Archive for the ‘I-10 roadside attractions’ Category

Desert Dinosaurs   Leave a comment

 

 

On Sunday, April 27, 2014 James St. Andre and I set out on a trip to Los Angeles to visit my friend Mark Anthony. It is about a 400 mile drive through the desert between Phoenix and L.A. James has only recently gotten his driver’s licesnse, and I told him he could have some treats: driving across the Colorado River, passing through Desert Center, and maybe we would see dinosaurs. We stopped for lunch in Indio and I took over the driving again. In a few minutes James indicated he needed a break, so I looked for the next place to get off the freeway. The exit said Cabazon. I pulled off and headed for:

 

Burger King, one of our favorite fast food places. I spotted it from the freeway.

Burger King, one of our favorite fast food places. I spotted it from the freeway.

I found a place to park  We were just across the highway from:

San Jacinto Peak

San Jacinto Peak

 

James went inside. I looked around and this is what I found.

 

Wow! It's a dinosaur, of the kind we used to call Brontosaurus before we learned that brontosaurs never existed and were actually apatosaurs.

Wow! It’s a dinosaur, of the kind we used to call Brontosaurus before we learned that brontosaurs never existed and were actually apatosaurs.

 

By sheer luck I had pulled off the freeway where the dinosaurs hang out. They are not visible from I-10.  I remembered them from trips taken long ago when they could be seen from the highway. I had never actually stopped to look at them on any of those earlier  excursions. But, James was taking his time so I wandered around, and this is what I saw.

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Does this guy look a bit nervous to you?

 

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Yikes, it Tyrannosaurus Rex, and I think he looks happy to see me.

 

Taller than a palm tree with small front arm/legs. Lord of all he surveys. Bigger really is Better.

Taller than a palm tree with small front arm/legs. Lord of all he surveys. Bigger really is Better.

Wait a minute! What kind of brontosaur has an observation platform?

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This guy must be domesticated. He also provides shade and a picnic area!

That’s great! Who wouldn’t want to eat their burgers in the shade of a bronto? Sure is a lot of room back here. I wonder if there is anything else . . .

Sure enough! There is more.  It's like a sign from God that she wants me to see more dinosaurs.

Sure enough! There is more. It’s like a sign from God that she wants me to see more dinosaurs.

 

Look out, kid!

Look out, kid!

I sneaked past the hungry head and found . . .

something very tall.

something very tall.

 

This guy was so big, and in an enclosed space, that I couldn’t get all of him into one shot.

 

He looks a lot like the brontosaur up front, but the apatosaur probably looked more like this.

He looks a lot like the brontosaur up front, but the apatosaur probably looked more like this.

 

Aw, isn't that cute? The big thunder lizard has a pet. Actually crocodiles go back as far in time as dinosaurs--they just didn't evolve into something different or die out because of meteor strikes.

Aw, isn’t that cute? The big thunder lizard has a pet. Actually crocodiles go back as far in time as dinosaurs–they just didn’t evolve into something different or die out because of meteor strikes.

 

There are signs of man in this lost world. Is that dinosaur ahead inside a building?

There are signs of man in this lost world. Is that dinosaur ahead inside a building?

The trail led up into the unknown. What? Tickets? Professor Challenger didn't have to buy tickets when he explored the Lost Land!

The trail led up into the unknown. What? Tickets? Professor Challenger didn’t have to buy tickets when he explored the Lost Land!

I went as far as I could go and looked into a jungle I don't think I will ever explore.

I went as far as I could go and looked into a jungle I don’t think I will ever explore.

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Well, I couldn’t abandon James entirely. I headed back to Burger King Land.

 

I am the Trollgod, and I am not afraid of giant dinosaurs. Anyway, I had to protect this kid from being eaten. I had to do it without my headpiece because the wind was so strong a hat would have blown away.

I am the Trollgod, and I am not afraid of giant dinosaurs. Anyway, I had to protect this kid from being eaten. I had to do it without my headpiece because the wind was so strong a hat would have blown away.

 

Selfie: Trollgod walks under giant dinosaur.

Selfie: Trollgod walks under giant dinosaur.

 

Is this a trophy shot, or just me stepping on toes again? Bwa ha ha ha  ha ha!

Is this a trophy shot, or just me stepping on toes again? Bwa ha ha ha ha ha!

 

The brontosaur is hollow, and has a store in her tummy. James had joined me by now. The kid just isn't impressed by anything. :D

The brontosaur is hollow, and has a store in her tummy. James had joined me by now. The kid just isn’t impressed by anything.

 

It is a very cool shop. Alas, the trollcave is cluttered enough, and no new trophies were acquired.

It is a very cool shop. Alas, the trollcave is cluttered enough, and no new trophies were acquired.

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We said goodbye to the prehistoric world and jumped back in the car to continue with the adventure. Now that I know how to find the place, I may go back some day just to finish exploring the Land of the Dinosaurs.

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If you have ever been up close with a dinosaur, why not leave a comment?

–end

 

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