August 14, 2018

My thoughts On The Extreme Conditions Curtailing Activities

By Jo Mixon

I almost hesitate to write this but the calls we are receiving from people who are coming to spend their vacation over the 4th, have really saddened me. For the most part, the callers have been gracious about the Carson National Forest being closed and northern New Mexico being under a strict Burn Ban, but more than a few have been very upset and what I deem as selfish.

First I want to assure all of our visitors, none of this is being done to ruin your vacation. It is to preserve our forest and our villages (this includes our homes and businesses), so you might get to continue spending your vacations with us in the future.

The Forest Service issued a statement: “To say it’s “dry” is an understatement. The latest US Drought Monitor shows New Mexico remains in severe to exceptional drought across much of the state. Recent, spotty storms have only produced lightning and more wildfires. What we do not need are fireworks sparking more dangerous fires. Please be cautious and play it safe this long holiday weekend leading up to the 4th of July.”
There will be times until the fires are out, when smoke and ash float over to Angel Fire and the air quality is not as fresh as we are used to, during those times take precaution.

And remember just because you cannot take your ATV’s and jeeps into the forest or hike to Wheeler Peak or camp in your favorite place in the canyon, have campfires, smoke outside or light your fireworks this year, there are still so many fun things to do, it is hard to count them all.

Ellen Goins published a list of things to do in the Sangre de Cristo Chronicle:

Angel Fire Resort is on private land and so will continue to offer a host of activities that include:

  • Monte Verde Lake –Fishing, standup paddleboarding or pedalboating on the water and Eurobungy & Climbing Wall on the shore. Picnicing and an easy walking path around the Lake
  • Angel Fire Bike Park -Downhill Mountain Biking at the largest Bike Park in the Rocky Mountains. If you have never ridden a Bike Park or are a beginner to downhill riding, this is the perfect time to take a lesson or a guided ride. Riders will be introduced to elements of bike control through body positioning, braking and cornering on a gentle slope under the guidance of an instructor.
  • Angel Fire Resort Mountain Area -Scenic chairlift rides take you to the summit of our mountain at 10,677 feet. Explore one of the hiking trails, play disc golf or pack a picnic lunch and enjoy the valley views. When you are ready to head back, you have the option of either hiking down or riding the chairlift back to the base area.
  • Zipline Adventure Tours. You must weigh at least 90 pounds to enjoy the full Adventure Tour, but this summer the resort is offering the Family Flyer – two shorter ziplines for those who weigh 50 pounds or more.
  • Angel Fire Greenbelt Trails: Hiking or biking on one of the Greenbelt trail system in the Village of Angel Fire is a free-access system of trails that can be used for cross-country mountain biking, running or even hiking and there are several bike rental shops.
  • Angel Fire Tennis Center has six hard courts, including two Pickle Ball courts for use by Resort members, guests and visitors to the Moreno Valley.
  • Angel Fire Resort Golf Course -call 575-377-4488 for tee times
  • Free Friday Night Concerts in the Park, Fridays 5:00 pm to 7:30 p.m
  • Angel Fire Art + Farmers’ Market -Sundays 10:00 am to 2:00 pm

Eagle Nest options:

Eagle Nest Lake State Park is open for shore and boat fishing. Additionally, the Eagle Nest community is celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Eagle Nest Dam June 30 to July 7 with events that include dam tours, music, kite flying, a canoe, kayak and stand-up paddleboard races, family activities, and more.

  • Ongoing and Seasonal Activities/Events in Eagle Nest

– June thru September include:

  • Dam Tours on Land by Gateway Museum. 505-603-9985
  • Dam Tours by Boat by Eagle Nest Adventures. 575-252-3252
  • Self-guided flora and fauna trail walks around Eagle Nest Lake. 575-377-1594
  • Farmer’s Market – Fridays thru the 1st Friday in September. 575-377-6188

Red River Ski & Summer Area received a special exemption for activities that include:

  • Scenic Summer Chairlift Rides – Hidden Treasures Aerial Park -Summer Mountain Tubing -Pioneer Flyer Zipline
    Additionally, the “Walk with a Ranger” is now a “Talk with a Ranger” at the Tip Restaurant Deck every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 11 a.m. and the Tip Restaurant will serve food and beer along with the “Music on Top” concert series very Saturday at 11 a.m. on the deck.

