at this 360 degree Virtual Tour.

Where to stay in Ruidoso, NM? A Guide from a Local Explorer

So, you have done your research and realized that Ruidoso, New Mexico is the-place-to-go this winter.

You are planning to visit Ski Apache, take awesome pictures at Sierra Blanca Peak (weather and health permitting), shop for souvenirs at Tanner Tradition and have lunch at Rachel’s; one of the best restaurants in Ruidoso.

Awesome, but… where are you staying?

Noisy Water Lodge is an option. These are pet-friendly rental cabins, surrounded by the amazing Lincoln National Forest and overlooking the world-famous Rio Ruidoso. Only 2 miles from downtown (and 20 miles from Sky Apache), these cabins are accessible to all Ruidoso attractions and activities.

They do not have a Google Virtual Tour, but here is a Street View image where you are able to view them from the street:

Their ratings are phenomenal and their reviews are stellar:

If the cabin experience is not for you, a vacation rental will probably interest you. Two Ruidoso Redheads have some amazing vacation options in different locations.

How does a vacation townhome rental sound to you? … I know!!!

Sorry, no Google Virtual Tours. But you can check out their photos, rating and reviews here!

If you are traveling with kids, don’t forget about the best local attractions to enjoy:

What to do In Carrizozo, NM? You won’t find these on TripAdvisor…

Easy and Fun, with kids or without, romantic or not, these are four things you must do when you visit Carrizozo, NM.

Valley of Fires

This attraction (is actually on TripAdvisor…) and is awesome for everyone.

Kids, adults, grandparents and wheelchair-accessible, THIS IS IT!

What you won’t find on TripAdvisor:

  1. The Burro Challenge. Not on TripAdvisor (though I wonder why not?!) this was such a fun thing to do. We did walk around town a bit, but did not notice how far we traveled or for how long. One cannot visit Carrizozo without doing this, as this is the area of donkeys (“burro” means donkey) and the art is fun and beautiful. And if you are in Carrizozo, you must be into nature and art…and if you are not, you are missing out.

2.  MoMaZoZo’s Gallery. 12th Historic Street in Carrizozo is awesome. Stop at all the spots, including the Malkerson Gallery!

3. Chamber of Commerce. The El Paso and Northeastern Railroad built a depot on Carrizozo Flats, and the town was born.

This is a video we took on our last visit:

How to Find Fossils in New Mexico…

This is a question I had to ask! Leonard Witter came out of his Fossil Works lab at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science.

I was watching him through the glass, working on a fossil with a couple of sharp tools, and  a magnifying glass. He was focused, but noticed me staring. I smiled. He also smiled and then came out to see me.

He explained a bit about what he was doing, then I asked a couple of short questions and interrupted his answers by asking the one I really, really wanted to know.

Natural History Museums are a family favorite wherever we go. And the last time we visited Albuquerque, we just had to stop by.

Dad and the kids were almost done looking at the exhibition right next to Fossil Works, and before they came back, I really had to ask how could our family find fossils in the area where we live. I recorded his answer because I thought you would also like to know.

Valley of Fires and Carrizozo, New Mexico.

Screenshot_20171020-091013Carrizozo, New Mexico is about an hour away from Alamogordo and at about 40 mins from Ruidoso. But if you are in Albuquerque you will take a bit over 2 hrs.

I love the drive. The plains early in the morning or late during the evening are just gorgeous.

I think of the wild, wild, west during these drives…The Spirit of The Southwest is definitely for me!

The Valley of Fires Recreation Area has several campsites (some with hook-ups!), and provides access to the Carrizozo Malpais; a petrified lava flow on the west side of the town.

We enjoy bringing our picnic most of the time, but this beautiful, small, southwestern town has several eateries as well. There are picnic tables, and a big shelter with a fabulous view. This is one of my favorite places to picnic with the fam.

We camped here once before and the experience was exhilarating. The darkness, the sounds of the wild, and a feeling of being so close to nature; it could bite me. Glow sticks, finger flash lights and dinner by the fire made for great family time. This was my first time making biscuits in a Dutch oven covered with embers. I felt like a real camper!

It does get quite windy, and during the summer months the sun can be very harsh. We have found that visiting during the Fall is the best time. But don’t skip a visit to the town of Carrizozo!

You will want to visit the Carrizozo Heritage Museum and go back in time to see how life used to be in Carrizozo and the area.

If you are looking for New Mexican Art, you will love these two Carrizozo Treasures: The Tularosa Basin Photography Gallery, and The Malkerson Gallery on 12th street. (Find a map here)

Now, there is a challenge Carrizozo has for visitors interested in a fun activity right after dinner: The Burro Challenge. 21 Painted Burros have been placed around town, and you might be able to locate them all if you keep your eyes open. Share your selfies on Instagram with #PaintedBurros and #Carrizozo

We are already planning our next visit (It’s fall!) and will definitely be sharing more on the Spirit of The Southwest we found in Carrizozo, NM.

The outdoors, natural wonders, and history! Take the virtual tour of Valley of Fires Recreational Area:

Two Rivers, One Experience

Picture this:

The sound of a long noisy river canopied by strong, tall pines. Fish are here and there, hiding under numerous rocks that lie like big stepping stones across the river.

A steep hill begging to be climbed borders the western side of the river, and on the border opposite to it is a play ground with a picnic area. A bit further, across the busy street; a pizza place is waiting to feed hungry urban explorers.2rivers

Having young children doesn’t necessarily mean one cannot commune with the wild Spirit of the Southwest. Ruidoso’s Two River Park (yes, two rivers actually run through it) provides a means for families to experience the wildness of southwestern nature, and the comforts necessary to make the outing effortless and invigorating.

Take the Virtual Tour and see what a beautiful setting.