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.


  1. I love the story of the bird. It's fascinating that he keeps refinishing it. I love this area of Arizona going into New Mexico. Enjoy the scenery.

    1. Yes, "IF" we were to live in Arizona, the Tucson area would be very high on our list. Not as hot as Phoenix, not as cold as Flagstaff. I also like the Prescott area too...

  2. Interesting bird story. I have appreciation for those who can take junk like that and turn it into something special.

    1. I had seen the bird as we drove by it many times, but this is the first time to see it close up. Marcia could not believe it was made up from looks magnificent from afar, and very creative once you see how it was put together.

  3. My two favorite stopping places. Beautiful pictures of the Roadrunner and thanks for the history. Glad Olin kept at it.


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