New Mexico Vacation 2021/22

Page 1 • summer/fall 2020


One Pass to See it All From Native American treasures to space exploration, Hispanic visual arts to the dawn of the dinosaurs, the New Mexico CulturePass is your passport to 15 museums and historic sites.

Find the New Mexico CulturePass at New Mexico Museum of Space History National Hispanic Cultural Center New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum Museum of Indian Arts and Culture Museum of International Folk Art New Mexico History Museum New Mexico Museum of Art Coronado Historic Site Fort Selden Historic Site Fort Stanton Historic Site Fort Sumner Historic Site / Bosque Redondo Memorial Jemez Historic Site Lincoln Historic Site Los Luceros Historic Site

Los Luceros Hacienda dining room, 2017. Photograph by Gene Peach, courtesy of New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs.

2 | 2021

30 % O O

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ut FF Sa le !*

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NEW MEXICO’S PREMIER MOUNTAIN RESORT F U L L C A S I N O | L U X U R Y R E S O R T | Z I P L I N E | C H A M P I O N S H I P G O L F | F U L L-S E R V I C E S PA | S P O R T S B O O K T O P G O L F S W I N G S U I T E | I N N O F T H E M O U N TA I N G O D S .C O M | | 1-800-545-9011 | M E S C A L E R O, N M 4 | 2021

INDEX 6: Safe, Memorable Getaways Await Statewide NORTHWEST

6: Northwestern New Mexico: Rocks, Roads and Bling


9: Northeastern New Mexico: A Raucous Past Among Varied Vistas


10: Indulge Yourself by Safely Supporting Local Businesses SOUTHWEST

12: Southwestern New Mexico: Frontiers, Old and New


12: Southeastern New Mexico: From Deep Caves and White Sand Dunes to Boutique Art Galleries Map Color Indicates Region in Directory





9400 Holly Avenue NE Albuquerque, NM 87122



14: North-Central New Mexico: History, Art, Culture WRITERS


The New Mexico Vacation Directory is published once a year in May by Moon Dog Publishing, Albuquerque, N.M. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of information presented in this guide. The publisher does not take responsibility for the accuracy or legitimacy of the advertisers’ messages or that of the guest writers/ columnists or any aspect of the business operation or conduct of the advertisers in the magazine. For information and advertising rates, call (505) 350-8695 or (505) 259-7969.


20: Choose Your Own Adventure in New Mexico 21: Pop a Pistachio: New Mexico’s Other Tasty Treat 26: A Diversity of Experiences Awaits in Alamogordo 29: Wild Moon Boutique! Cover photography courtesy of New Mexico TRUE and Marble Street Studio.

The Ride Of Your Life. Steal away a day on the award-winning, historic Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad. Climb aboard and leave your worries behind. From the open air gondola to the breathtaking views from your private window, this is a scenic train ride unlike any other. Join us for a day trip through the unspoiled Rocky Mountain West. Vibrant and beautiful as always. Depart from Antonito, Colorado or Chama, New Mexico. The modern world can wait while you take the ride of a lifetime.

book now at 1-888-286-2737 | 2021 5 America’s most historic scenic railroad

Safe, Memorable Getaways Await Statewide NEW MEXICO’S wide-open spaces are ready to welcome you. Whether you are merely seeking a much-needed change of scenery or are in need of a more extensive getaway with a touch of adventure, there has never been a better time to look to the stunning four regions of picturesque New Mexico. The state’s natural beauty, rich history, outdoor activities and culturally-immersive offerings remain available for staycationers and vacationers alike – though some modifications may be in place due to indefinite coronavirus health and safety precautions.

Photo credit: New Mexico TRUE

about the overall National Park Service response to Covid-19, including safety information, are posted on coronavirus. Businesses including shops and restaurants may operate at limited capacity and with limited hours that vary by county due to the State’s county-by-county restrictions. Please check the map at before you travel and while on the road to visit any of the following areas in the Land of Enchantment.

Before visiting a State or national park, please check the individual park’s website for its operating status. Updates


Northwestern New Mexico: Rocks, Roads and Bling WHETHER you venture to the Four Corners monument (where you can stand in four states simultaneously), are drawn to the ancient mystery of Chaco Canyon, or cruise historic Route 66, there is much in this part of New Mexico to heighten the senses and stir dormant primal connections. Amid 200-million-year-old cliffs outside Gallup is the Red Rock State Park and Museum, featuring interpretive displays of ancient Anasazi culture alongside modern art from the Navajo, Hopi and Zuni tribes. Consider as you step that you are walking on land once occupied by the ancient Anasazi Indians.

Immerse yourself in antiquity at El Morro National Monument, (south of Interstate 40, west of Ramah on NM 53) where fragments of history and ancient cultures are embedded in the great sandstone promontory. Here, over hundreds of years, Spanish and American travelers rested and carved their signatures, brief messages and the dates they passed through. Trails are open 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. The Visitors Center is closed. Rangers provide trail information and assistance at a no-contact service window. The campground is open via reservation on a first-come, first-served basis. Trading posts and shops throughout Northwestern New Mexico offer a variety of new and old Native American arts and crafts, including painting, pottery, jewelry and carved fetishes. Keep in mind their hours may be adjusted and capacity for visitors limited during this time. Seasonal art gallery walks are among the most popular activities in Farmington. Demand is so great that they are being offered virtually through the Farmington Convention Center at Farmingtonnm. org. Check the website for updates as to when the actual walks may resume as well.

