Can there be any doubt about the theme song for this page?
I thought not. Bedrock City!
When it comes to giant dinosaurs, Roadside Architecture and Weird California both have excellent giant dinosaur photo collections. Click the logos to see what they have. They are two great websites.
The net they cast for giant dinosaurs is wider than the net I cast in two ways.
First, they include ALL giant dinosaurs. I don’t. If the giant dinosaur is part of a natural science display or park – out for me, in for them. If the giant dinosaur exists as a piece of art, out for me, in for them. This is not to say that there are not some great giant dinosaurs that fit their criteria but not mine. There are. For example, there are many giant dinosaurs in Anza Borrego – giant but not quirky.
There is similarly a bunch in Apple Valley. They are arguably quirky because they are falling apart.
This photo is from a great collection by Alyssa Tucker. I can resist these. I must resist these.
Secondly, Roadside Architecture covers every state. With great self-restraint and discipline, I limit myself here to giant dinosaurs of California. Only California. I will not, for example, include any photos of giant dinosaurs of Vernal, Utah.
This is main street. Of Vernal. With great dinosaurs that I am going to ignore. Here is why there are great dinosaurs in Vernal:
It is the gateway to Dinosaur National Monument. Let me prove my self-restraint by showing you the photographs from Vernal that I am resisting:
Pretty cool! A lesser person would include them. But – I don’t.
So the rules are clear? California. Giant dinosaurs that are somehow linked to a business. Stunt dinosaurs. Advertising dinosaurs. Quirky dinosaurs. Let’s roll!
I propose starting with popular entertainment – amusement parks and miniature golf.
Now an amusement park that is gone, Lost World in Scotts Valley (opened 1964, closed early 1980s).
The happiest place on earth had a great dinosaur sun glasses stand. No more, but when here – wow!
That’s what I’m talking about!
There is another dinosaur at Disney’s Hollywood studio, Gertie, where Gertie’s Ice Cream of Distinction is sold.
Gertie has ancestors.
In 1914, Winsor McCay produced the animated short film Gertie the Dinosaur. It was the first animated film featuring a dinosaur.
Leaving Gertie –
Dixie the Dinosaur started out shilling for Cigarettes Cheaper in Dixon.
Aerial photos show her lying in pieces in the middle of a field in Fairfield. That, I submit, is not not right.
Dug T-Rex lives in Redwood City.
Dug has his own Facebook page. Who knew? A dinosaur can dream.
East of Barstow is Yermo. In Yermo is a retro diner, Peggy Sue’s. I don’t approve of retro diners. But the dinosaur action here helps.
At Weird California are these photos – the only place I found them. Good job Weird California!
And, lastly, a few photos from Roadside Architecture that I could not find elsewhere:
What a group! But – Wait- not done!
Cabazon is less than 20 miles before you reach Palm Springs coming south. I drove past Cabazon a metric shitload of times in my UFW years, on my way to Coachella or Calexico.
Hadley Fruit Orchards is in Cabazon.
They had many free samples of granola and dried fruits
I remember Hadley’s with unreserved affection. California was new. I was newly on my own. I was on the road a lot. I was part of a great quest for justice for farm workers. I was young. And I loved the granola and dried fruit at Hadley’s.
And right near Hadley’s are the Cabazon dinosaurs.
Claude Bell, a sculptor from Knotts Berry Farm, built the two dinosaurs.
Construction started in 1964.
It took more than ten years and cost a metric shitload of money. (That is the second time I have used that expression. I know that it is repetitive, but I really like it. I won’t use it again soon.) What a sight they are:
They have been in several movies. 1985 was a big year for the dinosaurs.
First they were in the video for Tears for Fears hit “Everybody Wants to Rule the World.”
And the most iconic usage – Pee Wee’s Big Adventure.
I asked my friend what he thought of all these giant dinosaurs. He has issues with animals that place us below them in their food chain. He freely acknowledges this. He doesn’t believe in soft and fuzzy dinosaurs.
He looked at the photos and said, “You’ll never believe what Gabby sent me last week.” He fetched a manilla envlope and pulled out some photos:
I stopped him after four. I got the picture. Young Earth and all that.
But what did he think of the quirky giant dinosaurs I gathered?