Carrizozo, New Mexico is one of the backdrops to “The Book of Eli” starring Denzel Washington. This is a post-apocalyptic tale where a single man must fight his way across America. His purpose is to protect a sacred book that holds the secrets to saving humankind. Gary Oldman, Malcolm McDowell, Jennifer Beals and Mila Kunis, well known for her voice as Meg Griffin from “Family Guy”, round out the cast
Written by Gary Whitt and directed by Albert and Allen Hughes, “The Book of Eli” is scheduled to be released January 15, 2010. The movie’s tag line, “Some will kill to have it. He will kill to protect it.” is in sharp contrast to the small town’s quiet beginnings.
Twelve miles Northeast of Carrizozo lays the town of White Oaks. It is well worth the time to explore this small town while you are in the area. Be sure to check out the “No Scum Allowed Saloon” at 933 White Oaks Ave, (575) 648-5583.
When the railroad bypassed White Oaks, most of the residents and business people relocated to the new town of Carrizozo. The story goes that the town got its name from the tall reedy grasses that grew here, called by the Spanish, “Carrizo” and that Carrizozo was a word coined to mean “an abundance of Carrizo”.
Carrizozo is located at the intersections of US 54 and 380 in south central New Mexico. The second weekend in June, this picturesque community takes a step back in time and is home to the annual Cowboy Days Celebration . “For many of us the cowboy is still the most interesting of all our American heroes….He is fond of dogs and children, invariably polite to women, completely dependable, honorable in his dealings with others, and willing and able to perform any task that can be asked of man and a horse….There was a time when the working cowboy was a prominent figure in the western United States and Canada. (Richard Farnsworth)
One event of the celebration is the “Wild West Shoot-Out” on 12th street where “The Book of Eli” was filmed. Denzel Washington would have made an excellent cowboy as he performed all of his own stunts for the hand to hand fight sequences.
Year around, you can also enjoy the Valley of Fires Lava Flow-located just a few miles West of Carrizozo, this flow occurred 1500 years ago. Follow the self-guided trail through the flow to see the amazing lava formations. 505-648-2241
For a good, old-fashioned meal check out the Four Winds Restaurant at 111 Central Avenue in Carrizozo and the Carrizozo Heritage Museum celebrates the History of Life in the Southwest with displays, artifacts workshops and a gift shop.