When I returned in the summer of 2002 for a full investigation of the area I exited Interstate 10 at Las Cruces for a swift approach via scenic Highway 70. The high, open plains here rise to the north like a golden skirt around a granite Christmas tree. Few realize this Scenic Byway is actually nestled in the southernmost section of the Rocky Mountains known as the Sacramento range. Yes, the famous Rockies sputter, then tumble, into high desert plains in southern New Mexico, but not before a last, lofty upsurge and impressive pinnacle, Sierra Blanca, the 12,000 foot sentinel that looms above the town of Ruidoso. Even fewer people guess there's some fine skiing to be enjoyed in the region during the winter. But snow and motorcycles don't jive, right? So we'll concentrate on what matters most. The Ruidoso area, Lincoln County to be more general, is indeed a biker's oasis from May through October. Temperatures are mild and the roads clean, clear and enticingly curvy, while wonderful delights—foods, shops, sites—seem to wait around every bend.