Red Rock State Park balloon rally, photo credit: New Mexico TRUE

6 | SUMMER • WINTER 2020

Venture along historic Route 66 where you can see the motels, diners and neon (continued on Page 9)

“Soft Hues of the Desert” 21" x 27" Pastel

“Spring Comes to the Desert” 20" x 27" Acrylic


Santa Fe, NM 87501


800-746-8815 | 2021



Openin June 2021 Check for details

OVER 200 ACRES  34 HISTORIC BUILDINGS FAMILY FUN FOR ALL  EXPLORE NATURAL NEW MEXICO El Rancho de las Golondrinas, “The Ranch of the Swallows,” was founded 300 years ago as a paraje — stopping place — on El Camino Real, the Royal Road to Mexico City. Today it is a one-of-a-kind destination with over 200 acres of natural New Mexico to explore, 34 historic buildings, and family fun for all!

505-471-2261   334 Los Pinos Road, Santa Fe 8 | 2021


Northwestern New Mexico


(continued from Page 6)

of the era as the "Mother Road" winds its way west out of Albuquerque toward Gallup. For railway buffs and anyone interested in the history of the Southwest, the town’s historic railway depot is worth a photo op from the outside. The Southwest Indian Foundation operates the Gallup Cultural Center inside the depot. It contains a storyteller museum and displays about trains, mining, weaving, Native American sand paintings and silversmithing, as well as the stories of Route 66. If you have your heart set on seeing it, make sure to call 505-863-4131 in advance to check whether it’s open in light of Covid-19 safety measures. A scenic drive off I-40 east of Grants escorts you to the otherworldly volcanic flows of El Malpais National Monument. Its


surface trails and trailhead pit toilets are open 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily. The Visitors Center, its restrooms, vestibule, and bookstore service window are open with rangers on-site. All caves, tubes, the exhibit area and movie theater remain closed. Take exit 89 off I-40 onto NM Highway 117, which travels the eastern boundary of the park. For updates, visit Take a stop from your scenic tour of the region at Sky City Casino Hotel on I-40, east of Grants. Sky City offers 24-hour gaming with more than 640 of the newest and hottest slot and video poker machines, Las Vegas-style table games, bingo, and live entertainment, with fine accommodations and dining all in one place.

Northeastern New Mexico: A Raucous Past Among Varied Vistas


NORTHEASTERN New Mexico's diverse terrain includes everything from the state’s highest mountain, to the valleys and clear water streams of the Pecos River. As a result, this quadrant of New Mexico has some of the most breathtaking scenery to be found.

As expansive as the mesa is the area’s history, which includes outlaws, Rough Riders, a raucous cow town and the dwellings of ancient civilizations. Experience the mystery and intrigue of the historic St. James Hotel in Cimarron, a tiny community with a storied past that includes Buffalo Soldiers and train robbers. Make a stop along the legendary Santa Fe Trail into the once-bustling cattle town in Las Vegas, where Teddy Roosevelt came to recruit the Rough Riders. Be aware that the City of Las Vegas Museum and Rough Rider Memorial Collection is closed until further notice. Visit https://www.visitlasvegasnm. com/rough-rider-museum for updates.

Venture to nearby Fort Union and walk through the territorial style adobe remnants of the region’s largest 19th-century military fort. Recognized for its antique shopping opportunities, Las Vegas also provides a chance to learn the New Mexico Harvey House story. Entrepreneur Fred Harvey built a series of iconic hotels and restaurants along the railway routes of the Southwest, attracting tourists to the area from around the world at the turn of the 20th century.

Nestled among the majestic Sangre de Cristo Mountains just six miles from the Colorado border, hospitable Raton offers fresh air, expansive scenery, a variety of recreational activities, a vibrant art scene and regular downtown events. A dozen miles northeast of Raton, you’ll find camping, fishing and hiking in Sugarite Canyon. About 40 miles west of town, enjoy abundant wildlife, luxurious spa amenities and fine dining amid the ultimate outdoor adventure on Ted Turner’s 585,000-acre Vermejo Park Ranch. And don’t miss the National Rifle Association’s largest shooting range in the country. The NRA Whittington Center, located southwest of Raton, offers guided hunts, shooting, camping, firearms training and pistol courses. Call ahead at 800.494.4853 to create your experience. | 2021TRUE. 9 Pecos Canyon, photo credit New Mexico

Indulge Yourself by Safely Supporting Local Businesses IT’S STILL impossible to predict for any length of time how Covid-safe policies will impact public access to restaurants, shops, and museums. But some things are certain every day, regardless of the pandemic. Local businesses need you; you need them; and there are safe ways that the two of you can mix.

Plus, there’s this: You need that regular fix of fresh New Mexican food, local wine, and homemade chocolate, topped off with a little Western adventure. So, stop denying yourself the pleasure. You can have all those things. Here’s how. Whether you’re a resident or from out of town, there’s no better place to start a day than in the historic heart of Old Town Albuquerque. Its architecture and ambience immerse all who visit in a quintessential New Mexico vibe, whether driving or strolling through. Church Street Café, at 2111 Church St. NW behind the historic San Felipe de Neri Church, is ready to serve you (onsite or takeout) its award-winning New Mexico cuisine within walls that saw the founding of Albuquerque. The café was originally a home built in the early 1700s, making it the oldest residence in the city and one of the oldest structures in the state. Café owner Marie Coleman, who went from having 45 employees in 2020, to between 10 and 15 a year later, hopes the building’s legacy of longevity will hold for her. “It’s been a helluva year, and I’m just playing it by ear every day,” she said. To survive, Coleman has slightly reduced hours, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday (sometimes later, depending on business) and until 4 p.m. Sundays. All times are subject

