When my brother and I were kids, my mom would drive us out to the desert toward Palm Springs to visit our cousins pretty regularly, and we’d always drive by “the dinosaurs.” But we never stopped to visit them; they only signaled that we were “almost there.”
So last weekend when my parents and I went to the Cabazon outlets for a day of shopping, I pleaded that we stop by the dinosaurs to fulfill that childhood wish. These dinosaurs are classic roadside kitsch! They’re the world’s biggest man-made dinosaurs. (Official website here.) Why wouldn’t you stop to visit them?! I mean, yeah, their paint is faded; they’ve definitely seen better days…but they demand at least a raised eyebrow or a ten-minute stop. Respect, people! They’re movie stars, after all! You might remember them from such cinematic gems as Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure or The Wizard, starring Fred Savage, Jenny Lewis, and Christian Slater.
There are two main dinosaurs, the apatosaurus (formerly known as the brontosaurus) and the T-rex. As I stood inside the gift shop located in the belly of Ms. Dinney (the apatosaurus), I couldn’t help but think “This is why twitter was invented” as I quickly texted “I am currently standing inside the biggest man-made dinosaur in the world” to 40404. In the gift shop you can even snag a pamphlet discussing creation, science, and evolution. The owner of the dinosaurs is a Christian whose motto is “By Design, Not By Chance.” Bible verses can be found throughout the gift shop. The only problem about the pamphlet is that it disputes evolution by arguing that dinosaurs exist today—“In just the last hundred years there have been thousands of sightings reported of creatures described like one dinosaur or another.” Wait…what?
Thanks, Mom and Dad, for stopping at the dinosaurs for me! (And Dad…sorry that you missed the first exit and we had to drive about four miles until we hit the next one so we could turn around…WORTH IT!)