Claude Bell's Dinosaurs
May 16, 2010

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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.

Claude Bell's Dinosaurs Dinny and Rex

Claude Bell's Dinosaurs

Gigapan panorama of Claude Bell's dinosaurs.

Panorama size: 378 megapixels (21409 x 17680 pixels)
Input images: 120 (10 columns by 12 rows)
Field of view: 107.8 degrees wide by 89.1 degrees high (top=67.3, bottom=-21.7)

Gigapan panorama of Claude Bell's dinosaurs Gigapan panorama of Claude Bell's dinosaurs.

Claude Bell's Dinosaurs

Claude Bell's Dinosaurs

Claude Bell's Dinosaurs I have a new theory about the brontosaurus. My theory that belongs to me is as follows. This is how it goes. The next thing I"m going to say is my theory. Ready? This theory goes as follows and begins now. All brontosauruses are thin at one end, much thicker in the middle and then thin again at the far end. That is my theory, it is mine, and belongs to me and I own it, and what it is too*.

Claude Bell's Dinosaurs When you visit Claude Bell's dinosaurs, be sure to EAT at the Wheel Inn Restaurant.

Claude Bell's Dinosaurs Actually, you can't sit inside the mouth of the Tyranosaurus and watch the sun rise with a waitress named Simonne, who dreams of visiting Paris, and talk about her big but.

*My theory by Anne Elk [Miss]

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