The Gillespie Ranch in the Southern Sacramento Mountains of New Mexico

July 12, 2014 in Blog

"gillespie ranch" cloudcroft "new Mexico"Fourteen years ago, a cowboy and girl moved from Arizona to the southern Sacramento Mountains of New Mexico, and they started a ranch. Kent Gillespie has worked as a farmer or rancher for his entire life, and Susan, once a biochemical engineer, doesn’t know a life without horses. Their land is situated in the middle of the beautiful Lincoln National Forest, covered with mountains and dense with trees. Today the Gillespie Ranch has visitors year round for a variety of reasons, but it was not built as a tourist attraction. 15,000 acres are set aside for their cattle operation, which they both work everyday. Susan checks the cows and even feeds some by hand. Kent and his son mount horseback and work the cattle daily when he is not meeting with guests or accommodating their vacations.

Visitors have several options for how they will enjoy the Ranch. A four-person cabin allows small groups or families to simply bask in the scenic forest and find a respite after some gorgeous hiking. Twelve RV hookups let others do the same in their own accommodations. The Gilliespies also board horses for the short or long term, so riders can bring their own mount and trail ride the easygoing flat land or challenge themselves on the steep, rocky mountainside. Each September, all the guest spots are taken by hunting "gillespie ranch" cloudcroftparties, which Kent and Susan will guide through the forest. And once in a while, Kent will approach lucky and brave guests the night before the cattle rotation, and invite them to take a horse and accompany them in the cowboy work the next morning.

The Gillespies’ ranch is clearly not only a job for them. They cowboy together, and Kent wouldn’t have it any other way. He gladly admits that Susan is a much better roper than he. “She’s quite the horseman. I’m just a lucky redneck.”

The Gila Cliff Dwelling National Monument in New Mexico

June 24, 2014 in Blog

"Gila Cliff Dwellings" Gila "national park" "new mexico"The Gila Cliff Dwelling National Monument lies in the mountainous desert almost five hours west of Cloudcroft. Located near the Morgollon Historic District in Catron County, the Gila is a fascinating look into some of New Mexico’s earliest inhabitants, a tribe of the Mogollon peoples who populated the southwestern United states and northern Mexico.

Thought to have been occupied for around 25 years at the turn of the 14th century, the dwellings were originally formed in the face of the cliffs from volcanic activity, behind thick growths of trees. They provided good shelter, the five caves having been built into 46 rooms; the nearby woods also concealed the dwellings from potentially dangerous passerby. Today, the monument is accessible by hiking about a mile up a trail; you’ll also find a museum and visitor’s center.

"gila cliff dwellings" gila cave "new Mexico"While a five hour drive from Cloudcroft is kind of intimidating, the Mogollon Mountains and Gila River areas offer plenty of other hiking opportunities, as well as more ancient Amerindian sites and river rafting—if you’re staying in Cloudcroft (say at Spruce Cabins, for example) for a week, spending a couple days exploring the sites in the Gila Wilderness is a great addition to a summer vacation in southern New Mexico.

Fishing in New Mexico

June 4, 2014 in Blog

People often associate fishing with places in Colorado or up north in Idaho, but here in southern New Mexico, we are blessed with several good spots for angling. The biggest variety of fish can be found in Brantley Lake near Carlsbad, but even closer to Cloudcroft, fly fishers have opportunities to test their skill (and luck)."brantely lake" "new mexico" fishing

Brantley Lake, created from an impoundment of the Pecos River, is a catch-and-release only zone, but you’re likely to catch some pretty big catfish, crappie, walleye, and bluegill. The upper parts of the lake are good spots to catch largemouth and white bass, as well "new mexico" fishingas catfish. Near Cloudcroft, steer your fishing excursion to Rio Penasco. The Penasco is a spring creek on private land, where the water is a trout-friendly temperature between 52 and 60 degrees all year round, and its full of wild rainbow and brown trouts, some of which can reach 20 inches in length! Several tour companies provide access to the fishing. Near Ruidoso, the Ruidoso River provides a viable fishing spot if the water level is decent; currently it’s suffering from drought. Grindstone Lake and Bonito Lake are currently closed to fishing due to water quality issues.

If you’re taking a vacation in Cloudcroft to “play outside,” a trip to a southern New Mexico fishing destination is a great idea. Pack your rod and grab your bait!