House Club at Church Street Café, photo credit: Marie Coleman.

to change, but her tried-and-true delectable menu items haven’t altered. While she encourages people to come in and eat, carry-out is welcome any time. Whether briefly at the curb or indoors for a visit (following health and safety protocols), Old Town just wants to see you. “People don’t know how important Old Town is,” said Debbie Ball, owner of Old Town’s Candy Lady at 424 San Felipe NW, just steps from Church Street Cafe. “If people don’t support places like ours, whether it’s my place or any place else in Old Town, it’s gonna be gone - and Old Town is the beginning of Albuquerque.” Like Coleman, Ball has had to reduce her staff from 15 to three employees and cut back on hours of operation. Hours of operation are now Sunday through Thursday 11am to 5pm and Friday and Saturday 11am to 6pm. (continued on Page 15)

The Candy Lady, photo credit: Debbie Ball.

10 | 2021



Music: John Corigliano, Libretto: Mark Adamo

EUGENE ONEGIN Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky



Follow our Reopening Plans

For more information visit or call 505-986-5900

Illustration by Benedetto Cristofani | 2021


Southwestern New Mexico: Frontiers, Old and New


SMACK DAB in the middle of Southwestern New Mexico on 18,000 acres of desert is the commercially licensed Spaceport America. Built as a hub for future space travel, the facility is situated along a path followed centuries ago by other like-minded souls seeking a new frontier. Visiting and touring Spaceport America requires prior authorization and a minimum 24-hour advance reservation. Tours are now open with Covid-safe practices. For information, visit https://www. The secure, futuristic facility stands in stark contrast to the many historical landmarks dating back hundreds of years throughout this quadrant of New Mexico. Nearby, the tiny agricultural community of Hatch proudly produces New Mexico’s famous green chile. Name recognition of New Mexico’s beloved signature crop from Hatch is growing nationwide. The region is also home to many pecan orchards and vineyards.

Just outside of Las Cruces, stop in for a glass of awardwinning wine or pick up a fine vintage to take home at Rio Grande Winery. Normal hours are noon to 5:30 p.m. Friday-Sunday, but make sure to verify that by calling (575) 524-3985 or checking the website, http:// Owned and operated by Gordon Steel, the winery is a sweet oasis in the desert, with a panoramic vista of the Mesilla Valley included. Some say the grapes at Rio Grande Winery are blessed since they are harvested by cloistered monks in a deal Steel worked out with a New Mexico monastery. Once a railroad hub, Las Cruces is home to New Mexico State University and serves as a center for agriculture, science and technology research. A short jaunt to the

southwest part of Las Cruces and you’ll find yourself in the quaint village of Old Mesilla with its distinctive central plaza and shopping venues. Head west toward New Mexico’s bootheel and enjoy the rustic ambiance of Deming, Lordsburg and bordertown Columbus. Check local listings in these areas for reenactments of life on the frontier. Civil war history, mining, prospectors and the Wild West are all part of the texture of Silver City, located just three miles east of the Continental Divide. No trip to this area is complete without a visit to Catwalk National Recreation Area, five miles off the highway from the village of Glenwood. In the Mimbres Valley, volcanic ash shaped by wind 35 million years ago created the geologic formations that comprise City of Rocks State Park, halfway between Silver City and Deming. Fort Bayard offers a glimpse at Civil War life. The spectacular Gila Cliff Dwellings, Gila National Monument and Gila Wilderness are an indescribable must-see. Travelers will enhance their experience by making time to drive the Trail of Mountain Spirits, a 93mile National Scenic Byway that winds around the southwest corner of New Mexico and past ancient cliff dwellings. Evening in Las Cruces, photo credit: New Mexico TRUE

Southeastern New Mexico: From Deep Caves and White Sand Dunes to Boutique Art Galleries THE WILD WEST, world war history, recreational activities and weird phenomenon are all part of a sojourn to Southeastern New Mexico, historically a farming and oil region. In the other-worldly desolation of the mountain-ringed Tularosa Basin at the northern end of the Chihuahuan Desert, walk through dunes of glistening gypsum sand and experience the unforgettable beauty of White Sands National Monument. This is where the first settlers came more than 10,000 years ago and the 12 | 2021

U.S. military conducted research during World War II. The Dunes Area, hiking trails, picnic areas, Visitor Center, and gift shop are open 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Backcountry camping and all park ranger programs are unavailable. The White Sands Missile Range Museum provides history of the region and the Trinity Site, where scientists tested the first atomic bomb in 1945. It was closed to the general public at the time of publication. Call (575) 678-2250 or visit for updates. A short jaunt away is Artesia, where downtown you can experience art and culture on the street. A series of bronze (continued on Page 14)



Southeastern New Mexico (continued from Page 12)


statues are positioned within the downtown district on Artesia’s History in Bronze and Downtown Walking Tour. It begins at the Artesia Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center in the historic train depot and stops at the impressive Artesia Public Library, home to a 46-foot Peter Hurd mural. The artwork was rescued from a downtown Houston building slated for demolition. Call (575) 746.2744 or visit https://www. for the latest information on closures or program changes.

