Horse Happenings Travel

Twenty-Five Unnatural Wonders of the Western Roadside: Dinosaur Gardens (Vernal, Utah)

There are dinosaurs by the side of the road from coast to coast in America- some of them are so bug that you can climb a staircase and visit religious shrines inside their bodies- and there are dinosaur parks with dozens of fanciful specimens, some we have seen with Day-Glo tennis balls for eyes.

But the sad fact is that most of this country’s population of roadside dinosaurs are falling- apart wrecks. That’s why it is such a pleasure to see the dinos of Vernal, Utah. Sculptor Elbert Porter spent fourteen years creating these fourteen fiberglass and polyester resin beauties, which are arrayed in a park adjacent to the Utah Field House Natural History Museum: the handsomest and best-maintained dinosaur garden in the land. They are anatomically correct and lifesize (some as long as eighty feet), and they have faces blaze with emotion; the landscape they inhabit simulates Jurassic foliage; and they are illuminated at night in the summer when you can take an evening stroll past their waterfall and through their swamp.


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