Thursday, June 28, 2012

Wheel Inn

"Dad!  We want to see the dinosaurs!  We want to see the dinosaurs, Dad!  The giant dinosaurs!...."

Alright kids, I guess this is a good time to stop for a bite to eat anyway.  On I-10 west of Palm Springs, crawling the desert floor, are these massive dinosaurs behind The Wheel Inn cafe.

Of course, we can't go right to the dinosaurs.  Gotta make the kids suffer through some "Home Cooking" first.  But wait kids, looky there!  A real prospector and his trusted companion.  I'm gonna name him Charlie.  Gold Dust Charlie!  What a delight!

The food and service were great.  In the back of the restaurant, and hanging throughout the place, were many paintings and other works of art.  Still, the kids were a bit restless.  So, I reminded them of a movie that was once made at The Wheel Inn, called "Pee Wee's Big Adventure". 

Look!  Right over there is where Paul Rubins (Pee Wee) once parked his hobo stick before hooking up with a waitress named Simone.

Alrighty then, it's out back to see some of the dinos.

In all their glory....

 Ya know, it all started back in 1964 by Knott's Berry Farm sculptor and portrait artist Claude K. Bell (1897–1988) to attract customers to his Wheel Inn Cafe, which opened in 1958. It took him about eleven years to complete.

For many years, Dinny the dinosaur, was and still does play host to a nice little gift shop.  Guests can climb up the tail and into his stomach.  Yes, we've spent hundreds of dollars there over the years.

Recently, they have expanded the park around Dinny and Mr. Rex and have created a dinosaur museum!

A short video featuring the museum is available from ABC:

See ya on the road, friend. 

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