Put a pin in it! Cloud­croft, NM – 9,000 feet above stress level

Luxe Beat Magazine - - Contents - By Deb­bie Stone

If things go bump in the night dur­ing your stay at The Lodge Re­sort & Spa, not to worry. It’s most likely Re­becca, the friendly and mis­chievous ghost that wan­ders the hall of this his­toric ho­tel in Cloud­croft, New Mex­ico. In these parts, she’s a pop­u­lar leg­end, whose tale is one of pas­sion, be­trayal and un­re­quited love. A beau­ti­ful young cham­ber­maid with strik­ing blue eyes and long red tresses, Re­becca mys­te­ri­ously dis­ap­peared from her quar­ters af­ter her jeal­ous and en­raged lum­ber­jack boyfriend found her in the arms of another. That was a cen­tury ago, yet there are those who vow that Re­becca’s spirit is still present in the ho­tel to­day. Some have seen her apparition in mir­rors; oth­ers note such un­ex­plained in­ci­dents as ash­trays slid­ing across ta­bles unas­sisted, doors open­ing and clos­ing for no ap­par­ent rea­son, lights turn­ing on and off by them­selves and even fires that have spon­ta­neously ig­nited in the lobby fire­place. Over the years, both guests and em­ploy­ees at­tribute these odd happenings to Re­becca’s ghost, who many be­lieve is in search of a new lover or friend who might ap­pre­ci­ate her play­ful and flir­ta­tious na­ture.

Re­becca is not the only fa­mous per­son as­so­ci­ated with The Lodge. Among the no­ta­bles who have stayed at this grand dame of a prop­erty are Judy Gar­land, Clark Gable, Pan­cho Villa and ev­ery New Mex­ico gov­er­nor since 1901. Orig­i­nally built in 1899 as a res­i­den­tial ho­tel for tim­ber cut­ters work­ing for the Alam­ogordo and Sacra­mento Moun­tain Rail­way, the prop­erty opened to the pub­lic in 1906 and be­came known as the “Queen of the Moun­tain”. It was VXEVHTXHNTOY GHVTROYHG Ey ᦐrh ang RHEXIOT ᦐYH yharv Oathr at itv Fxr­rhnt lo­ca­tion, where it has since been in busi­ness as an up­scale moun­tain­top lodge, com­plete with its own ob­ser­va­tion tower.

Though the prop­erty has been re­fur­bished in­side and out, it still re­tains its his­tor­i­cal bones and is a tes­ta­ment to a by­gone era. Old pho­tos, news­pa­per clip­pings and var­i­ous fac­toids line the walls, giv­ing vis­i­tors a snap­shot of the ho­tel’s sto­ried past. Each of the re­sort’s 47 rooms are dec­o­rated Zith a XNITXH 9ifto­rian ᦑair There are sev­eral types of ac­com­mo­da­tions, in­clud­ing ro­man­tic Par­lor Suites, fam­ily-friendly Guest Rooms and even a Hon­ey­moon Suite that’s a treat for lovers of all ages. And of course, there’s the famed *oyhrnorܟv 6Xith ᦐt Ior royaoty Zith its four-poster bed, in­ti­mate sit­ting area and el­e­gant foyer. Nearby, the /OGJH aovo offhrv itv 3ayioion %HG

%rha­ni­avt Roomv thn Fo]y roomv with knotty pine walls that pro­vide rus­tic yet quaint quar­ters. Then there’s also The Re­treat Suites, four pri­vate lux­ury suites that share a com­mon area with kitchen and con­fer­ence fa­cil­i­ties, mak­ing it an ideal set­ting for small com­pany meet­ings or fam­ily re­u­nions.

$ MAVVIYH FOSSHR ᦐRHSOAFH iv thh

fo­cal point of The Lodge’s spa­cious lobby. Folks of­ten con­gre­gate here in the evening be­fore or af­ter eating a sump­tu­ous meal in the ho­tel’s restau­rant, which is named in honor of the res­i­dent ghost. Serv­ing some oi thh ᦐn­hvt 6ox­thzhvthrn ang clas­sic con­ti­nen­tal cui­sine, Re­becca’s is con­sid­ered a Cloud­croft fa­vorite and is pop­u­lar not only with guests, but with the lo­cals, too. You’ll wax po­etic while you sit amid spec­tac­u­lar YIHZV oi thh Txoarova %avin ang White Sands and dine on such VSHFIAOTIHV av 6ay­ory %OAFNHNHG Chicken Cheese­cake, ta­bleside­pre­pared Clas­sic Cae­sar, Roasted -aoashno 6ZHHT 3otato %IVTXH ang Red Chile Crusted Rack of Lamb. Car­ni­vores will swoon over the ba­con-wrapped Filet Mignon, while VHAIOOG aᦐ­fion­agov ZIOO Hn­moy thh Seared Ruby Red Trout and Pecan Crusted At­lantic King Salmon. Re­becca’s Sig­na­ture Se­lec­tion is Chateaubriand for two, a six-course H[traya­jan]a that iv an H[SHRIHNFH

