Ever since I moved back to Texas in 1975, I've been skiing in New Mexico at my favorite ski area, Ski Apache located in the mountains above Ruidoso, New Mexico. Unlike my beloved Colorado, the temperatures tend to stay mild all winter, which makes for comfortable skiing and makes old ladies like me want to get out their boards and take some turns on the hill.
Ruidoso has had some hard hits the last few years but thankfully, they are still there. Last year, not only were they hit with the worst flooding in their history, but they also never accumulated any significant amount of snow, which means the ski area was hurt as badly as the funky little town of Ruidoso. Frankly, they haven't had snow for the last couple of years. Global warming? Perhaps, but I doubt it. They are just located closer to the equator than most ski areas, I suppose. In all my years I've only heard of them not opening at all, just once. They have great snow making equipment and NOW they have a great WEB CAM. Pretty much all of the land is owned by the Mescalero Apache Indian Tribe and they have enough money from other endeavors that they don't really worry. The ski area is located in the Sierra Blanca Mountain Range (also known as The White Mountain Range) of New Mexico, which is really breathtaking countryside.
Of course, we could go to Taos, which almost always has snow, but the drive is too long. Ruidoso is a mere 5 hours from our front door (or 4 hours if I'm alone). Taos is about a 9 hour drive (12 hours if driving in deep snow). Although I prefer the challenges offered by skiing Taos, I don't care to make the long drive, nor does anyone else.
Unfortunately, the Ski Apache Web Cam is a bit depressing at the moment, although a couple of weeks ago it was all totally covered in snow, but I'm going to try to keep a positive perspective. In fact, I've been so positive as to rent a house there for Christmas. Neither of the kids has skied in years (they can't afford it) and we haven't skied together in a very long time so this year we're going away for the holidays. Farmer's Almanac is predicting plentiful snow for that region during the week of December 23rd and since they are seldom wrong in their predictions, I'm going with it. Actually, we can back out by December 1st without paying a penalty, just as an option. Both of our children have reached the point that they would rather be with us than their friends (yes, it does happen eventually if you've done your job right), so they aren't in the least bit worried about not seeing their friends over Christmas. Five years ago it would have been a completely different story.
I'm just praying I don't fall this year while skiing. No telling how that will affect my Osteoporosis. Yikes. It's really kind of scary, but I've never been much for falling anyway. I check my speed constantly ever since turning 50. I had a bit of a *freak out* that year when I was up in Ruidoso skiing alone. I started my descent down a run called *Caliente* (a run I've skied many times and at high speeds) and I suddenly froze. I couldn't push off, or make another turn, or even side-step. I even sat down and cried (okay this was probably due to the onset of early menopause because I cried a lot). It was something like 20 or 30 minutes before I mustered up the courage to continue my descent. It wasn't in the least bit funny. It scared the life out of me, to the point that I left after that and returned to my my hotel room to lick my emotional wounds.
Anyhoo, I found a great house (this isn't the house, but is a comparable option) to rent for this Christmas that has a hot tub to soothe tired muscles after a long day of sliding around on our boards, a wonderful gourmet kitchen, a wood burning fireplace, plenty of TV's, a pool table, and all the other comforts of home, located on a secluded 7 acres. Now, all we need is some snow...