The diverse and dramatic geology in this region features flat expanses of seemingly endless prairie connecting to the foothills of the Sacramento mountains, in which the villages of Cloudcroft and Ruidoso nestle. There are gambling venues to be explored in and around Ruidoso, including the many amenities and luxury of the Inn of The Mountain Gods, and Billy the Kid Casino and Ruidoso Downs Race Track. To the south is Carlsbad, where Carlsbad Caverns National Park invites visitors beneath the earth’s surface to see dozens of limestone caves. Bats that sleep in them by day fill the evening sky as they head out in a cloud of black to hunt insects. In Lincoln County, see the courthouse where notorious outlaw Billy the Kid shot his way out of jail. Among New Mexico's most visited historic sites, Lincoln offers an immersive

experience hearkening back to a violent period in the state’s history - the Lincoln County Wars. A short drive away from Lincoln is Fort Stanton, established to protect settlements along the Rio Bonito in the Apache Wars. Built in 1855 as a U.S. military fort, this is the largest of New Mexico’s state historic White Sands National Monument, sites. Kit Carson, Billy the Kid photo credit: City of Alamogordo and Buffalo Soldiers of the 9th Cavalry all lived at Fort Stanton. Confederate forces occupied the outpost in the beginning of the American Civil War, and later it served as America's first federal tuberculosis sanatorium. If possible, be sure to visit the UFO Museum in Roswell. Check its website,, for the latest information about operations and hours. It is typically open 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. daily, with an admission fee of $2 to $5 depending on age and military status. Nearby, take a spin to Bottomless Lakes State Park, open 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. It lies 14 miles southeast of Roswell, where sinkholes range to 90 feet deep.

North- Central New Mexico: History, Art, Culture THE LARGEST city in the state, the oldest state capital in the country, world-class art communities, an authentic railroad town, and excellent accommodations can all be found in New Mexico’s North-Central quadrant cities of Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Taos, and in the towns around them.

Majestic mountains rise abruptly from great expanses of plains, falling off to wooded river valleys. This diverse terrain provides a wealth of outdoor activities, including hiking, skiing, cycling and mountain biking. Just as varied are the communities, which comprise a mix of small-town charm, bucolic serenity, bustling metropolitan life and a sleepy mountain-ringed village. Make some time to experience the rich history and culture of Belen, founded in 1740 and interwoven with Spanish, German and other cultures. The community boasts an original Harvey House and offers a glimpse at what this historic railroad town looked like in the early 1900s. There are also plenty of shopping opportunities. 14 | 2021

Birders, golfers, art-lovers, historians and campers will find plenty of entertainment in Socorro. Check out the City’s website for a full list of activities available in the area, including walking tours, dirt biking and ATVs, and downtown shopping and dining. If you like games of chance, then try your luck at Route 66 Casino on Interstate 25, west of Albuquerque. The casino floor features more than 1,300 slots, from pennies to high stakes machines, Vegas-style table games, a popular bingo hall, as well as full hotel accommodations, food, and regular entertainment options. The rich history of Los Lunas can be discovered with a visit to its Visitors Center, your source for information about the array of local events held year-round. The center is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. While you’re there, look at the rich history of Los Lunas through a photo display inside the building. Do not miss Albuquerque’s Historic Old Town Plaza, the humble roots from which Albuquerque grew. Old Town offers an impressive selection of New Mexico cuisine and the (continued on Page 22)

Indulge Yourself by Safely Supporting Local Businesses



(continued from Page 10)

Candy Lady is a 40-year staple of the community, its billboard-sized sign unmissable at the southwest entrance to Old Town. Inside, visitors will find 23 kinds of fudge, 17 feet of candy cases, with five shelves in each case, and a range of chocolate-dipped items and nut clusters. “It’s exponentially hard to count,” Ball said. You just have to see it for yourself. Ball’s products contain no GMOs or preservatives, and she doesn’t cross-contaminate ingredients. She said she works hard to accommodate dietary restrictions and does take orders by phone. With sweets in hand or a fine sugar high underway, you could expend some of that energy on a day trip to El Rancho de las Golondrinas living history museum north on Interstate 25 outside of Santa Fe. Or head south to the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum in Las Cruces. All exhibits and livestock areas (beef cattle, dairy cows, sheep, and horses) at the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum were open as of deadline for this story. Playgrounds and interactive areas remained closed. While the museum relishes seeing people in person, it has more options than ever for anyone who wants to engage with its programs online. Public information officer Craig Massey encourages people to visit its interactive website and its YouTube, TikTok, and Pinterest platforms, or take advantage of the museum’s lesson plans and digital classroom opportunities. The museum’s website (https://www.nmfarmandranchmuseum. org/) provides a link to lesson plans and home activities and gives instruction about how to invite an educator into your home or school digitally. Examples of subjects covered include sheep and the different uses of their wool, as discussed by a fiber artist; desert plants, as reviewed by a botanist; and life as a cowboy, as presented by an oral history expert. “We’ve put exhibits online and worked with educators around the country to offer lesson plans and participate in Department of Cultural Affairs programs where teachers and parents could invite educators to meet with students on Zoom meetings,” Massey said. “In some ways, we have reached a lot more people even though our doors were closed for a while.” Just like local stores and restaurants, museums around New Mexico need public support to survive. Massey says if you can’t visit in person, people can help by following the museum’s social media accounts: “The more eyes mean more people seeing our content. That’s being counted and shows we’re reaching people. As part of the State of New Mexico Cultural Affairs, we get support from the Legislature, and when they see we’re getting educational programming out and making a difference, sharing a story, those numbers matter.”

