“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
Robert Frost wrote this legendary passage a century ago, 1916 to be exact, as part of the “The Road Not Taken.”
For decades, it has resonated with many travelers during their journeys.
For Arthur and David Pike, this was the impetus of their latest book, “Detour New Mexico: Historic Destinations & Natural Wonders.” The book will be released on Monday, Jan. 23.
It is more than a travel book across the Land of Enchantment.
It’s an interesting approach to road-tripping around the state.
Instead of taking the quick routes, the brothers wanted to slow the journey.
Instead of taking Interstate 25, which runs from Raton south to Las Cruces or Interstate 40, which takes travelers across the state from east to west, or vice versa – each route is thoughtfully drawn out.
“There’s a certain breed of traveler more focused on experience than expediency,” David Pike says. “They’d prefer to wander than make time, to dwell on those views, to seek out the complex and varied history of this state and absorb the lessons it has to offer. They’re into detours.”
The brothers Pike – who are both New Mexico State University alums – have outlined the “detour list,” which consists of 17 locations.
The pair have fun with the names and descriptions.
The first detour – The Badlands Detour: A Land of True Enchantment – takes visitors from Grants to Zuni Pueblo, then south to Fence Lake and back up to Grants.
The entire route is designed around El Malpais National Monument.
The description of the detour length reads, “Just a few short of 200 miles.”
“We wanted to have fun with the descriptions,” Arthur Pike says. “It’s just fun.”
The book took the brothers about 18 months to complete. And the duo wanted to incorporate all spots in New Mexico.
“Detour New Mexico” was a working title, eventually becoming the finalist.
“The idea of detour incorporated itself in there,” David Pike says. “It’s very different than off the beaten path. The way we looked at it is you can go from Socorro to Truth or Consequences. You can get there in an hour on I-25. Or you can take N.M. 1 and it will take you two hours. The extra time opens up the traveler to a different scenery. It’s an opportunity to see something different and learn something new.”
Some of the other detours are The Chaco Detour, The Atomic Detour, The Rio Grande Detour, The Traditions Detour, The Kicks Detour, The Forgotten Highway Detour, The Gila Detour, The Billy the Kid Detour and The Detour Detour.
“To help have the most compelling adventures as you travel, we’ve divided the state into six geographic regions: northwestern, north-central, northeastern, central, southwestern and southeastern,” the brothers say in the book.
And if you’re wondering, yes, the men have taken each detour. Some together, others not.
“I think taking the tours with my brother has brought back memories from us growing up,” Arthur Pike says. “We’ve revisited old memories, all while making new ones. It was a great experience for the both of us.”
David Pike enjoyed spending time with his brother, as well as revisiting areas and seeing how they have changed.
“The state has a lot to see,” he says. “It’s important to preserve it. The detours also give a chance for New Mexicans to venture out and see something new.”