Friday, December 8, 2023



Pity our Eastern readers: Too bad you miss out on these

By Chuck Woodbury

I feel sorry for you if you live in the East and never get a chance to spend time in the West, in the deserts specifically. You never get to see a very special bird — a roadrunner — except in the cartoons, where one Wile E. Coyote is always getting blasted, bombed, slammed, crushed or otherwise brutalized by Road Runner, also known as Beep Beep.

 Look far below for the rules that Beep Beep’s creator, Chuck Jones, had for the bird’s behavior on the screen. 

Those of you who live in the West, who spend a lot of time in the desert, see real roadrunners every once in awhile, and it’s always a treat. I was once lucky enough to have one of these cute fellows hop onto my picnic table in Joshua Tree National Park, where he started up a conversation with me. He opened and closed his beak repeatedly, resulting in a clapping sound. He stared at me and, of course, I knew exactly what he wanted: “Food, Mister. I am here for food.” I told him I did not feed wild animals, and so he left fairly quickly.

Through the years I have come upon a few dozen roadrunners. They are most often brief encounters as the birds speed by on their way to somewhere else. Flat out, a roadrunner can hit about 20 miles per hour.

Beep Beep on the run. . .

But, alas, my disappointment

I never cared to live in Texas, but at this very moment I am slightly tempted. If I did, I could order my very own roadrunner license plate. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) is asking residents to vote by June 21 for their favorite of three designs (one is at the top of the page) for a new Greater Roadrunner license plate to support wildlife viewing and nature tourism programs.

The TPWD Conservation License Plate Program has raised around $10 million in the last 21 years, providing funding directly to benefit Texas rivers, state parks, big game research and species management. The 10 conservation plate designs include a horned lizard, a largemouth bass, Texas rivers, a hummingbird, a rattlesnake, a white-tailed deer, a bluebonnet, a desert bighorn sheep and a monarch butterfly. These TPWD conservation specialty plates cost $30 per year, with $22 going to TPWD to support various programs and efforts. Plates can be purchased for vehicles, RVs, trailers and motorcycles.

“We try to create license plates that people enjoy and want to buy while also knowing their plate fee goes to the worthy cause of helping wildlife, rivers, state parks and now — wildlife watching and nature tourism in Texas,” said Janis Johnson, marketing manager of the Conservation License Plate Program.

Now, cartoonist Chuck Jones’ rules for how Beep Beep’s behavior should be portrayed as a cartoon character.

Here’s a question for you. . .



Chuck Woodbury
Chuck Woodbury
I'm the founder and publisher of I've been a writer and publisher for most of my adult life, and spent a total of at least a half-dozen years of that time traveling the USA and Canada in a motorhome.



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Donald N Wright (@guest_177301)
1 year ago

Actually, the Coyote is faster than the Road Runner. I want the address for ACME, they sell the coolest stuff.

Brian (@guest_177253)
1 year ago

My wife and I were in the MGM hotel parking garage in Las Vegas, when I spotted a roadrunner in the travel lane. Surprised at the sight, I immediately said, “What’s a roadrunner doing in a parking garage?” I recognized the irony of the sentence as soon as it left my lips.

Mike Albert (@guest_177245)
1 year ago

I know this is late, but while visiting our son, we went to a pharmacy on Stage Coach Rd in Riverside Ca. I was watching a road runner in total disbelief for over a minute (never saw one before). Then it finally dawned on me that I had a camera on my phone, but by that time, the bird was gone. Maybe next time.

RV Staff
1 year ago
Reply to  Mike Albert

It’s never too late to comment, Mike. However, I’ll agree that you remembered your camera on your phone too late. Good luck next time. I hope you had a wonderful Easter. Take care. 😀 –Diane

Paul (@guest_177226)
1 year ago

We see them from time to time in our desert park in Southern California. Once had one try to help spot the coach. Wife was driving I was guiding and when wife started laughing behind the wheel, I looked down and there it was right next to me looking up at her.

Jan Kuester (@guest_177211)
1 year ago

See them every year at our winter digs in Quartzsite , Az. I was surprised at their size and am always thrilled to see them. A few have even stopped to examine me.

Janet (@guest_177177)
1 year ago

I tried and tried. It was a critical goal for me during two month-long trip to the southwest when we had our RV. Never saw a one. I was so disappointed.

The same with cardinals when we were back East. There aren’t cardinals in California where I live, any more than there are roadrunners. I saw one cardinal from a long distance so he was nothing more than a red blob.

Karen Bates (@guest_177169)
1 year ago

Maybe next spring, as we make our first Out West trip with several stops in Texas!

Thomas D (@guest_177158)
1 year ago

Just yesterday in Maricopa Az

Randy Gartner (@guest_177128)
1 year ago

We live in Pennsylvania. We do love the west and have been to Arizona twice. We’ve also been to Yellowstone and the Black Hills. Our grandkids live in Texas so we’ve been there alot. But there is so much to do and see in the East. There is a ton of history and we have many nice state parks in addition to Forest Service and Army Corps of Engineer Campgrounds within a few hours drive.

Sharon L Boehmer (@guest_177105)
1 year ago

A couple of years ago I was able to observe a real life roadrunner/coyote/bobcat moment. It was in Big Bend NP, both the bobcat and coyote were interested in having the roadrunner for breakfast, however, the roadrunner had other plans. Always the antagonist, the roadrunner poked at the coyote while it chased the bobcat up a tree. Eventually, after about 20 min, the roadrunner had enough and headed for the thick brush. Both the bobcat and coyote gave up the chase and went their separate ways. As many laughs as the cartoon.

Neal Davis (@guest_177071)
1 year ago

We live in the east and have rarely been in the west aside from our 4-month odyssey to Alaska and back in 2019. Other trips typically were facilitated by air travel, which preclude seeing more of the west than our destination (Hawaii 5 times, California twice, Texas once, Oregon once, and Colorado once). However, we anticipate traveling to and around the west more after Newton the New Aire is built and bought.

Bill (@guest_177029)
1 year ago

I live in Albuquerque. We see roadrunners in our yard and neighborhood regularly. Sometimes on the roof of the house chattering at us. Always a fun sight to see.
I agree with Chuck, the west is best for those who love the outdoors. So much more public land to enjoy.

Betty Studzinski (@guest_177027)
1 year ago

I live in Georgetown, Texas and see roadrunners going through my yard frequently. They never cease to amaze me.

Seann Fix with an EV too (@guest_177024)
1 year ago

I used to like Roadrunners until I found out that their favorite snack was Hummingbird…

TIM MCRAE (@guest_177045)
1 year ago

Oh my… Let the hummers know they are very safe in the midwest!

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