El Rancho de las Golondrinas, photo credit: New Mexico TRUE

El Rancho de las Golondrinas, which is dedicated to the history, heritage, and culture of 18th- and 19th-century New Mexico, was intending to be offering guided tours starting in April and self-guided tours in June. During either tour, visitors get to wander in fresh air amid 34 original colonial buildings set on 200 historic acres of a rural farming valley enjoyed by sheep, goats, and burros. “We’re ready,” said museum director Daniel Goodman. “We have Covid-safe practices in place. Our ad campaign is, ‘Safe social distancing in the great outdoors.’” But even when the museum is closed or for those not comfortable visiting in person, the museum website, https://, provides a multitude of resources that enable people to engage in other ways. Online content includes virtual podcasts, lectures from local historians, and historic demonstrations, all conducted either by staff or volunteers who are subject matter experts. Supplemental educational history materials and projects for children are also available. For example, Goodman said, “We have volunteers who specialize in historic lifeways – baking in an horno, or doing tin stamping, or adobe construction.” Many of the digital offerings are new, brought about as a result of the shutdown in 2020, Goodman said. “It’s just something we’ve been wanting to do for some time, and this was the right time to do it. It’s just part of what we do now. It’s innovate or die.” In fact, the museum has been supporting more than just the usual lot during the pandemic. Through collaboration with Santa Fe nonprofits YourthWorks! and The Food Depot, the museum has offered for the last year a weekly food pickup service to anyone in need. Goodman says more than 24,000 meals had been served from the guest parking lot as of the start of March and that the service will continue as long as supplies last. (continued on Page 18) | 2021


Emily Okamoto

New Mexico’s premier Food Hall enjoy a diverse mix of local food vendors, wine bar, brew pub, and full-service restaurants. Open daily 8am – 10pm | 1909 bellamah ave. NW, Albuquerque 505.563.4473 |

This photo & opposite, Douglas Merriam



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Indulge Yourself by Safely Supporting Local Businesses (continued from Page 15) for all of your celebrations!

“There’s a line out of our parking lot every Wednesday, so the need is great still,” he said. Goodman said the best way the public can support the museum any time of year is to purchase a membership or donate to the Photo credit: Marble Street Studio annual fund. Both can be done at by clicking on the Support tab, and both are matched via an anonymous private foundation. “That’s a really big deal when you’ve got 200 acres and a bunch of animals and staff to support,” Goodman said. Whether ending a day excursion or winding down at home, making Eagle Ranch Pistachio Groves and Heart of the Desert Vineyards part of your evening can be a fun, elegant, or casual way to settle in, depending on your mood.

Competitive Prices Largest Selection Friendly Staff Multiple Keg Varieties Available Daily

The mom-and-pop business in Alamogordo is home to New Mexico’s first and largest-producing pistachio groves, as well as 24,000 grapevines. The varieties harvested each year produce chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon, zinfandel, shiraz, riesling, malvasia bianca, and gewurztraminer wines that can be enjoyed on the Tuscan-inspired patio overlooking the nut groves or ordered online to be sipped any time.

Wine Manager on Duty

Visitors having a glass onsite at 7288 Hwy 54/70 between 6 and 9 p.m. Wednesdays can also enjoy some live entertainment and outdoor dining, with food provided by partnering food trucks. A cover charge costs $7.

Temperature Controlled Wine Cellar

Or, partake in Olivelle olive oil tastings and homegrown pistachio products, from ice cream to popcorn, any time between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Presently Stocking Over 4,500 Wines • 1,000 Beer Choices 145 Single Malt Scotches • 250 Types of Vodka • 325 Tequilas 112 Types of Mezcal • 185 Types of Rum

Heart of the Desert’s popular pistachio caramel popcorn, previously made by Walker’s Popcorn Company in Albuquerque, will now be made at the Alamogordo farm site. Heart of the Desert purchased Walker’s in 2020 and is building a 7,000-square-foot manufacturing facility that should be producing by summer. Eventually, more than 15 flavors are expected to be available, said Marianne Schweers, who co-owns Heart of the Desert with her husband, George. Heart of the Desert also offers all of its products online at 24 hours a day, so you can indulge to your heart’s content from the comfort of your home or rental property.

505-455-2219 • 34 Cities of Gold Road, Pojoaque 87506

18 | 2021

Remember that when you buy, shop, or dine locally, either in-person or online, you help to preserve jobs, create new employment, and ensure the vibrant and unique places you love to visit in New Mexico are there for you and others to enjoy well into the future.

41st New Mexico Mineral Symposium November 13–14, 2021

Memorable & Soul Feeding

Adventures Await! When seeking off-the-beaten-path journeys you’ll simply love and SM never forget, Los Lunas and our ROADS LESS TRAVELED TOURISM REGION is the perfect place to launch your next adventure. Take the train to the LosLunas Rail Runner Station and visit the Museum of Heritage & Arts.

(505) 352-7658

Get Social! #RoadsLessTraveled #PlayLosLunas #RioGrandeMemories #NewMexicoTrue

Choose Your Own Adventure in New Mexico Range of travel modes offer unique, low-risk vacation experiences BY NOW, everyone just wants to get out of the house. Where we go and what we do for fun has hit a pretty low bar. But families that want something resembling a normal vacation can still have it in New Mexico. While Covid-19 may have eliminated some traditional options, it also opens up opportunities to travel differently, creating unique experiences you might not have otherwise had. Whether exploring on foot, seeing mountains from a steam train, or viewing the state from a bird’s eye view, how you travel in New Mexico can be just as rewarding as what you see and do.