New Mexico’s Craft Beer

May 13, 2014 in Blog

"new mexico" "craft beer" beerThese days, you can hardly throw an empty beer can without hitting a craft-beer enthusiast. Craft beer mania is in full swing across the country, and it’s incredibly popular in the Land of Enchantment. New Mexico boasts nearly 40 independent breweries, brewpubs, and taprooms; while most can be found in and around Albuquerque, others are scattered throughout the far reaches of the state. Even Deming and Farmington have craft breweries!

"santa fe" beer "craft beer" New Mexico’s first foray into independently-brewed beer came in 1988 when Santa Fe Brewing Company opened its doors; nowadays, you can find its beers all across the country. In state, Santa Fe beers, like its Happy Camper IPA are hugely popular; connoisseurs also look for beers from outfits like Tractor in Los Lunas, Blue Heron in Embudo, and Turtle Mountain in Rio Rancho.

If you’re interested in taking a “brew-cation”, www.NewMexico.org has a handy New Mexico “ale trail” map. Sometimes a trip to the beach, the mountains, or a big city is a great way to spend a week, but a vacation spent drinking hand-crafted beers is pretty awesome, too!

ET’s Home in the Land of Enchantment

April 27, 2014 in Blog

"New Mexico" "land of enchantment"As everyone knows, New Mexico is the Land of Enchantment. From stunning vistas of the southwestern desert to the gypsum crystals that give White Sands its name, our great state is full of natural treasures. Of course, there are also the aliens, most famously the ones who supposedly crash landed near Roswell in 1947. Whether or not they were real is anyone’s guess, one famous alien creature really did find its way to New Mexico soil, though he himself was a fictional character. We’re talking about E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, the star of Steven Spielberg’s 1982 blockbuster.

And actually, E.T. didn’t actually make it here, but most of the unsold copies of a video game based on the movie did. Famed video game company Atari released an E.T. game after the movie in 1983, thinking it could capitalize on the film’s runaway success, but the resulting product was terrible, and Atari decided to take it off toy store shelves.

ET Alamogordo atariOne day in the fall of ’83, the Alamogordo Daily News reported between 10 and 20 truckloads of the game were transported to an Alamogordo landfill for disposal. The site was chosen because excavation of the landfill was prohibited, and its refuse was crushed nightly.

Thirty years later, the city gave a Canadian entertainment company a six month window to dig up the landfill in order to produce a documentary; on April 26, 2014, the digging began. Hopefully they found more concrete evidence that these “aliens” were actually there!

Spruce Cabins Cloudcroft Photo Contest

April 1, 2014 in Blog

"spruce cabins" cloudcroft "new mexico"Besides our vacation houses available for rent, we also operate the Spruce Cabins, a set of full-apportioned cabins near Cloudcroft’s Chamber of Commerce. They make for a fun place for you and your family to stay, because they’re within walking distance of Cloudcroft’s shopping and dining options, and they’re also close to a wide range of outdoor activities, from hiking and biking to hunting and hiking. For more than fifty years, these cabins have been a well-known and well-regarded stop for travelers and vacationers alike.

This month, Spruce Cabins is running a photo contest to win a two-night stay in one of their cabins, and we’re excited to help them out. In order to enter, you need only “like” Spruce Cabins on Facebook, and then share and tag Spruce Cabins in a picture of you or your family members in or around Cloudcroft. Whether you’re having fun, doing something silly or amazing, or marveling at the surrounding natural beauty, we want to "spruce cabins" cloudcroft "new mexico"see you enjoying our little mountain village.

A stay in the Spruce Cabins is great for out-of-town friends or relatives, as well as people who have visited in the past—rekindle the memories of your last trip in a village landmark! And while you’re at it, feel free to give Amigo Realty’s Facebook page a “like.” We’d love to meet you too, especially if you like Cloudcroft enough to stay!

Cloudcroft New Mexico goes wild for Mardi Gras

February 22, 2014 in Blog

It might be hard to believe, but our little mountain town of Cloudcroft, New Meixco goes wild for Mardi Gras. Okay, maybe not that wild, "mardi gras" "cloudcroft" "new mexico"but the annual celebration is something our community looks forward to, and this year is no different. We might not be getting crazy like they do in New Orleans, but for a little village in southern New Mexico, we have a pretty good time.

Taking place over the weekend of February 28th, 2014, the Cloudcroft’s annual Mardi Gras in the Clouds celebration is full of things to do. Friday kicks off with an introduction of the 2013 Mardi Gras king and queen at 2pm, and then the 2014 “Monster Mash” theme gets rolling with live music and a spicy Cajun cooking contest. Saturday’s festivities begin in the morning: at 10am, as “Burro-bon St.” merchants will be open, and Cajun cuisine will be served. The rest of the day features the parade, "mardi gras" "new mexico" cloudcroftmore live bands, a parade float trophy presentation and the “king dance” and costume competition. Then on Sunday, in addition to the Burro Ave celebration, there will be the second annual battle of the bands in the Mardi Gras tent from 11-5, where area bands compete for a cash prize!

