Leave early and stop at Perini's at Buffalo Gap or the Beehive in Abilene for lunch. Dinner at the Cattle Baron, aka "The Robber Baron" in Roswell.
We like to take the side roads, out of Abilene, head north to Anson and take HWY 180 west to Snyder or keep on to Aspermont and take HWY 380 to Post. After that we tend to hit 380 at Post and head west, the oilfield traffic can be dangerous farther west, it is our reason to head up 84 at Snyder to Post and west on 380. You do not want to keep on west on 180 and go through Hobbs, Lovington etc., HWY 380 is better. Another option is go on to Sweetwater, then head north HWY 70 to 380, it's a 2 lane ride through part of the Rolling Plains of Texas.
For us the quickest from Abilene is IH20 to Roscoe, 84 to Post and west on 380 to Ruidoso, it takes 6 to 6.5 hours. But with our routes, we have taken over 10 hours by using everything including Farm to Market roads.
When you get to Ruidoso, make sure you make a trip to Capitan, the green chili cheeseburger at the Smokey the Bear Restaurant is worth the trip, or the same at the Oso Grill, skip the El Paisano. Another trip is to the Reservation, the Old Road Café just past the town of Mescalero, it is an old café, a real hole in the wall that has great local foods. Jorges is good in Ruidoso, the little café Pena's Place is another we go to. Anaheim Jacks and Farley's are others that we go.
Saved the best for last, there is a gas station at the corner of White Mountain DR and Mechem called Club Gas. Starting at 5PM they have carry out on Tuesday thru Thursday. You need to call and ask what the day's menu is and order, it will be tacos, burritos etc., plates with beans rice etc., a real meal for about $6. It fills up the large square Styrofoam covered plates. Well worth the money and home cooked New Mexican style. Their breakfast burritos are also a must buy, but you got to get their early.
Combat Infantryman, the ultimate hunter where the prey shoots back.
_____________"Illegitimus non carborundum est"_______________