Lincoln County Cowboy Symposium Chuckwagon Cookoff

Authenticity plays a key role in the judging Put on your cowboy hat and working pair of boots to celebrate the Old West’s restaurant on the range — the chuckwagon. Betcha there will be no microwave ovens in the infield of the Ruidoso Downs Race Track on New Mexico Highway 70 where 40 cowboy cookin’ teams will compete over open fires for a large purse for their beef, beans, potatoes, biscuit and dessert creations. Judges points are swayed by authenticity. […] Read more »

Ruidoso’s Ski Run Road — scenic switchbacks

Ski Run Road. Photo by Frederick Mora Snow Country magazine called Ruidoso, New Mexico’s Ski Run Road “a 15-mile corkscrew with precious few guardrails.” Well, it’s actually only a little more than 12 miles up to Ski Apache (sometimes it just feels like more) and hey - there are more guardrails than there used to be. “In the early 70s there were none,” Ski Apache General Manager Roy Parker said. The potholes are gone, thanks to a $1 million resurfacing […] Read more »

My House of Old Things

My House of Old Things Photo by Phyllis Eileen Banks If you think I’m talking about my own home, it does contain a lot of old things. However, this "My House of Old things" is a Museum in Ancho, New Mexico. Located two miles off U. S. Highway 54 to the east, this large eight-room railroad depot displays the history of a thriving town’s brief life and economic demise. It was built in 1902, the same year Ancho was established. […] Read more »

Ice Age Mammoth Remains Uncovered in Southern New Mexico

Archaeologists working at the dig In the fall of 1990, Marlo Sharpe, a local miner and geologist, and his wife Barbara chanced upon what appeared to be a tusk eroding out of the wall of Dry Gulch, just outside of Nogal, New Mexico. Archaeologists from the Forest Service, on whose land Mr. Sharpe had spotted the tusk, undertook archaeological investigations of the remains of what was believed to be an extinct mammoth or mastodon. Unfortunately, the excavation was plagued by […] Read more »

Folklore of Lincoln County Post Offices

Location of an early day Lincoln County post office - in Lincoln. Photo by Phyllis Eileen Banks Lincoln County at one time encompassed almost one-fourth of New Mexico and was the largest county in the United States. It was created January 16, 1869, by an act of the Territorial Legislature, and subsequently other counties were wrested from it. They were Chaves, Eddy, and Roosevelt, and portions of Curry, Guadalupe, Otero and Torrance. With a current population of 14,184 and covering […] Read more »

Fishing at Bonito Lake — small lessons in life and death

Bonito Lake. Picture by Greg Holt. "Think of blue water and a fish, strong and silver, swimming freely in the water. Breath deep into your belly and picture the fish who has given his body for you to eat. Feel grateful and respectful for the earth’s gifts, the fish and the ocean, and remember that the fish and the ocean are made of the same things that you are made of and that you are one with the fish and […] Read more »

Wildland Firefighter Museum and Smokey Bear Gift shop — a must-see stop in Capitan

Interior of Wildland Firefighter Museum In the summer of 1999, a family of forest service firefighters with an interest in old firefighting tools put together a unique museum in the tiny town of Capitan, New Mexico. Capitan lies at the foot of the Capitan Mountains and rests on rolling wooded hills. It is surrounded by the juniper, pinon, and aspen-studded 1.1 million acre Lincoln National Forest. Capitan’s claim to fame is singular: Its forest is the birthplace and burial site […] Read more »

Bob Orlinger — New Mexico’s killer deputy

Bob Orlinger. Photo from author’s collection Hero-worshiping gunslingers of the 1880s were on both sides of the law. John Wesley Hardin was the undisputed killer of the West, but most towns had their own monarchs; Wild Bill Hickok ruled over Deadwood, Wyatt Earp controlled Tombstone, Dallas Stoudenmire tamed El Paso, Long-haired Jim Courtright dominated Fort Worth, and in California Joaquin Murietta killed anybody that looked at him crossways. Bob Olinger’s place in New Mexico history roughly parallels Billy the Kid’s, […] Read more »

ATree for my Future Ruidoso, New Mexico home

Land near the author’s Ruidoso property Photo by Greg Holt The little ponderosa pine was still standing straight even after half an hour of continuous digging around the roots. Sweat ran down my neck and dripped into my eyes. The shovel bounced and skidded on the circular trench I’d excavated around the tree and I noticed that I had begun to grunt comically with each stab of the blade into the compacted brown dirt and rock. I wasn’t used to […] Read more »

Nogal, Ancho, and Corona - content in peaceful existence

Nogal area. Photo by Phyllis Eileen Banks Some towns in Southern New Mexico are so small they are scarcely noticed. Nevertheless they exist and have histories. Nogal, four miles off U. S. 370 on NM 37 and eight miles southeast of Carrizozo, is one. Known as Dry Gulch in 1879 when gold was discovered, then Galena, then Parsons, for a miner in 1892 and finally to Nogal. As often happened in the mining areas, when the ore played out the […] Read more »