Keep in mind that special precautions will be in place at all venues, and operations could change depending on State health orders. All information contained in this article was correct as of publication deadline in early March. The following is a sampling of excursions and venues that promise fun for the whole family. Hoofing it In a remote southwest corner of New Mexico, just south of Interstate 10 near Deming, you’ll discover a true gem of a site. Aptly named Rockhound State Park, your child – and your inner child - will think he or she has found heaven on earth if they a) love digging in the dirt, b) want to take natural souvenirs from national or state parks but are never allowed, c) have an affinity for collecting rocks and/or d) display signs of becoming a blossoming geologist. Contrary to most state and national parks, where removal of any natural objects is illegal, visitors here are encouraged to excavate semi-precious mineral specimens such as quartz

crystals, geodes, jasper and perlite. The only limitation is how much you can take – a maximum of 15 pounds. It’s unlikely you’ll find that much, however. Quartz crystals are fairly easy to locate, but geodes will require luck and digging down several feet. Jasper, which occurs in red, white and pink, is mostly found in small outcroppings. It, too, requires an investment of time to find and extract. Locating perlite is your best bet. The shiny black glassy rock is exposed at various locations that can contain deposits several feet thick. You can break it off in smaller pieces with a hammer or other implement, like a chisel or spade. If you’re intent on leaving with treasure, be prepared to spend several hours on the hillside. The park is open 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday-Sunday, in accordance with the State Public Health Order. For updates, visit http:// For the less rugged, a leisurely walk in the park is a beautiful way to connect with both nature and loved ones. The Albuquerque BioPark’s zoo, Tingley Beach, and Botanic Garden were open to all visitors as of deadline for this story. Forbes ranked the garden among the top 10 in the country in 2018. To minimize face-to-face contact, tickets for the BioPark must be bought online, in advance (https://abqbiopark. Guests choose a time and date to visit at the time of purchase and must arrive within a half-hour of that time with a printed ticket or a ticket on an electronic device. To ensure social distancing, the park is limiting the number of timed tickets available each day. (continued on Page 24)

Albuquerque BioPark’s zoo, photo credit: NM True

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Pop a Pistachio: New Mexico’s Other Tasty Treat GEORGE AND MARIANNE Schweers wanted to return to their agriculture roots after a career in the Air Force that culminated at Holloman Air Force Base near Alamogordo. When 400 seedling pistachio trees, the first planted in New Mexico, came up for sale, the couple thought a perfect opportunity had presented itself. Neighbors thought the Schweers were, well, nuts.

contained, it is a fully integrated agri-business, growing, processing, packaging and marketing its products to both wholesale and retail customers. All the farm products are sold under its familiar trade name, “Heart of the Desert”.

The Schweers had done their homework, and found that the Tularosa Basin in South Central New Mexico had a climate very similar to the pistachio-growing regions of Iran and Turkey. It was a natural desert crop to add to the agricultural scene. Ancient legends from the Middle East allude to the mystique of the tasty nut being associated with romance and royalty. So, besides being tasty and heart healthy, it is fun! One of the legends is that young lovers can walk through the groves holding hands, and if they listen carefully and hear the nut shells popping open, theirs is, indeed, true love. Supposedly, the Queen of Persia (Iran) believed pistachios were an aphrodisiac and kept them as treasure in her storehouses.

Purchasing Walker Popcorn Co., this year and moving it to the farm location has added another dimension to the product line. That production will begin in the summer. Olivelle olive oils and vinegars is a major gourmet line that joined our offerings this year, as well.

At 47 years old, Eagle Ranch contains New Mexico’s oldest and largest-producing groves, with more than 13,000 trees. Totally self-

The Schweers’ son, Gordon, developed the original chile-flavored pistachios. The farm now boasts nine flavors. The family began a vineyard in 2002 and now has 24,000 grapevines in seven varietals. Chardonnay, cabernet, zinfandel, shiraz, riesling, malvasia bianca, and gewurztraminer make a wide range of wines possible.

Heart of the Desert Pistachios and Wines ships its farm-fresh products worldwide, selling them by mail order and online. There also are four store locations: the primary store on the farm beside Hwy 54/70, north of Alamogordo; Heart of the Desert on the plaza in Old Mesilla; Eagle Ranch Mercantile in the lobby of the Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum in Las Cruces; and The Cork & Kettle in Ruidoso. Tours of the farm are fun and free, and wine tasting is delightful at all four locations. *Story courtesy of Heart of the Desert. | 2021


North-Central New Mexico (continued from Page 14)

work of local artisans in an area that surrounds historic San Felipe de Neri Church. There are three nearby museums and the City’s BioPark. Check websites for current information about whether they are open and restrictions on visiting. The plaza offers a therapeutic ambiance if you just want to sit and watch the world go by. Sixty miles north of Albuquerque on I-25, historic Santa Fe has world-class art galleries, museums, and restaurants, and is the seat of state government. Explore the fascinating history of the Palace of the Governors on historic Santa Fe Plaza amid the city’s signature Pueblo Revival architecture. Savor local cuisine at any number of restaurants, or grab a bite from a food cart's tasty hand-held faire on the plaza. North of Santa Fe in the town of Española, take a spin by the Santa Claran Hotel and Casino; the Puye Cliff Dwellings, which give visitors an immersive experience into the lives of the ancient; and the Black Mesa Golf Course, a great challenge to duffers. Known as a European-style ski area for decades, Taos Ski Valley has gained renewed attention since a $300 million redevelopment gave it a facelift that includes a new hotel, a spacious children’s center and other added amenities

that can be enjoyed year-round. Some restrictions are in place due to Covid-19. Skiers and non-skiers alike benefit from Taos' clean air and magnificent views, rich spiritual traditions, creative inspiration, abundant outdoor recreation and shopping. A day in Taos will change your outlook and perhaps even your style. For additional winter sports options, check out Angel Fire Resort, which opened in 1966 as a small ski destination. Now it is a four-season resort offering a memorable Rocky Mountain experience for families and outdoor enthusiasts. Located 8,600 feet above sea level, the resort has views of Wheeler Peak, the highest point in New Mexico. Eight miles south of the Colorado border, the small town of Chama boasts elk habitats, clean rivers, hunting, fishing, rafting, hiking and camping, as well as a must-see night view of the Milky Way. Serious hikers can pick up the Continental Divide Trail not far from town. Chama’s train depot is the western terminus of the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad. The train is scheduled to operate a regular season June 5-October 24. Visit for updates. Chama also hosts an annual Fourth of July fireworks display, and in the fall, the area around Chama is one of the best places in the state to see brilliant foliage.

