Friday, December 3, 2021

The 'Ultimate' BIRD, outside Las Cruces, New Mexico


Nope, we ain't talking about "let's Go Brandon", or even a "Flock of Birds"...Nope, we are talking about the famous, one and only Las Cruces Road Runner, a sculpture which can be seen from I-10 both east and west, and is an easy walk when you are at the award winning Eastbound Rest Stop between mileposts 134 and 135.  Created in 1993 by artist Olin Calk it sat at a 'Junk Yard' for its first 8 years.  WHY a junkyard????  Because it is made of JUNK...yes, household junk...which makes it the "Ultimate Bird" of a kind...

Look at its head...

Now look closer at its will see soles of shoes and sandals and sneakers. A tire making up the 'whites' of its eye, and an old headlight and something black making up the rest of its eye.  Miscellaneous fabrics and metals.

In its mid-section you can see a keyboard, a cell phone, a train, a horse...and its breast made up of white tennis shoes.

In early 2001, Olin stripped off the old junk, replaced it with new junk, and moved the roadrunner to a rest stop along Interstate 10.  By 2011 the roadrunner had deteriorated, partly from the elements, partly from grabby visitors. Olin stripped it down and brought it back to his house. It sat there for three years, waiting for the city to determine its fate. Wisely, they decided in favor of the roadrunner, and it was returned to the rest stop in June 2014. By then the landfill had closed, so Olin re-feathered it using thrift store rejects and scrap metal salvaged from the Las Cruces recycling center.


Overall it was another easy traveling day of just under 280 miles...about half of it in Arizona and half in New Mexico.  We stopped at the Texas Canyon Rest Area for a doggie break and breakfast for all, and then at San Simon Rest Area for a break for all.  From there we made it to the Love's Truck Stop FOR GAS, just 3 miles from the Roadrunner Rest Area where we are spending the night.  Our first time here, but others, in their blogs, report it to be a quiet night, with security, and, of course, the ULTIMATE BIRD!

Just outside the motorhome is a nice little doggie area which was made through an Eagle Project with a Boy Scout Troop.

Includes two fake fire hydrants with dog paws on them.  Indy really enjoyed this added attraction.

Tomorrow will be our first of three nights, four days traveling through Texas.

Thursday, December 2, 2021

In Tucson -- Met Fellow Blogger Doug & Yuma (& Nick)

We left campsite promptly by 9:15, dumped our tanks and were out of the park by 9:35.  Traffic was a bit heavy as we neared the heart of Phoenix, but we survived it.  We stopped at the first rest area south of Phoenix and walked the dog, ate breakfast, and we continued toward Tucson.  In Eloy, Arizona, we stopped at a Flying J and filled up with Propane and with fuel, and were on our way again.

Off in the distance, through to smoggy air, we see this interesting mountain formation which we later discover to be Picacho Peak.  I told Marcia that it looked like a large saddle...

As we get closer the smog lessens up and the we see the beauty of the peak.  The 'Librarian' in me has me do some research....partly because the name, Picacho Peak.  So as I write this blog, I do a quick check, and there it is.  The Battle of Picacho Pass, also known as the Battle of Picacho Peak, was an engagement of the American Civil War on April 15, 1862...recognized as the furthest west of any Civil War engagement.  (Click Here to read more about this)

Across the highway and to the north of Picacho Peak is this formation, Newman Peak.  It is the largest peak within the Picacho Mountain Range.  As with many of Arizona mountain peaks, there is a trail to the top of Newman, as there is with Picacho.  That is something this ole man will NEVER do!

Just before 2 pm, we pull into 'The RV Park' at Pima County Fair.  There's over 400 RV sites, larger enough to fit any motorhome with tow car.  Basic cost is $30, can get a discount for Good Sam or FMCA, or a weekly price of $150.  They do not take reservations, but unless there is a large RV rally, or it is the week of the fair, I doubt you would have problems getting in.

I had planned to stay overnight at the Cracker Barrel just north of Tucson, but last night I was catching up on my blog reading and read that Doug and Yuma (and his grandson Nick who is traveling with him this year) stopped at the fairgrounds.  Doug's BLOG.  Doug said that they stopped at the fairgrounds because it was 85 degrees, the hottest December 1st in Tucson.  At $30 for electricity, water and sewer...and the opportunity to meet Yuma and Doug, heck let's we too stopped at the fairgrounds!

And there is Yuma...and Doug's legs (lol).  Yuma and Indy are just a little different sized, and they wanted to play, but Yuma was overwhelming little Indy.  No fights, both good dogs...perhaps in an open yard with lots of grass they would do just fine.

Nick, Doug's grandson, did take a picture or two of Doug, Yuma, Indy and myself, and I am sure it will be on his website under today's date.  Doug is pretty good about posting each and every day he is away from his home in Illinois, where is wife of 55 years, Dolly, stays for the winter.  She came with him one year...and that was enough for her.  He can't stand the cold winters, so he comes down to the Southwest, as do thousands of other Snowbirds, each year.  This is the first year a grandchild came with him.

Later Doug came by our motorhome so that he could meet Marcia.  It was such a nice visit, and perhaps we will run into each other again down the road.