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The Lonely Bones
San Jacinto, CA

The article posted below is written by Roadside Peek contributor Justin Parpan on the mystery of the "The Lonely Bones" found in the mountains of San Jacinto. Many thanks to Justin for both article and photos.

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The Lonely Bones
By Justin Parpan

Grandparents have this incredible knack for spinning humdinger tales. My Nana and Pop were no different. In the summers of my youth we used to visit them. They lived in a lonely trailer park on the fringes of the antique cow town of San Jacinto, California, and there they would entertain me and my brothers with tales of the bizarre.

San Jacinto, CA
Photo courtesy Justin Parpan

 

My Grandfather in particular was the king of these yarns. He loved to tell stories about everything, from the time he met the Lone Ranger, to his adventures working in a candy factory in New England. The greatest story he ever spun was one about the legendary Lonely Bones--a mysterious collection of sculpted prehistoric skeletons in the hills surrounding the trailer park.

Tasty Freeze
Photo courtesy Justin Parpan

 

 

The Centuries Old Street Sign
Photo courtesy Justin Parpan

These accounts fascinated me, and soon I mounted an expedition to see if my grandfather’s stories were truthful. I followed his directions, passing up the old municipal cemetery and the Tasty Freeze ice-cream parlor. The town came to an end, and barren fields and foul smelling ranch lands took over. At the foothills of the eerily named Mountain of God, I came to a centuries old street sign which pointed me to my final destination -- the Soboba Indian Reservation.

Soboba
Photo courtesy Justin Parpan

 

In the 1920’s, the region was a tourist destination, famed for its mineral hot springs. A few deserted motels and a jungle of palm trees were all that remained of this bygone era, and the area was a rather sad and haunted place. It was there where I found the Lonely Bones. They stood solemnly near the side of the crumbling highway, a gathering of prehistoric skeletons sculpted from a mixture of primitive materials.

Raptor Located In Tall Weeds
Photo courtesy Justin Parpan

 

Closest to the highway, in a mess of tall weeds, a raptor stood ready for battle. Nearly the size of a man, it was constructed from intricately fit together pieces of particleboard, and held in place by a crude wooden stake. A rattlesnake had built a den in the nearby rocks, and quite appropriately, the sounds of the serpent’s angry rattling played in the hills like primal music.

 

Tyrannosaurus In Sage
Photo courtesy Justin Parpan

Tyrannosaurus Skull
Photo courtesy Justin Parpan

 

Raptor Close-up
Photo courtesy Justin Parpan

 

On an adjacent hillside, the skull of a Tyrannosaurus slept in a bed of Texas sage. Its wooden frame had been covered with a mud painted plaster, which through time, had been slowly roasted and eaten away by the California sun.

 

I had to hike deep into the foothills to reach the finale skeleton, but it was well worth it. An enormous Pterosaur, roughly the size of a car had been erected high above the dead summer grass. Sculpted in frozen flight, it gazed out upon the town of San Jacinto nestled in the valley below.

Pterosaur Deep In The Foothills
Photo courtesy Justin Parpan

 

Like all the rest, the creature seemed to be watching the comings and goings of a community completely ignorant to its existence. It was an uncanny sight to behold, and I will remember it for the rest of my life.

 

 

Leaving the site I was struck with a tremendous sense of sadness. These creatures were relics of a bygone era, and they appeared to be pleading for some recognition before the sands of time whisked them into oblivion. In the days that followed, I attempted to seek out the sculptor, but with little avail. No one seemed to know or care, and to this very day the Lonely Bones remain a mystery.
Enormous Pterosaur
Photo courtesy Justin Parpan
The Centuries Old Street Sign
Photo courtesy Justin Parpan

 

 

--- Justin Parpan, 2006

 

 

 

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© Copyright 1998-2017 Syd Nagoshi. All rights reserved. No portion of this document may be reproduced, copied or revised without written permission of the author.