in it­self. For dessert, there’s an ar­ray of de­lec­ta­ble house-baked VZHHTV aoonj Zith VHYHRAO ᦑAME«HG Fon­fof­tionv OINH %ananav )ovthr ang Cher­ries Ju­bilee. Have your af­ter­dinner li­ba­tion in the ad­join­ing lounge, with its bar that was once owned by Al Capone – I kid you not.

You’ll never lack for ac­tiv­ity at The /OGJH $mh­ni­tihv INFOXGH a ᦐTNHVV room, swim­ming pool, full-ser­vice spa, sauna and hot tub, on­site hik­ing trails and a va­ri­ety of lawn games for some old-fash­ioned fun. There’s also the re­sort’s pop­u­lar golf course, a premier at­trac­tion of the 6ox­thzhvt %Xiot in thh FOXRVH was de­signed with Scot­tish roots in mind. It’s gov­erned by the Scot­tish tra­di­tion of play­ing Giffhrhnt THHV ang Vh­sarath ᦑAJV on each hole. When played twice, it be­comes a chal­leng­ing 18-hole round. And at 9,000 feet above sea level it’s one of the high­est cour­ses in North Amer­i­can.

The Lodge en­joys a heavy re­peat busi­ness, with cou­ples and fam­i­lies who con­tinue to make this south­east­ern New Mex­ico oa­sis their an­nual va­ca­tion des­ti­na­tion. They re­turn year af­ter year be­cause they as­s­rhfiath thh SHRVONAOI]HG VHRYIFH Fon­vivth­nfy oi Vtaff ang Zarm hos­pi­tal­ity. A stay at the ho­tel takes them back in time, but with­out Vafriᦐfinj moghrn Fomiortv Con­fer­ence-go­ers also give the place high marks, as they have plenty of room to spread out within the prop­erty’s 11,000 square feet of meet­ing space. And it’s also a mecca for wed­dings, with its in­doorout­door cer­e­mony and re­cep­tion Fasaeioitihv $ Fharminj JA]HEO VHTV thh VTAJH Ior a mh­moraeoh af­fair ܙ or a sum­mer con­cert.

,n ang aroxng &OOXGFROIT YOXܟOO ᦐng nu­mer­ous recre­ation op­tions, from ᦐVhinj ang hin­inj to Fam­sinj ang horse­back rid­ing, as the town is sur­rounded by over 200,000 acres of the Lin­coln Na­tional For­est. Take yoxr SIFN oi GO]HNV oi traiov Vomh that lead to pic­ture-pretty streams ang ZATHRIAOOV ang othhrv that offhr views of the old wooden tres­tles that once took trains to the tim­ber forests and later car­ried tourists up the moun­tain to the new ham­let of Cloud­croft. Though the rail­road line was aban­doned in 1948, ves­tiges of its tres­tles and bridges re­main. In the win­ter, with Mother Na­ture’s co­op­er­a­tion, Cloud­croft is a mag­net for skiers, snow­board­ers and tu­bers.

)or hiv­tory EXFFV thh 6aframh­nto Moun­tains His­tor­i­cal Mu­seum & Pi­o­neer Vil­lage helps bring the past alive by pro­vid­ing a view of what life was like in this re­gion a hun­dred years ago. Kids will par­tic­u­larly Hn­moy VHHINJ thh an­titxh ᦐrh TRXFNV ca­boose, black­smith shop, one-room school, bar­ber­shop and an out­house built for two. Shop­pers will en­joy Shghv­trian Iri­h­n­goy %Xrro 6trhht Cloud­croft’s main drag, with its Vtorhv ang JAOOHRIHV offhrinj HFOHFTIF fare. Many tal­ented artists and crafts­peo­ple re­side in the area, and you’ll be sur­prised by the range and Txaoity oi JOOGV Irom ᦐnh MHZHORY and aro­mather­apy prod­ucts to lo­cal art, pot­tery and unique cloth­ing. For lit­er­ary-in­clined folks, Imag­i­nary %oonv iv a mxvt $ng ii Zinh ang cheese is your thing, make sure to visit Noisy Wa­ter. The store fea­tures some great made-in-new Mex­ico wines and cheeses, along with a se­lec­tion of exquisitely-nu­anced bal­samic vine­gars and olive oils. And yes, you can sam­ple and taste to your heart’s con­tent.

