Dinosaurs and Joshua Trees

After Anaheim, our next destination was Joshua Tree National Park, and on the way down Interstate 10 we had some important friends to meet for the first time.  I’ve been waiting my entire life to see them in person.  You may recognize them from Tim Burton’s movie, PeeWee’s Big Adventure.

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The Cabazon Dinosaurs were built by Claude Bell (sculptor for Knott’s Berry Farm) to attract customers to his restaurant and today they still stand as one of California’s most popular roadside attractions.

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The Brontosaurus, named Dinny, was first to be built in the 1960s and holds a gift shop within her belly.  Mr. Rex was built in 1981 and originally had a slide going down his tail.  Although the slide has been filled with cement, you can still climb inside the T-Rex, all the way up to his head, and see the view out from his mouth.

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The new owners have added many other dinosaurs to the property, even a few robotic ones; but Dinny and Mr. Rex are by far the most impressive.

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After our prehistoric stop off the road it, was time to make our way down to Joshua Tree.

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Once we got all the luggage into our room we quickly made our way to the park before sunset.  It costs $20 to get inside and the ticket you receive once you pay is good for one week.

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Fabes entering his photographer zone.

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I was impressed by all the vegetation growing in this dry area, which is freezing in November and gets down to 30 degrees at night.  You’ll notice we’re very bundled up in all these photos.

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Later that night we went back out to get some shots of the stars.  Driving through the park in pitch-black darkness was a little creepy, especially when we saw some meteors in the distance and it looked like something out of an alien movie.

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It was also unbelievably silent out in the desert. But as freaky as it was, Fabian got some gorgeous shots.  He achieved this look by leaving his shutter open for about 30 seconds so all the light in the area got soaked up.

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I even got to experiment with some light painting using our phones.

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The next morning we drove through the entire park one more time for some last minute photos, and then made our way to Vegas!

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