Red River Visitor Center also gathered the following list:

  • Rent a bike or ride a surrey at Sitzmark Sports, Red River Community House events that include Hobbies in the House, Nature Hikes, Volleyball, Games on the Lawn, Story Time, Bingo, workouts, Line Dancing Lessons,Line Dancing, Kid’s Nature Crafts, S’mores & Stories, Senior Games, Movies in the Mountains, Jammin’ on the Porch, Red River History Hikes, and more. A schedule is available at the Red River Visitor’s Center or here. Fly fishing with local guides – Fagan’s Guided Fly Fishing, Red River Angler & Sport, Star Trading Post & Angler Fly Shop. Red River Angler and Sport also offers 4×4 tours at ETown, Rio grande rafting, horseback riding and guided rock climbing.
  • Fishing the Red River (within town limits and on the side that is not part of the Carson National Forest_ Town Pond, Eagle Rock Lake in Questa, Rio Grande Del Norte National Monument (Wild Rivers) and the Red River Fish Hatchery. Horseback riding tour through town and at Elizabethtown – Red River Stables & New Mexico Adventure Co.
  • Horseback riding on Bobcat Pass (private ranch tour) – Bobcat Pass Wilderness Adventures. Gunfights every Saturday at 4 p.m. and Wild West music Thursday’s at 4 p.m. – Frye’s Old Town. Bobcat Pass Cowboy Evenings on Tuesday’s, Thursday’s & Saturday’s, Live music – Motherlode Saloon, Bull O’ the Woods Saloon, The Lost Love Saloon, Red River Brewing Company. Ride the Go-Karts at The Pit Stop
  • E-Town 4×4 Tours on a private ranch – Red River Mountain Adventures, New Mexico Adventure Company. Weezie’s Wild Rides will trailer UTVs to the BLM grounds near Cerro (west of Red River and just north of Questa) as well as west of the John Dunn Bridge and trails west of there. Michael Martin Murphey concert at Bitter Creek Ranch (begins July 30) Disc Golf, volleyball and skate park at Mallette Park.
  • Plus BLM land remains under Stage II restrictions, which means the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument is open for camping and recreational use. The Wild Rivers Recreation Area offers several hiking trails. Take State Road 378, three miles north of Questa off Highway 522. Pay a day-use or camping fee at self-serve stations near trail heads. Info, 575-758-8851.

We love our visitors and we truly want you to have a wonderful vacation experience. Please obey the rules during this dangerous, dry time and help us to preserve the natural beauty that brings you back year after year to share it with us!

Chamber Business After Hours

Business After Hours include hors d’oeuvres and drinks, networking and door prizes.

Everyone is welcome, both members and non-members of the Chamber of Commerce!

July 17, 2018
Angel Fire Family Dentistry
5:30 pm to 7:00 pm
27479 Highway 64
Angel Fire, NM 87710

July 31, 2018
Land & Homes Services / Northeastern Construction
5:30 pm to 7:00 pm
52 N Angel Fire Rd
Angel Fire, NM 87710

August 15, 2018
Goodnight Electronics / Moore Home Care
5:30 pm to 7:00 pm
3453 Mountain View Blvd
Angel Fire, NM 87710

International Bank
Date TBA

The Summer Adventures Of The Traveling Chamber Chair

Enter to win $250.00 Cash Prize

It’s Easy! First Find the Chair!

Live Drawing August 31, 2018

Where was the chair last week? At the Angel Fire Chamber of Commerce in the foyer. These people found the Traveling Chamber Chair during Week 1. They are now entered to win $250.00 cash prize!

How to Enter to Win the Summer Adventures of the Traveling Chamber Chair Grand Prize of $250.00

Here is all you have to do:

1. From the photo posted, find the member business where the Traveling Chamber Chair is visiting each week and go take a selfie, or have someone take a photo for you, sitting in, with or around the Traveling Chamber Chair. While you are there, take the time to visit the business (maybe make a purchase) and tell them how much you appreciate them!

2. Next, upload and post your photo on the Traveling Chamber Chair’s Face Book Page, the link is below, along with at least one positive sentence about the business who is hosting that week. Tell us what you like! Do not include the name of the business in your post! (Without the positive statement, your photo will be removed and disqualified)

3. You may enter one time per business location, once a week.

4. All photos and positive comments will go into the drawing.

5. Drawing will be held live, on Facebook, on August 31, 2018.

Who is eligible to enter? Everyone over the age of 18 years old. Residents and visitors!

You do not have to be a Chamber member to participate. Group photos are welcome. Be sure to designate the person or group the photo belongs to for an entry into the drawing that week. There may be children under the age of 18 in your photos, but they are not eligible for the grand prize. Questions? Call 575-377-6353.

