Offbeat New Mexico — A Great Road Trip Resource

Book Cover revised8Offbeat New Mexico is true to its name, as author Neala McCarten paints a colorful picture of some of the most obscure and unique New Mexico towns you’ll ever visit.

For example, there’s Cold Beer, New Mexico — how could you ever resist that?

McCarten is also very clear in the preface that the book isn’t a travel guide, as it won’t tell you where to eat or sleep. She further notes that there are many other sources that do that, so she saw no need to duplicate them.

It goes without saying that access isn’t covered either, but then again, that’s not what the book is about. It’s about the Navajo Code Talkers, Georgia O’Keeffe, Kit Carson, Fred Harvey, Billy the Kid, Smokey Bear and many others who made or changed history in The Land of Enchantment.

Is it worth a read? Most definitely, especially if you are planning a road trip through the state. I have to say that even though I’m a frequent New Mexico visitor, I’ve added a few places to my must-see list after reading the book. And as an author I can appreciate the amount of research that McCarten devoted to the project.

I was also pleased that she included the Route 66 Auto Museum in Santa Rosa and Ojo Caliente Hot Springs — two of my favorite New Mexico haunts. And I was very surprised to find out that there’s a Telephone Museum in Albuquerque and that Santa Fe was home to a Japanese interment camp during WWII.

All in all it’s a great historical read. And if you want to know where to find a primo collection of Route 66 murals, McCarten has you covered on that too.

Bottom line — it’s the perfect idea book for any New Mexico road trip.