Our annual Mardi Gras celebration is a fun and family-friendly event, making Mardi Gras one of the best weekends to visit Cloudcroft. Laissez les bon temps rouler!

White Sands New Mexico Full Moon

February 17, 2014 in Blog

If there’s one thing that never ceases to be awe-inspiring, it’s a full moon. Here in southern New Mexico, where the artificial lights are few "full moon" "white sands"and vistas are spectacular, a full moon night is a truly amazing experience. If you’ve ever gazed at the night sky and breathed in the crisp mountain air, you know what we’re talking about. Of course, a full moon is best when the weather is nice and the sky is clear, so the full moons in May, June, July, August, September, and October are particularly worth getting away from the city lights.

The National Park Service offers full moon hikes at White Sands; this year, they fall on May 13, June 11, July 11, August 9, September 7, and October 7. Imagine the "full moon" "white sands"moonlight glittering off the sand as you walk over the landmarks famous dunes—it’s almost surreal, like you’re visiting a science fiction landscape, with the moon looking down on you from a blanket of black velvet sky and millions of stars.

Unlike the infinite reaches of the heavens, space at the White Sands Full Moon Hikes is limited; registration opens about a month ahead of time, so be sure to set a calendar reminder to book early. For more information and to register for a particular hike, go here: . A White Sands Full Moon Hike is but one amazing experiences to be had while visiting Cloudcroft and southern New Mexico. Come visit the mountains for a week when the weather warms up—you’ll find plenty of fun things to do, even if the full moon hike is full. Be sure to check their Facebook for more information!

Spend a Winter Weekend in Cloudcroft New Mexico

January 27, 2014 in Blog

Every year, we look forward to the ski season, and every year, we have to hope that the weather does its part to keep the chairlifts "ice rink" cloudcroft skating running. Unfortunately, that often means the snowpack isn’t sufficient to keep Ski Cloudcroft open consistently; some weeks will be great, and other weeks, well… they’re good for hiking. Still, there are plenty of other wintry outdoor activities to do in Cloudcroft.

Even though a lackluster snowfall might not be good enough for a ski run, tubing and sledding are options, though you still have to be careful about ice. Any gear rental spot in town can point you in the direction of good hills to tube. One such place is the Cloudcroft Ice Rink. Along with its outdoor skating rink and skating rentals, the rink also rents tubing equipment.

"ice rink" cloudcroft skatingOf course, you may want to just skate rather than risk sailing off an icy spot on a hill and landing in a pine tree, and the rink is a safe spot for it—you won’t have to worry about falling into a frozen pond! Besides skating, the Cloudcroft Ice Rink is a fun place to hang out and sip on hot chocolate. It’s open on the weekends, and it features live music or DJs on Saturday evenings from 6-8pm.

From tubing to skating and the occasional awesome week of skiing, Cloudcroft is a great spot to spend a winter weekend—even if you just take it easy in a cabin by the fire.

2014 The Year to Buy a Home

January 10, 2014 in Blog

2014 "new home" "real estate"

2014 “new home” “real estate”

Well, it took a while (365 days, in fact), but here we are in the New Year. What does 2014 have in store for you? Do you plan on making this the year you quit smoking or drop those ten pounds that have been bugging you? Maybe take up a new hobby? What about buying a new home or a place to spend family vacations? While New Year’s resolutions that focus on self-improvement often fall by the wayside when your daily routines set in, purchasing a new home or vacation property is a concrete goal you can actually plan for.

If this is the year you move to a new house or go for it and buy a mountain respite for weekend getaways, we’re excited for you—real estate decisions provide you with a great feeling of moving forward and starting the next chapter of your life, not to mention the financial benefits of investing in property. What’s great about New Mexico (besides the enchanting scenery, of course) is that home prices are "home sweet home" home "buying a home" "real estate" "new mexico"comparatively lower to other southwestern states—while it’s unfortunate that many people moved out of state in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, the exodus left a good amount of inventory—there are good deals to be had, and while prices are showing a gradual but steady climb, the economics still favor the buyer.

Still, the market is improving. Consumer confidence is growing every month, as unemployment decreases little by little. Home prices will go up accordingly, which means there might not be a better year for buying a new home than this one. If this is your year, we’d love to help you find the perfect house in Southern New Mexico!