Advocates Corner

At the Chamber Quarterly Membership Meeting last week, an idea came from the attendees to form a Community Coalition group to start looking into ways of achieving a more environmentally friendly community and to advance more sustainable living practices in Angel Fire.

It will be a community partnership, pulling together those concerned in the business community, the private community, the Chamber, the Village and the Resort… anyone who has an interest in maintaining the sustainable integrity of the Moreno Valley.

We received a letter from the Village Administrator explaining why the recycling of plastics and glass has been stopped in Angel Fire. It was obvious at the meeting, concerned citizens are willing to help find solutions. How? We don’t have the answer to that question, thus the forming of this coalition. We will research and put into action possible answers.

If this is an important issue to you and you are willing to roll up your sleeves and “walk the walk” and get down to business, not just spend our time blaming others and complaining about it, consider being a part of this group. Thank you in advance for stepping up.

This group will meet on June 20 at 5:30 pm at the Angel Fire Chamber of Commerce. We will prepare an agenda, as well as a suggested Mission Statement with Goals. In particular, at this first meeting will likely fine tune the scope of this coalition.

If you this is an issue close to your heart, please become an active participant. Simply email to sign up. Thank you.

New Chamber Office Hours

The Angel Fire Chamber has extended operational hours and will now open at 8:00 am until 5:00 pm, Tuesday to Friday. Plus we will remain open during the lunch hour, as we move to a four-day work week. We want to be frugal with our finances and believe this is a fiscally sound step to take. Thank you!

Monday – By appointment
Tuesday – 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
Wednesday – 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
Thursday – 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
Friday – 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
Saturday – Closed
Sunday – Closed

CFT Decor & Gifts Says “I Know Jo, Do You?”

By Jo Mixon

Jo & Franchescca Zoppe, Owner of CFT Decor and Gifts

After retirement from a very stressful high tech position, Franchescca Zoppe, an Angel Fire resident, decided, like many others, she wasn’t ready to totally retire. In 2016 she chose to purchase Country Furnishings of Taos, a well established gift and furniture shop. I asked her what the attraction was to this store and she said, “The ambiance and the employees”. She has a huge amount of respect for her employees. Brenda has been there 25 years, Holly 15 years and Sherry 6 years. I found them friendly, knowledgeable and extremely helpful.

The store is an old adobe house, constructed in the 1930’s. It opened as a business in 1986 and has been thoroughly renovated. Plus it has been expanded twice in order to accommodate steady growth. It’s concept has been very successful! Now with Franchescca at the helm, she is adding her own touches and expanding their footprint. She changed the name to CFT Decor and Gifts but remains completely committed to continuing the tradition of providing an eclectic shopping experience for her customers. Her decor and gifts are a mixture of handcrafted and manufactured items. She has twenty+ artists and artisans represented. They are from Taos, Angel Fire, northern New Mexico, Colorado, and Texas. She also loves and appreciates her customers. Some of them tell her the store is their destination shopping place when they come to visit Taos, where they find one-of-a-kind treasures!

When you visit her website it says, “Our merchandise is colorful, innovative and fun, and features artwork from local artists. Whether you are searching for a hand-carved headboard with vividly painted poppies, brightly colored pottery, candles, children toys, books or more, we have the perfect addition for your home or the perfect gift for family or friends. Here, besides ensuring our store is stocked with unique, inspiring items, our priority is customer service.”

I couldn’t agree more! As I wandered from room to room I found whimsical, creative items with pops of color here and there that would add perfect accent pieces to any decor. Franchescca calls it a potpourri of color. I could have wandered around browsing and buying for hours. You absolutely must stop in the next time you are in Taos!

Plus CFT Decor and Gifts offers a gift and wedding registry, which is unique to Taos. If they don’t have what you are looking for, they will order it and have it for you as soon as possible. Good thing to know!

CFT Decor and Gifts
534 Paseo del Pueblo Norte
Taos, New Mexico
Open Monday thru Saturday
10:00 am to 5:30 pm

Big Brothers Big Sisters Mountain Region Says, “I Know Jo, Do You?”

By Jo Mixon

Since 1904, Big Brothers Big Sisters has been changing children’s lives by matching them with caring adults to help guide them on a path to success. Last week I met with two amazing ladies. Both are Big Sisters in the Big Brother Big Sister program here in Angel Fire. One is in the School Based program the other is in the Community based program.

