Draconis Blackthorne's Shadomantium

The Black Earth

The Black Earth V. 6____________________________A T T R A C T I O N S____________________________Draconis Blackthorne

C A B A Z O N I A !
{A.K.A., The Cabazon Dinosaurs. Cabazon, CA. 11/11/XLIII}

The Devil went down to Cabazon...

CABAZONIA by Draconis BlackthorneOn this windy and overcast Veteran's day, the journey begins as we travel to Cabazon*. On the way there, we paused by a rest stop where we observed a military convoy - camouflaged vehicles and war machines being transported, instruments of destruction to preserve peace - the Marines to be exact, considering Twenty-Nine Palms is a relatively short distance away, where I was compelled to "snap a horned salute" from one warrior to another, which was reciprocated in kind.

On this Black Earth adventure, we journey forth to Cabazon, CA for an archaeological excursion, to enjoy the sights and sounds of the Cabazon Dinosaurs including 'Dinny' {an apatosaurus housing a gift-shop in her belly}, & 'Mr. Rex', towering three-stories, concealing a museum within his entrails. To gain an enhanced experience, perhaps prepare to play the theme from Jurassic Park upon entering the parking lot.

It is very accommodating and hospitable here, with several restaurants in the area [including the '9' Steak House up the street; an establishment with a huge "EAT" sign prominently posted outside featuring totem poles, complete with a prospector statue with his mule; and a Burger King}. There are actually picnic tables underneath Dinny wherein one can enjoy a feast with an impressive view of the gigantic tyrannosaurus rex looking on ahead. Even the picnic tables are stylized with some rather interesting geometrical designs as well. I Am also delighted to report that it is sparsely populated here, as one of this area's best kept secrets.

Being an aficionado of Kaiju films since a Dracling, this was definitely a special treat, as one views these magnificent creatures assuming a modicum of life with the presence they exude as dominant masses upon the landscape. You can almost feel the reverberations of their tremendous weight upon the ground and hear their roars and guttural calls.

So prepare to travel through time... to gaze upon the Black Earth's prehistoric era, a Heaven or a Hell filled with bestial demons, Shamballah sublime - relish in the inspiring monstrous spectacles!

Mr. Rex's Backyard Adventure

Just around the bend from the front of Mr. Rex, almost hidden away before a faux ticket edifice, displaying a triceratops head, one explores further to find the dino house remarkably constructed like a cave, containing not only the ticket booth, but additional displays of prehistoric subterranean dwellers, and a gift shoppe as well. Moving beyond the entrance, one finds a magnificent world opening up to a veritable 'monster island', revealing a path filled with various wondrous dinosaurs of every shape and size at every turn, from velosa raptors, 'camarasaur', to the tyrannosaurus rex, to bracheosaurs, cute baby critters, and everything in-between, each with their respective designations and pertinent species information.

Dino Dig

Both of these grant the impression of archaeological excavations:

Intended for small children, and located within a tent in what is essentially a large white-sand box in which are various digging utinsels resembling bones from rib cages to femurs and tibulas, the aim is to locate one of several "special rocks" buried somewhere therein, where one can exchange it to gain the "prize" of a small plastic skeletal dinosaur, or a sticker. A green one, in this case.

A few steps away is a prospector's well where one can pan and sift through for various rocks, crystals, and stones, which includes a sign posted identifying a plethora of types therein. I especially liked the "devil's tooth", which characteristically resembles a long fang.

T-Rex Museum

Towering three stories, just beyond the Dino Path, accompanied by a behemoth-turtle {Gamera comes to mind} next to Mr. Rex, one enters along the tail's dorsal ridge, following the paw-steps painted thereon the ramp. Once inside the gloomy edifice, from the belly to the chest to the head, scaling steep steps also marked with three-toed paw prints, one is surrounded by smaller exhibits within, from miniature environments, another highly-detailed dino head, to replicated, and some comical 'cave paintings' {especially amusing is one of the cavemen resembling Ali-Oop, you expect him to be yelling "Captain Cave-maaaaaan!" while holding his club aloft}, various plaques stating relative information; and it was also delightful to see the image and words of one of our de-facto forebears, none other than the venerable Mr. Charles Darwin himself.

Finally, upon reaching the third tier, one traverses up a thin winding staircase inside the skull to gaze through the teeth of this mighty predator. Just imagine, you are now the T-Rex's brain! [insert 'reptilian brain' reference here]. This view provides a beautiful panorama of the city and mountains, as well as the ant-like little people below. A hypothetical perspective Godzilla would have while crushing the city and eating its residents. The sun was descending into Hell in the west by this time, and the red light came on all of a sudden. From the ground, a truly magical effect occurs when one gazes up unto the eyes which have by this time began to demonically glow. Dinny's eyes also glow in the night. Quite a sight!

Factoid: Mr. T-Rex and Dinny were featured in "Pee Wee's Big Adventure", wherein he and a female character recline and converse within Mr. Rex's head:

* Mr. Rex's Backyard Adventure store: Located around the side of Mr. Rex behind a long gate upon which are perched several flags. Great novelty items and souvenirs.

* Dinny Store: Located in the belly of the beast. Great novelty items and souvenirs. One can also acquire a pendant from a machine therein which presses a penny into an oval shape, while embossing a design of Dinny & Mr. Rex thereon with the caption: "Cabazon Dinosaurs". which is quite nice, actually. So if you desire to do this, make sure to submit a shiny one!

The Wheel Inn

It has been featured prominently in Peewee's Big Adventure, and Tears For Fears' Everybody Wants To Rule The World" music video.

