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