For the first visit, I went to the Elementary School to meet Grace Ann and her “little”. This program encourages contact only at school. The participating Big Brother or Big Sister meets with their little during lunch, at recess and/or during library time, usually once a week. Grace Ann is a retired teacher whose children are grown and she was missing that contact in her life. She decided to join Big Brothers, Big Sisters. About a year ago, she was paired with her adorable “little sister” who is in the sixth (almost seventh) grade. I was excited that we had obtained permission for me to meet with them from the Grandmother with whom her little sister lives. Grace Ann says she is very impressed with the organization and how extremely vetted the “bigs” are, prior to being assigned a “little”. On this given day, she was taking Kentucky Fried Chicken for them to share at lunch.

I asked her little what her perspective is of the program. She said, “At first I didn’t want to do it but my Aunt had been a big sister and she and my Grandmother explained it to me, so I agreed to try it. She (pointing to Graceann) has been my big sister ever since.” Then I asked her what she enjoyed about having a big sister. She said, “She brings me fried chicken and other things I like for lunch. We have fun together. We play games after we have lunch. It is like having another grandmother. She asks about my day and cares about me. She tutors me in math, she was a math teacher!” Then she laughed. I could tell by their interaction, both were receiving joy from this arrangement.

Finally I asked if she thought others would benefit from having a big brother or big sister and she said, “I feel like for the kids who have no mom or dad in their life, they should all have a big brother or big sister to comfort them like I do. It would make them feel better.”

Next is with Bobbie Jean and her little. They are in the Community based program, but started out in the school based program. This is the story as given to me from Bobbie Jean:

“Before joining Big Brothers Big Sisters, I had heard a lot about it from my late friend Don Welker. We use to ride horses together several times a week & he was very passionate about bringing the program to Angel Fire. I used the excuse in the beginning that I never had the time. Being a service business owner I did not have a stable schedule. What if I disappoint my “little”? I had all kinds of excuses! Long story short, after Don’s passing, I signed up. I thought what the heck?!

The process of being matched was painless & fun even. I was amazed at how thorough they are. When I was contacted by Oralia (in the Taos office) for an interview, I suggested she come to my house. It was a great meeting. She fingerprinted me and explained the extensive background check they did for the protection of the children being matched. Wow! I told her my insecurities with being a big sister and that I was scared. She made it sound so easy! One of the things she told me that I think helped me, was explaining what my job was as big sister and what it was not. I was NOT a babysitter, taxi driver, bank, etc. I was a friend. Someone my little could talk to and have fun with.

The next meeting was at school where I met my beautiful little sister. She was as shy as I was! There are two kinds of programs in the Big Brother Big Sister system: School based, where you see your little during school hours only. And community based, where you also have more interaction with the parents, because you can see your little anytime. My little and I started out in the school based program. I had lunch with her at school. Eventually I was also seeing her during library time and recess. We became very popular. A lot of the children wanted a “big” too! In fact, there is a waiting list for “bigs”, especially men!

My little and I have been sisters for over two years now. We have moved to a community based match so we have all sorts of adventures. When we can’t spend time together, we text or talk on the phone. We have been on hikes, skiing, to the movies, bowling, etc. Sometimes it has just been a 30 minute trip to the store after school for a snack while we were waiting for her mom to get off of work.

Most of us have busy lives, but we all find the time to do what we feel is important. I feel that is important to be there for our young people. I would encourage someone that has questions about this program to meet with Oralia. Or go to the website and look at some of the stories. I had always wanted a big sister when I was growing up. I didn’t have a sister because my big sister died when I was very young. I am now the big sister to someone who dreamed of having a big sister too. It’s so easy! If being a big isn’t something that you would like to do, then consider supporting in another way such as donating financially, volunteering or serving as a board member. I also now serve on the Big Brother Big Sister board.”

There are more children, many more than you would image on the waiting list here in the Valley. If you could spare an hour or two a week to join this program and give a child a friend, please consider being a Big! Invest in a child.

Angel Fire Studio Art Tour

Signup Meeting

Attention to all Artists & Businesses located in Angel Fire, Black Lake, Taos Canyon, Valle Escondido, and Eagle Nest who want to be a part of the 2018 Angel Fire Studio Art Tour, September 29-30, 2018.

When: May 14, 2018 at 5:30 pm

Where: 3407 Mountain View Boulevard, Angel Fire NM 87710

Please attend and signup at the meeting, May 14, 2018 at 5:30 pm in the foyer of the Angel Fire Chamber of Commerce. If you are an artisan located outside of these areas but still live and do your work in northern New Mexico, and would like to join the tour, please attend and we will locate you and your work in a participating business.

