Books to Inspire 2022 Adventures -

A couple issues ago, I told you about some books to help you get back on the road. Since then, new books have been published I think might pique your interest in taking other road trips and outings. With much of New Mexico easy to travel through every season, these books may give you some ideas for destinations that can help reduce your cabin fever as you get back to exploring the state in 2022.

A Guide to New Mexico Film Locations

By Jason Strykowski

Being married to a film fan, I know that visiting the place a film was made can be a popular adventure (should I tell you how many times we’ve visited Malibu Creek State Park in California because many of the Planet of the Apes movies were made there back when it was 20th Century Fox Ranch?).

As I researched this story, a “major action movie” was being filmed in downtown Las Cruces, followed by one that turned Mesilla back into a Mexican village, and then even more filming in Las Cruces. These add to the filmography of our state that began in 1897 at Isleta Pueblo when Edison Manufacturing Company first put New Mexico in moving pictures with a film called Indian Day School. Since then, thousands of television shows and movies have been filmed in the state, which means there are lots of fun places to explore where you can stand in the footprints of iconic actors!

Jason Strykowski uses his experience as a script coordinator and assistant to producers and actors to give readers and adventurers an insider’s view of the world of movie making. The book highlights areas of the state and films made in each, and even suggests hotels and restaurants where filmmakers and stars have stayed and eaten. Las Cruces is listed, for example, for its connection to Clint Eastwood, who was in the area to film parts of Hang ‘em High in 1968 and The Mule 50 years later. Where did he eat? The author says Eastwood was spotted at La Posta de Mesilla.

For some locations like Albuquerque — the home of Breaking Bad — the book offers an “Albuquerque like a film local” section with tips on places to eat, locations to visit, and more. With 48 locations highlighted, plus chapters on movie studios and theaters, film fans will find much to love in this book! More for film lovers: New Mexico Filmmaking by Jeff Berg.

New Mexico Family Outdoor Adventure

By Christina M. Selby

Writer, naturalist, and photographer Christina Selby’s newest book is geared for, well, family outdoor adventures in New Mexico! This book describes a wide range of opportunities for people of all ages to explore and enjoy nature. It begins with some highlighted locations for specific interests, under the subheadings of “Discover Nature,” with tips and locations for birdwatching and wildlife viewing with kids, and “Play in Nature,” with detailed information on activities like rock climbing, hiking, fishing, and mountain biking.

Then the book dives deep into adventures by region of the state. In the Southeast Mountains to Desert section, for instance, 12 destinations are described, from the Organ Mountains–Desert Peaks National Monument in the Mesilla Valley to the Living Desert Zoo and Garden State Park in Carlsbad. For each destination, the author gives helpful information such as contacts, nearest town, best season to visit, how to get there, and an in-depth description. Wildlife and birds you may see are listed, hiking maps are provided, as well as descriptions of other activities you can enjoy in the area, such as mountain biking, climbing, and camping.

The author’s beautiful photography fills the book and helps readers envision what they may see and do. There’s someplace she recommends in almost every section of New Mexico, so start planning your travel adventures now!
More by Christina Selby: Best Wildflower Hikes New Mexico.

New Mexico State Parks Bucket Journal

If your travels include our state’s parks, historic sites, wildlife refuges, wilderness study areas, recreation areas, and other locations, and you enjoy keeping track of where you’ve been and what you did, this handy journal may be just what you need. Part planning guide and part trip record, there’s a page for each of the 121 locations in the journal. Each location’s page has the website, phone number, closest city, and county in which it is located and boxes to check for what is offered at the venue. You can also record how far it is from home, if dogs are allowed, and if reservations are required, for example.

Those locations that offer camping have an additional page on which you can record fun things that happened, your campsite number, the maximum allowed RV length, the weather, and more. Extra pages in the back allow users to record locations they visited that weren’t included in the book.

The company publishes a wide variety of journals, including those for ball parks, golf courses, wine tasting, and zoos. And before you tell me, I’ve already pointed out to them that perhaps because the company publishes these journals for all the states, they did confuse New Mexico with Arizona on the cover. Saguaro cacti don’t usually grow in the Chihuahuan Desert, but the Sonoran. Traveling out of state? National Park Bucket Journal. Find them at


Written by: Cheryl Fallstead

Originally published in Neighbors magazine.


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