What drew Me to this quaint establishment is the classic "EAT" sign off the side of the road of Route 666, accompanying the giant dinosaurs created by Knott's Berry Farm artist & sculptor Claude Bell as his first project {who also ran The Wheel Inn}, of course - a brontosaurus named 'Dinny' and a Tyrannosaurus Rex named "Mr. Rex", now attached to a maze of dinosaurs somewhat likened a 'monster island', which was an amusing excursion.

The atmosphere is most definitely a diner experience with an Old West theme. My visits there were most gratifying, with quick attentive service and delicious repast. Featuring pinball machines, velvet paintings, home cooking, operational payphones, a gift shop, even a prospector and his trusty companion stationed outside bidding patrons a welcome and a come back soon...


Overall, this magical place I affectionately refer to as "Cabazonia" is a fun and educational monster playground of the imagination for big and little monsters alike, based on actual historical denizens who once roamed the primordial earth, when tectonic plates were dramatically shifting and volcanoes spewed forth megatons of lava, forming the land we see about us today.

A chill remained in the air, as the veritable kaiju's eyes were ignited with hellfire, and the streaked sky was a deepening red to black, the mountains fore-shadowed by dusk, a certain charm lingered on through the night, as disbelief was suspended for a time, when these great lizards actually walked the earth. I shall return...


One of the odd inclusions herein was a sculpture conveying the biblical reference "the lion laying beside a lamb", which I have always felt conveyed a rather egalitarian {fecalitatrian} concept, and right across from that, another apparent irrelevance: the statue of a Crusader, of all things. But we'll just consider him a Knight Templar. Seems this place has judeo-christian underpinnings to it, also notable with the silver cross outside the gates, as well as a wooden one on a building within, giving the impression of being a chapel of some sort. The website also contains a quote from C.S. Lewis. Although all of that is easily ignorable for the many remarkable dinosaur statues to appreciate in true perspective.

Perhaps they are attempting to present "both sides of the issue", as it were - from a mythological as well as a Scientific perspective. Although it is obvious that Evolution just plainly makes more sense than superstition, despite the claims that there is some lacking evidence to support the former, although all the speculative mind has to do is consider the glaring lack of any said evidence for the latter to make a more sensible decision between the two. A theory based on superstition? Or one based upon the scientific method? You decide...

* Meaning "big head" in Spanish.

Cabazonia Adventure part II:

Myrtle The Turtle
{Joshua Tree, CA. 11/11/XLIII}

Warlock Blackthorne with Myrtle the TurtleAfter departing Cabazonia, we decided to seek the elusive fabled giant turtle named Myrtle, said to roam the outskirts of Joshua Tree. Entering the blackened expanse at night of Joshua Tree National Park can be quite a "mystical" experience, as it were, as rock formations assume phantom shapes rising from the earth, likened shadowy beasts and winged demons. Of note, "Devil's Horn" and "Skull Rock", obviously named after their resemblance of such, and one which I facetiously dubbed "Goth Rock" for its resemblance to an elongated cathedralesque structure.

Joshua trees, of the genus Yucca brevifolia, are an interesting breed of fauna, which are plentiful therein, resembling something one might find in a Dr. Seuss illustration, yet at night, with passing headlights, sometimes resemble everything from hydras, to lurching ghouls, and perhaps even "skinwalkers" {amerind lycanthropic shaman infused with "evil spirits"}.

Time for my close-up, Mr. Demille...

So, after traveling through the hellish landscape for a time, emerging from the western entrance of the park, searching through the darkness, she was spotted! Luckily, in a moment of repose, we managed to snap these shots with the mysteriously delightful lady, who sports red lipstick and nail polish, with enchanting green eyes; and with her history as a float in the "Joshua Tree Turtle Days Parade", at which point she was eventually donated to the Joshua The Chamber. To quote a source:

Al Makin - Mr. Turtle plaque

"Myrtle the Turtle" started out as a concept in 1957, by Willis Keys and his wife, Guin. She suggested they enter a float in the next turtle race parade and asked Willis if he would build some kind of turtle on wheels that could be pulled by the two of them.

Willis began to brainstorm! Guin drew the turtle’s original motif. From there, Willis started by cutting ribs of plywood, steel rods were bent and placed over the ribs and the shell was then covered with chicken wire. Guin drew the pattern of a turtle shell while the plaster was still wet. The legs and head were formed out of chicken wire, plastered, dried and mounted onto the shell so they would move a bit. Guin painted the turtle.

They entered Myrtle in the Turtle Days Parade in Joshua Tree. Willis believes "Myrtle" was actually the second turtle float entered in any of Joshua Tree’s turtle race parades. He states, "The first turtle was quite a bit smaller, had wheels, and was pulled by a cord. "The first turtle float entry was thought to have been back in the 1946 time period.

When Willis dismantled "Myrtle" from the scooter he asked the Joshua Tree Chamber if they wanted her. The chamber agreed and this is how she became a permanent resident of Joshua Tree.

She was then adopted by Howard Pierce, restored, and changed into her present-day form. One of Myrtle’s plaques records a dedication to Turtle Island and "Al Mackin, known as Mr. Turtle." The second plaque states "Donated to the Community of Joshua Tree by Howard Pierce."

Her shell features a collage of pentagons and trapezoids, making her extra special. Myrtle's "cousin" decided to migrate to the lizard kingdom of Cabazonia, now residing by Mr. Rex. The adventure is concluded for now. Back to The Haunted Noctuary!

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