When you’ve shopped till you drop and need some sus­te­nance, know that you won’t have to go far for a Joog mhao THH :Hvthrn &ai« a 100-year-old Cloud­croft in­sti­tu­tion with plenty of char­ac­ter, is known for its Mex­i­can food, as well as its burg­ers, not to men­tion am­ple por­tions. This his­tor­i­cal estab­lish­ment is on New Mex­ico’s famed Green Chile Cheese­burger Trail, a des­ig­na­tion that comes with plenty of brag­ging rights. And it’s also a pop­u­lar wa­ter­ing hole in town, offhrinj OIYH MXVIF ang Gan­finj on the week­ends. When you walk in, thh ᦐrvt thinj YOXܟOO no­tifh iv thh XNITXH G«for thox­vangv oi Goooar EIOOV that hayh EHHN affi[hg to thh build­ing’s walls and ceil­ings. Cus­tomers “do­nate” a bill, by sign­ing it with their names in per­ma­nent marker, and then sta­pling it to a spot of their choice. It’s just one of the many tra­di­tions at the Western Cafe.

%AREHFXH iv aovo EIJ in &OOXGFROIT ang %ij 'AGGYܟV iv thh SOAFH to Fhoz down on all your fa­vorite cow­boy JRXE 'AYHܟV &ai« VSHFIAOI]HV in burg­ers and sand­wiches; for killer home­made pies, head over to the )ront 3orfh %ivtro

At­trac­tions nearby that de­serve men­tion in­clude Sunspot, one of the

largest so­lar ob­ser­va­to­ries in the world, with a vis­i­tor and learn­ing cen­ter fo­cus­ing on so­lar ac­tiv­ity oevhry­a­tion 'ozn thh moxn­tain in $Oamo­jorgo YOXܟOO ᦐng (AJOH Ranfh Pis­ta­chio Farm, a fam­ily owned and oshrathg EXVINHVV that offhrv IRHH tours of its fa­cil­ity and op­er­a­tions plant. There’s also the In­ter­na­tional Space Hall of Fame, the Tom­baugh Om­n­i­max Space The­ater and Plan­e­tar­ium, the As­tro­naut Me­mo­rial Gar­den, Air and Space Park and a Shut­tle Camp – all fea­tures of the city’s well-known Space Cen­ter.

A high­light of any stay in the Cloud­croft area is a trip to White Sands Na­tional Mon­u­ment, one of the world’s great nat­u­ral won­ders. Mas­sive wave-like dunes of gyp­sum sand cover nearly 300 square miles of desert, cre­at­ing the largest JYSVXM GXNH ᦐHOG on thh Soanht The bril­liant white dunes are ever chang­ing. They grow, crest, then slump, but al­ways ad­vance. Slowly, but re­lent­lessly, the sand, with the help of strong south­west winds, cov­ers ev­ery­thing in its path. Only a few species of plants have adapted suc­cess­fully to the harsh en­vi­ron­men­tal con­di­tions. They are able to sur­vive by grow­ing rapidly in orghr to IHNG off Exriao Ey thh mov­ing dunes, while the small an­i­mals in ex­is­tence have evolved Zhith Fooora­tionv to Famoxᦑajh them in the gyp­sum sand.

Most vis­i­tors to White Sands stop at the his­toric adobe vis­i­tor cen­ter to get their bear­ings. There is a good ori­h­n­ta­tion ᦐOm aoonj Zith VHYHRAO You can also pur­chase a disc sled in the gift shop if you plan on slid­ing down the dunes. Make sure you also get some wax to help make your GHVFHNT Hav­ihr THH 'XNHV 'riyh leads from the vis­i­tor cen­ter eight miles into the heart of the dunes. Way­side ex­hibits in­ter­pret the ge­ol­ogy and nat­u­ral his­tory of the sands. Make sure to get out of your car and hike one of the sev­eral marked trails to ex­plore the dunes on foot. You also have the op­tion of tak­ing a ranger-led walk. And if you’ve timed your visit dur­ing a full moon, you’ll be able to par­tic­i­pate in a va­ri­ety of spe­cial pro­grams, in­clud­ing full moon hikes and bike rides through the mon­u­ment (reg­is­tra­tion nec­es­sary), along with op­por­tu­ni­ties to lis­ten to live mu­sic while you sit back and en­joy the unique beauty of this mag­i­cal en­vi­ron­ment.

If you go www.th­elodgere­sort.com www.cloud­croft.com

:hith 6angv 1ationao 0onxmhnt

www.nps.gov/whsa

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