C H R I S T U S S T. V I N C E N T

Always Safe, Always Exceptional At CHRISTUS St. Vincent, we stand ready to care for you and your family. We are committed to addressing all your healthcare needs in a COVID-free environment. For emergencies, urgencies, regular or specialty visits, in-person or virtually, you can count on us to deliver safe, compassionate and exceptional care. We accept most health insurance plans. For your safety, everyone is REQUIRED to wear a mask at ALL CHRISTUS St. Vincent facilities. For more information visit

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Market is Happening! July 7-18, 2021

Timed Entry Limited Crowds Intimate Experience Tickets go on sale May 15, 2021 Fo

open space

photo: Bill Arneson



Choose Your Own Adventure in New Mexico (continued from Page 20) Though the aquarium is closed, the on-site Shark Reef Cafe offers patio dining and carry-out service. Outdoor food and beverage options and outdoor kiosks for merchandise purchases will also be offered. Guests are encouraged to take their own reusable water bottles, as public water fountains will be turned off. Restrooms will be available and will be cleaned and sanitized frequently. For details and the most current information, visit https://

balloon rides are available many places in the state. Private companies in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Taos, Las Cruces and Gallup, to name a few, offer year-round excursions. So, your choice may be dictated by where vacation plans take you or by what you want to see from above. For example, Taos rides will provide a bird’s eye view of the Rio Grande Gorge. Albuquerque rides let you see the expanse of the city against the Sandia Mountains; some pilots will add to the excitement by lowering the balloon for a near-dip into the Rio Grande before lifting skyward again. In Gallup, float through red sandstone canyons and towering rock spires. Many companies provide light refreshments and even champagne for the older kids. Expect to pay about $200$300 per person. Set aside a few hours for the adventure, even though actual flight time typically won’t last longer than an hour. While rides do take place in the open air, hot air balloon companies have implemented Covid-19-safe policies and practices. Be sure to check with individual companies so you know what to expect. On historic wheels by track For a trip back in time and some breathtaking scenery, plan to ride The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad out of Chama, N.M., and into southern Colorado. The steam locomotive has pumped its way across the Rocky Mountains since 1880 and is still a thrilling way for train buffs and children of every age to experience “the sounds, steam and steel, and grit of a bygone era in travel.” Riders will see wildflowers, 600-footdeep gorges, wildlife and vistas of snowcapped peaks. The train is scheduled to operate a regular season June 5-October 24. Please be aware that all passengers will be required to wear face masks. This information is subject to change. Be sure to visit or call 888.286.2737 for reservations and updates.

Elephant Butte State Park, photo credit: NM True

By Boat There’s no better way to escape the heat or feel like you’re on vacation than skippering a boat or going for a swim. You can enjoy fishing, boating, water skiing, swimming and scuba diving at Elephant Butte Lake State Park, New Mexico’s largest State park. It can accommodate watercraft of many styles and sizes: kayaks, jet skis, pontoons, sailboats, ski boats, cruisers, and houseboats. The park is open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. All anglers are required to have a New Mexico fishing license. For the latest information, call 575-744-5923. From the air Few sights bring as much joy as the vibrant rainbow colors of hot air balloons. To ride in one is near sublime. Hot-air 24 | SUMMER • WINTER 2020

Or via a contemporary ride Families that want to see the state at their own pace from a vehicle other than the car in their garage might opt for renting an RV. A self-contained motor home and travel trailer lets you be in control of your environment inside and out, and have ample space for you, the children and perhaps even the family pets. You aren’t alone if this sounds ideal. RV rental companies in New Mexico are seeing a surge in business. So, call in advance for the best selection. Some companies rent vehicles that are privately owned by individuals, such as RvStewartRentals, http://www. and in Albuquerque. Outdoorsy’s site also provides a list of popular nearby hiking trails and campgrounds, parks and cities. It even has a list of FAQs that are helpful if you’ve never rented an RV. Other companies rent from an inventory, such as the national Cruise (continued on next page)

Choose Your Own Adventure in New Mexico (continued from previous page) America, 800.671.8042. Either will get you out of Dodge and into a new environment with an adventure of your choice. No matter where you journey takes you or how you get there, here are a few items to always have on hand: a face mask, as required by executive order of the Governor of New Mexico; water bottles filled with water (fountains may be shut off); hand sanitizer; and plenty of sunscreen.



orders-and-executive-orders/red-to-green/ from the New Mexico Department of Health to learn more about business operations for specific counties.

Please note that guidelines and restrictions in New Mexico are in place on a county-bycounty basis. Please consult the county map at

Cumbres & Toltec Railroad, photo credit: New Mexico TRUE | SUMMER • WINTER 2020


A Diversity of Outdoor Adventures Await in Alamogordo AFTER a year of cabin fever, liberate yourself safely with a rejuvenating weekend away in Alamogordo. Take in the flavors, scenic vistas, recreational venues, and the rich history of this sometimes overlooked gem in southeastern New Mexico. Many people come to the region and only explore the breathtaking beauty and history at White Sands National Park without sampling the friendly and charming ambience of Alamogordo and all it has to offer.

