Cloudcroft - New Mexico
Cloudcroft NM is a quite lovely little town set in the cool forest at the southern end of the Sacramento Mountain range, overlooking the vast NM central valley and White Sands National Park. Its streets retain the charming covered boardwalks of the Old West and the surrounding woods are full of little cabins and homes accessed by a maze of twisty and steep small roads. The ideal local transport would be a powered 4 wheel desert bike and indeed many locals can be seen driving these agile mounts. There is skiing in Winter and a clannish but friendly atmosphere. Residents see themselves very much as "mountain people" with a distinct identity, treating "flat-landers" from the Sacramento Valley below as "outsiders" although in a humerous and friendly way!. Cloudcroft is a rugged and individual place with a strong flavour all of its own.
The covered boardwalk in the town center has many pleasant craft shops selling all the usual things but with with a local flavour. I would highly recommend the Western Bar for a quiet game of pool and a few cold beers if you are staying locally and not driving. It's ceiling is decorated with the chalked names and messages of generations of visitors and patrons, including my own. (Eon -London UK 2001)