Claude Bell's Dinosaurs
When I was young, observing the progress of the construction of Claude Bell's dinosaurs at Cabazon was a highlight of family trips between Phoenix and southern California. Claude Bell began cosntruction of his giant Brontosaurus, Dinny (It's pronounced Diney), in 1964 to attract travelers to the Wheel Inn Restaurant. It took eleven years and $250,000 to complete his 150-foot long concrete behemouth. In 1981, Claude began construction of a 49-foot tall Tyranosaurus named Rex. He was still working on Rex when he passed away in 1989. Claude's dinosaurs will be familiar to viewers of the movie Pee Wee's Big Adventure.
On a recent trip through the area, I stopped at Cabazon to photograph the dinosaurs and have breakfast at the Wheel Inn. It's a classic diner, the sort of place that Large Marge would drop you off at. I had a delicious and satisfying chicken fried steak smothered in gravy with eggs, hash browns, and a biscuit.
Claude Bell's Dinosaurs are clearly visible on Google Earth.
Dinny and Rex