If you cannot attend the meeting, applications are available now at the Chamber or call 575-377-6353. Deadline for application is May 18, 2018.

Quarterly Membership Breakfast Meeting

Discussion on what is happening at the Chamber and updates on where the village is on the recycle issues brought up during the March Candidate Forum.

When: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 from 8:00 am to 9:00 am

Where: 3407 Mountain View Boulevard, Angel Fire, NM 87710

Breakfast is free for Chamber members, $5.00 for non Chamber members.

An eBlast From The Past

With the resurrection of the “I Know Jo” series, I have decided to add another level. Once a month, in the first Monday Newsletter eBlast edition, I will be featuring “AN EBLAST FROM THE PAST”.

I will randomly pull one of your favorite “I Know Jo” stories from past eBlasts, dating anytime from 2012 to 2017 and re-run them for your enjoyment!

This “Kids Camp” story is from six years ago, the summer of 2012. Please note this is the original story and photos. Employees, activities, classes and dates may have changed, but Kids Camp is still going strong. For updated 2018 classes and activities at the Angel Fire Community Center see the calendars at or

Kids Camp at the Angel Fire Community Center Says “I Know Jo, Do You?”

By Jo Mixon June 2012

It’s that time of the year again when Greg, my grandson from Texas, comes to visit me for a month. We lovingly refer to this time as Camp Memaw! This summer while he’s visiting he has also chosen to attend Kids Camp. The first day he was here, upon referral from my friend Nancy Burch, who owns and operates Roadrunner Tours, we went to the Community Center to talk with Shay Tibljas about the camp. Shay, who is the Community Center Coordinator, started Kids Camp in 2010. We looked at the schedule and Greg was immediately ready to sign up!

He has attended three days this week. Under the supervision of Karen Kelly and her assistant Jake Colenda, Greg and the kids at Kids Camp have gone horseback riding with Nancy, swimming at the country club, taken an art class with Carol Rupp at White Dog Studio, been mountain biking up the greenbelt trails and at the Resort Bike Park. They also played disk golf, euro-bungied, hit the climbing wall, and hiked down Heading Home. All of this in three days … kid heaven! And if you look at their calendar at, you will see this is not all Kids Camp has to offer.

One of the great things about how Shay has Kids Camp set up is the parent/child option to choose the days they want to attend based around the activities planned for each day. Greg has picked out all of the days he wants to attend for his entire visit in Angel Fire. Kids Camp is open June 4 through August 9, 2012. They meet Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. There is room for up to 23 kids, ages 5 to 12. McKenna Hedgepeth and Brooke Perry are called in to help on days when the camp is full. Fees for attending are $23 per day for locals, with multiple-child discounts or a flat weekly rate. The fee includes lunch and snacks. Shay told me about the great partnerships the camp has with other venues in the village that make it possible to keep the per-camper costs down. She also said she refers those with kids ages 2 to 5 to Mountain Day Care Camp at the Resort.

Then I talked to Shay about other activities at the Community Center, which is open year round. Each month a calendar is posted on both their website and ours, with schedules for exercise classes, bridge groups, bible studies, pickle ball, open gym days and much more. She would like to get a basketball team together. If you’re interested call her at 575-377-1544. Although Shay must charge fees for usage of the Community Center, the facility is not a profit-making venue. The goal is to break even so that it can be adequately maintained and remain available for use. Call to book weddings, reunions, dances, etc.

Eventually I asked how Shay came to Angel Fire. While they were residents of Colorado, she and her high school sweetheart (now husband) Rob, decided they wanted to live and raise their children in a small mountain community. Rob’s grandmother was one of the original settlers in Eagle Nest, so he had spent many childhood summers in the area. They chose Angel Fire 10 years ago, never wanting to go anywhere else.

My advice: enroll your kids or grand kids in Kids Camp in Angel Fire this summer. They’ll make memories for a lifetime and have way too much fun!

FYI: My grandson Greg who this story refers to is now almost 17 years old. He still spends most of his summers in Angel Fire working as a Jr. Wrangler at Roadrunner Tours. Last summer he came home from work one day and told me he had saddled up the kids from Kids Camp today. He thought it was pretty cool because he had been one of the kids from Kids Camp excited to ride the horses and now he was one of the wranglers, taking the excited kids for a ride!

If you want your past “I Know Jo” story to re-run or you want to schedule your first story email