Leaving the flat, open range of the southern New Mexico, a winding, narrow road runs along the remnants of an old stagecoach trail, with its stone path marking an eyebrow on the surrounding for the hills, subtly marking the entry to the a unique and historic landscape. Passing though these initial broad canyons, the road follows the path of the Rio Hondo, lined with golden cottonwoods in the fall, up the valley into the Sacramento Mountains, past El Capitan and on to Sierra Blanca, now a favorite destination for weekend skiers. This remote valley has long been a retreat for artists and those wanting to get away from it all, dating back to the 1930.  The New Mexico painter Peter Hurd had studied for…