The landscape has changed in seventy miles from high desert to mountainous forest.
Ruidoso is a ski resort that is showing the typical sprawl signs of being too nice a place to live. It has large casinos and a Billy the Kid quarter-horse racing track. No cellular service for the laptop modem for the first time.
We've been paying about $15 a night for state park campgrounds. This is our first time in a private RV campground and the cost is double that. There are a few more amenities like a swimming pool (empty for the season) and cable TV (two channels, one of them in Spanish).
We're getting nine miles per gallon for the RV and 60 miles per gallon on the motorcycle. So far, we've put 2,170 miles on the RV and 150 on the Yamaha 250. We decide to ditch the helmets next time. I rebuild the motorcycle trailer so that we can take the motorbike on and off without removing the bicycles each time.
We ride the Yamaha to the municipal tennis courts and I lose again (six-love both sets). Later, a forty-mile ride up a long bumpy fire trail to a fire tower called Moryeau Lookout, at the 9,600-foot summit. The stone tower was built during the Great Depression by the Civilian Conservation Corps, whose works tend to endure. As we reach the top of the tower, my companion's cell phone gains service and rings. We can see two hundred miles in every direction. The ride back down is in gathering darkness and my hands are very cold. My companion told me to bring my gloves. Maybe I should listen to her more often.
New Mexico is a no-helmet state. I'd feel very guilty if anything happened to my companion because of an omitted safety measure. I insist on helmets and she grumbles about hers continuously for the first two miles while clinging to my back.
We're getting good pictures, but my laptop is not letting me upload them to my website. I'll try using my alternate picture site later this week.