The Jurupa Mountains Discovery Center in Riverside, CA

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Thanks to an unfortunate traffic incident (Traffic? In California? On a Friday afternoon? Nah!), I arrived at the Jurupa Mountains Discovery Center a scant thirty minutes before they closed for the day. I booked it into their information desk/gift shop area to inquire about purchasing two adult admission tickets, and was pleased to learn that in the Jurupa Mountains, discovery comes free of charge. I was a little less pleased when the employee recommended that I check out their museum and another chimed in with “You can’t, I already closed it up for today because I didn’t think anyone else was coming.” Your psychic abilities leave much to be desired, sir. And evidently unlocking the door was a bridge too far. It’s fine, the grounds themselves contained more than thirty minutes of discovery possibilities, so I got cracking.

In addition to the closed museum, the Jurupa Mountains Discovery Center spans nine acres, acting as a botanical garden, nursery, turtle zoo, and chock full of something that lured me to their gates: dinosaur sculptures. Everywhere, all kinds. The website proclaimed that they have “over ten” dinosaur sculptures, and I was going to do my damndest to see how many I could find.

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jurupa (36 of 36)One. One metal T-Rex having fun.

jurupa (34 of 36)Two. A styracosaurus welcomes you to the land of discovery.

jurupa (2 of 36)Three.  A cross between an allosaurus and a shar-pei.

jurupa (4 of 36)Four. What appears to be a pointing Abraham Lincoln riding a triceratops, which is something I would have assumed I’d remember him being famous for doing in history class, so I guess we know which brain cells the alcohol attacked first.

jurupa (10 of 36)Five. A two-wheeled trike bike.

jurupa (12 of 36)Six. This character reminded me the most of the dinosaurs at Dinosaur World.

jurupa (8 of 36)Seven. A boy and the triceratops he’s clearly outgrown.

jurupa (13 of 36)Eight. A skeletal apatosaurus.

jurupa (24 of 36)Nine. My favorite, hands down. Look at its adorable colorful boxiness!

jurupa (29 of 36)Ten. The rarely seen and presumed mythological honeybuckasaurus, who only darts to the bathroom when he thinks he isn’t being observed.

jurupa (19 of 36)Eleven.  Tail for daaaaaaays.

jurupa (26 of 36)Twelve. A Corythosaurus? Maybe?

jurupa (22 of 36)Thirteen and fourteen, with a bit of eleven in there. Dino convention.

jurupa (25 of 36)Fifteen. Some manner of angry duck-billed dinosaur.

jurupa (28 of 36)Not a dinosaur.

jurupa (27 of 36)Sixteen. The polka dot or modclothasaurus.

jurupa (30 of 36)Seventeen and eighteen. Prime position for a Prattkeeping photo if anyone were still doing those.

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I think it may be time to update their website with a new dinosaur count, because even at eighteen, I’m pretty sure I didn’t see them all. Plus “over fifteen” or “almost twenty” sounds far more impressive than “over ten”. There were multiple areas that were closed off without a guide, I never made it into the turtle area, and nine acres is a lot of ground to cover in thirty minutes, even for two highly motivated adults. There were so many non-dinosaur related things to see as well, and as someone who has ooh-d and aaah-d and killed many a plant, this place was right up my alley. What I’m saying is, I wouldn’t object if my local nursery started filling up with dinosaur sculptures to get me in there a little more often.

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