The best way to see the country is by road,” says Rick Quinn—and he should know. Born in Phoenix and trained as an archaeologist, Quinn started road-tripping in the back of his father’s DeSoto along Route 66, and, as an adult, drove to Alaska and then down to the border of Guatemala, not to mention careening across the Andes in a four-wheel drive.
When he retired, he kept driving, posting his adventures and photos on a website and blog, which led him to author RoadTrip America Arizona and New Mexico: 25 Scenic Side Trips for Imbrifex Books, published April 2018. The book is a distillation of two year’s worth of work, 7,000 photographs 11,000 miles driven through the two states with his wife, friends or just his lonesome in tow. His suggested routes loop off interstates and are manageable in a day. They also include maps, tips and suggestions for attractions, food and lodging along the way.
Quinn’s favorite Southwestern roads less traveled? Diamond Creek Road on the Hualapai reservation in western Arizona, where, he explains, an adventurous driver can maneuver all the way down to the banks of the Colorado River; and State Highway 371 south of Farmington, New Mexico to the Bisti Badlands. “It’s amazing to me that you can get all the way down to the river on Diamond Creek Road,” he remarks, “while at Bisti, you can hike around outstanding geological formations.”
Want to learn more from this road master? Quinn is doing a book signing at 6 p.m. on Friday, May 4th at Starrlight Books, 15 N. Leroux St., Flagstaff; Refreshments provided by Mother Road Brewery.