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Dinosaur World
8608 Highway 817
Beaver, AR

So we drive and we drive, and we can’t really find Dinosaur World, and we wonder why there aren’t any signs for it when there are signs welcoming us to the friendly and perhaps poorly named Beaver, Arkansas, and we reorient ourselves on the map and we try again, and we finally find the place…and it’s closed. Very, very closed. As in, it doesn’t look like anyone’s been around in, oh, a month of Sundays, give or take a couple of years. Grass is growing over the gravel you take into the place, pieces of the kangaroo statue (no, we don’t know why) near the entrance are falling off, and the whole place is reeking with the stench of neglect.

Remember that scene in the Chevy Chase museum “Vacation” where they travel halfway across the country in the Family Truckster to visit Wally World and it’s closed? We’re pretty sure that the expression on their faces is similar to the expression on ours when we saw abandoned Dinosaur World. Only ours was accompanied by an “Oh, hell no!” as we affirmed that we had come all this way to see crappy concrete dinosaur bliss and damn it we’re going to see crappy concrete dinosaur bliss!

And we weren’t going to let a little thing like a chain across the road and the camera ready staging for a new version of “The Island of Dr. Moreau” stop us.

So we look around for guys with shotguns and then slip under the chain and hike in.

There’s a couple of concrete cavemen looking not at all inviting, a big King Kong (nope, still don’t know why) and there, waaay off in the distance, is what looks like a T Rex. Problem is, to get there, we have to cross one of those swaying rope bridges like on Tom Sawyer’s island or pretty much every “Indiana Jones” movie. It crosses an actual (okay, small, but actual) creek gorge and did we mention it sways when you walk across it and that Rick doesn’t like heights?

Parenthetically, Rick is suddenly realizing that he is coming off as a fussy, whiny crybaby in some of these stories and insists that those who know him will say that most of the time he isn’t like that. Much.

Rick almost chickened out but wound up going first across the stupid thing without embarrassing himself too much by screaming like a nine-year-old girl, but that was only because he didn’t want to further draw attention to the whole trespassing thing. We had no idea if the thing would hold or not, though we did feel better when we realized it was held up by steel cables not rope

Anyway, note the photo of Rick with the T-Rex. We risked life and limb and our record of no misdemeanor trespassing citations to get it, so enjoy it.

For the record, just because we did it does not mean we are in any way encouraging you to do it – it’s dangerous and illegal, so don’t. I believe that statement should make our lawyers happy.

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