It’s been a couple of months since we decided to stop at Cabazon. I will admit, prior to visiting the road side attraction set next to I 10 in Southern California I did not know (or perhaps just did not realize) this was the location of an important scene in an iconic 80’s movie. While Paul Reubens has had a bit of a sordid past, people can’t help but love (and often quote) PeeWee’s Big Adventure.
I do wonder how alive this roadside attraction was back in the mid eighties after its big screen debut. It was difficult to envision this small area bustling with cars and people with their 110 cameras because during our brief walk through of the parking lot on the exterior of the fence, we encountered no other people. Sometimes that is a nice perk to life on the road; we don’t plan our trips by days of the week and often come upon points of interest in the middle of the week, in the middle of the day.
The tail of T-Rex is located behind a fence and a fee has to be paid to go “behind the scenes”. I was passified with a simple photo in the parkinglot.
An open mouthed dinosaur is located just before the gift shop so of course we had to take advantage of the cheeky photo opportunity.
We approached a small building with a price sheet on the window for the “dinosaur walk” experience and had to wonder, were they pricing this to meet a real dinosaur? A couple in their mid thirties would enjoy whatever was behind that fence, but not for nearly twenty dollars, even if we heard children giggling and shrieking with glee. My husband wanted to go inside the gift shop just to check it out. The dinosaur merchandise inside was priced just as extravagantly and only those with young children would fall prey to paying nearly ten dollars for a poorly made stuffed dinosaur with misaligned limbs. I love my nephew more than anything and would buy him a real dinosaur if I could, but I knew I couldn’t shell out money for this stuff, so we settled on a postcard.
Once apon a time, there was a restaurant located on the grounds, and while the shell of the establishment is still erect, the inside is vacant and any hungry travelers are now subjected to a Burger King across the street or over priced convenience store food at the fuel islands. Thankfully, we had our truck stocked with food and made our own lunch.
I am a big kid at heart and love all things donosaur, so despite the lack of experiencing the overpriced “dinosaur walk” behind the fence, I did enjoy our excursion, if for nothing other than to get out and stretch my legs and take a photo with a Tyrannosaurus Rex!