What Henry David Thoreau Taught Me About Respecting Mythology
There is a pass between the San Bernardino Mountains on the north and the San Jacinto Mountains to the south where Highway 10 connects Riverside with Palm Desert. In this nowhere zone rests the tiny town of Cabazon, gateway to the desert, and the site for some very peculiar giants. As my biology-savvy wife often reminds me, life tends to spawn in transition zones. But she didn’t have in mind dinosaurs.
Roadside attractions attract, so we pulled off when we saw a giant white Apatosaurus and a Tyrannosaurus Rex. What exactly were these concrete dinosaurs doing in Cabazon? Was this an old dig site? Were fossilized dinosaur tracks preserved in mud somewhere? Walking up to the Apatosaurus we quickly discovered it is actually hollow—a reptilian Trojan horse housing a gift shop. We climbed the stairwell leg, and found ourselves in the belly of a well-lit space, stocked with rubber dinosaur models, toy plastic weaponry, posters, puzzles and trinkets. It didn’t take very long, however, glancing at the wall displays, to figure out what was really going on: this roadside stop is not the product of science, but of theology. The Cabazon dinosaur park, dubbed The World’s Biggest Dinosaurs Museum, is a “young earth” propaganda post, a science-seeming zone for pressing travelers with opinions about creationism and a 6,000 year-old earth. Continue reading