Whether you are interested in the outdoors, wine, golf, aerospace, history, off-road adventures, agriculture, wildlife, archaeology, or cuisine, Alamogordo is the perfect destination for a getaway where the lodging, food, and attractions are affordable. GRAPES, NUTS, SUDS & VINO Explore the agricultural bounty of the Tularosa Basin, where conditions are perfect for grapes, pistachios, and pecans. Vineyards and nut farms are just minutes away from Alamogordo, with gift shops, gorgeous views, wine and nut tastings, and daily tours. Or, if hops are more to your liking, you will find plenty of local craft beer options available at Picacho Brewing Company, Tall Pines Beer & Wine Garden, or 575 Brewing Company.

Locally brewed beer, photo credit: 575 Brewing Company.

GOLF Desert Lakes Golf Course, cut out of the dramatic desert landscape is a cityowned, year-round Desert Lakes Golf Course. course featuring four sets of tees for golfers of all levels. The front 9 is a tree-lined parkland-style layout, the back 9 is the “desert nine,” the course offers numerous water hazards, a restaurant, and pro shop. OUTDOORS Outdoors enthusiasts can hike, camp, picnic, spot wildlife amid breathtaking vistas, and tour a 19th-century ranch house in Oliver Lee Memorial State Park, south of Alamogordo in the foothills of the Sacramento Mountains. 26 | 2021

Photo credit: Tyler Brooke Photography

Red Sands Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Area is located approximately 20 miles south of Alamogordo with over 100 miles of ATV and dirt bike trails in mesquite coppice dunes varying several meters in height. ARCHAEOLOGY Three Rivers Petroglyph Site offers more than 21,000 glyphs created by the Jornada Mogollon people. The site

The Petroglyphs

dates between 900 AD and 1400 AD and is scattered across 50 acres of Chihuahuan Desert, with hiking and backpacking trails, picnic and camping available year-round. ANIMALS & TRAINS Home to nearly 200 animals representing 60 species, the 12-acre Alameda Park Zoo is perfect for families and visitors of all ages.

A springbok at the Alameda Park Zoo, photo credit: Sunny Pence.

Children and train buffs will also love the Toy Train Depot, with hundreds of scale models of locomotives as well as passenger and freight cars, including the world’s smallest working train. The smallscale train ride departs every 30 minutes and circles Alameda Park. (continued on next page)

A Diversity of Outdoor Adventures Await in Alamogordo (continued from previous page)

SPACE Let your imagination soar to new heights at the dazzling New Horizons Giant Screen Dome Theater & Planetarium. The world’s first Spitz Scidome 4k Laser full-dome planetarium projection system offers two digital planetarium shows daily, live star shows, and giant screen films all next door to the interactive NM Museum of Space History. Other must-see Alamogordo attractions: • New Mexico Museum of Space History • Tularosa Basin Museum of History • White Sands Missile Range Museum • White Sands National Park • World’s Largest Pistachio at McGinn’s PistachioLand Visit or call 1-800-826-0294 for more information.

Olive Lee Memorial State Park

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We are coming out!—of our Covid Incarceration! W!ld Moon Boutique™ (WMB) We moved from Old Town to the Historic Simms Building in Downtown, Albuquerque. We now have a beautiful showroom to display our hand-made clothing and textiles from around the world. We feature huipiles and attire from Mexico and Guatemala; hand-woven Mud Cloth from Mali, West Africa; hand-woven textiles from Peru and Bolivia; and luscious Goddess dresses from Morocco, just to name a few. We have a large selection of Native American jewelry to accessorize your unique fashion statements.

W!ld Moon Couture™ is leather wearable art that is custom designed and handmade; and is exclusively shown at the WMB. Xochitl™ & Pure Tribalist™ Wearable Art Collections are created by Sally Moon. These collections are on display in our new Couture Showroom and online. You can also have your own custommade attire or bags created to your specifications.

Dress Me Up Playtime™ Let Sally Moon dress you up! Add some spice, sassiness and fun to your wardrobe. Have a Dress Me Up Playtime™ private party. Step out of your habitual fashion routine and enjoy creating your The pandemic showed us own unique style. Sally will show each participant their that our customers love shopping online. We listened, most flattering styles for their figure. and now we are online! Every day we add more of our Covid-19 Guidelines Adherence one-of-a-kind, unique items. We comply with all Covid-19 Guidelines. Our staff is fully vaccinated.

OPEN HOUSE Saturday, May 22, 12 – 5 pm W!ld Moon Boutique™ Headquarters & Showroom Simms Building, 400 Gold Ave SW, Suite 888, Albuquerque, NM 87102 ~ 505.247.2475 Office ~ 505.610.8387 Text - Showroom ~ - Shopping Please make arrangements to visit our Showroom by texting 505.610.8387. We look forward to seeing you!


White Sands National Park

Gateway to adventure. 30 | 2021

Streets of Santa Fe by Alfred Gwynne Morang (detail) Firelighted Indian by Joseph Sharp (detail)

Summer Storm over the Jemez Mountains by Peter Hurd (detail)

Brook in Winter by Walter Ufer (detail)

Ollie and Dance Day by Glenna Goodacre

Supported by Lodgers Tax

418 W. Fox Carlsbad, NM 575-887-0276 Free Admission