How to Live Free and Weird

Let’s take a New Hampshire road trip together

UntitledI became a travel writer by jumping into my car, driving to something local that I found interesting, and writing about it. It was that easy.

And then I did it over and over again. Every weekend I could. And I did it farther way during vacations. And three-day weekends. Visiting family. Work travel. Anywhere life took me, I kept one eye sideways for any oddities nearby that I could drop by.

Eventually, I developed the belief that within a tank or two of gas from any point in this country, there’s something odd and interesting to see. And I only add the caveat “or two” because of those massive agoraphobia-inducing Midwest states where the world looks like it’s never going to end and the giant sky sucks all the breath out of your lungs.

But we don’t have to worry about that here in cozy, forest- and mountain-nestled New Hampshire. Wherever you are in our right triangle of a state, you can find something fascinating 15 minutes away, half an hour away, two hours away that you could dedicate just a fraction of your weekend to, and in exchange learn something interesting, sure, but, even better, have a good time living outside the living room.

Of course, you have to know the oddity exists before you can go find it (usually). That takes knowing what resources to check online and keeping an eye out for any mentions in the media. And then it takes a little research and planning to go see them. Especially when you do multi-site road trips, which are the type I like to do.

And I want to show you how I do one. On August 7, at 5 p.m. EST, I’ll be doing a live, virtual presentation sponsored by New Hampshire Humanities. Join me as I create a New Hampshire road trip full of strange sites during my talk, while telling you the stories of the sites along the way. It’s like this column, but more oddity and strung together in an itinerary that anybody can follow on any given Saturday.

It’s a free talk, but space is limited, so make sure you register here. It’ll be a good time.

What: HTG Online: Weird Things I’ve Seen in New Hampshire
When: Friday, August 7, 5 p.m. EST
Where: Online, via Zoom
Anything else? Yes. Register here.

J.W. Ocker lives in Nashua and writes spooky novels and travelogues. His next book, “Cursed Objects,” debuts in September and is up for preorder. Visit him at or send him New Hampshire oddities that he should visit at

Categories: Live Free and Weird