Sometimes Your Day Ends with Unexpected Dinosaurs – Clayton, New Mexico

While standing in a gas station, I picked the town of Clayton as a place to stop for the night while looking at my phone. My town choice criteria mostly centered around: what was within an hour or so from where I was standing and big enough to have a hotel. That and could I avoid an interstate to get there, and will it put me in a good spot to zip down to the town of Shamrock the following day.

Clayton, New Mexico has entered the chat.

yamaha mt07 motorcycle parked in front of the closed idle hour cafe in cimarron new mexico

After snapping the photo of the Idle Hour Cafe in Cimarron, I decided that it was time to try to outrun the storm clouds. One of the interesting things about Cimarron is that it’s where the mountains meets the plains. And I mean, it doesn’t feel gradual. The mountains turned off as if with a light switch at the edge of town.

cimarron new mexico on the map

Dropping down out of the forested mountains of the morning where I’d seen elevations of up to over 9,000 feet to then be spilling out into the golden plains was something else. Each beautiful in their own way.

yamaha mt07 motorcycle and golden plains of new mexico

And so from Cimarron, I filled up my tank in Springer then set off towards Clayton. The route had me running along open fields on the straightest of roads. There wasn’t a whole lot of anything going on out there and it was glorious.

At one point during the nearly 90-mile stretch, I halfheartedly attempted to tuck in behind two white pickup trucks that passed me. I had already been doing a steady 80 or so, and they just started reeling out further and further from me. Instead of going any faster, I just leaned back into my Kriega bags and watched the world go by. I even got to see antelope out in the sun bleached fields. It felt like the most beautiful way to close out the days ride.

blue skies, a straight road, and golden plains of new mexico

When I pulled in to Clayton, I quickly wheeled around town to see where a hotel might be and landed at a Quality Inn.

Now, I know that it seems improbable, but I honestly didn’t even notice when I pulled into the parking lot that there was a gang of dinosaurs directly across the street from the hotel. It wasn’t until I walked back out of the lobby door that I noticed them. Bonus points: I could see them from my room’s window.

Once I got myself situated, I set out on foot to try to rustle up some grub and of course visit the dino corral. Just look at these babies:

clayton new mexico tourist information dinosaur statues
clayton new mexico tourist information dinosaur statues

If you Google “brontosaurus” you’ll find the following ~ Scientific name: Brontosaurus (Thunder lizard)

clayton new mexico tourist information dinosaur statues

Now, I ask you ~ If you bore the magnificent name ⚡️THUNDER LIZARD⚡️ would you be looking this bummed? Poor Bronto has a serious case of the frowny pants! Maybe a couple million years of kids pulling your tail on the roadside circuit just gets to you after a while.

clayton new mexico tourist information dinosaur statues

Maybe he needs to come home to live with me, you know, like rehabilitation. I’d never pull his tail or slide down his back in a sabertooth tiger print dress Flintstone-style. Never. Not even once. We could open an old age home for retired roadside dinosaurs who just want to live out the rest of their days peacefully.

clayton new mexico tourist information dinosaur statues

If Bronto’s T-Rex friend would just loan him his wheels, we’d be all set. Think anyone would notice a motorcycle towing him out of town?

clayton new mexico tourist information dinosaur statues


Rachael is the whimsical writer behind the 20+ year old Girlie Motorcycle Blog. As a freelance blogger, she is on a mission to inspire laughter, self-examination, curiosity, and human connection. Girlie Motorcycle Blog can be found on several Best Motorcycle Blog lists.

You may also like...

1 Response

  1. Lowell says:

    Rachael: Still love that Idle-Hour-Cafe-in-Cimarron photo, one of your best in my opinion. Superb set of dino photos and write-up at the gas station. I also once ran into a flock or herd or gaggle of dinosaurs on a motorcycle ride, In 2018 I stopped by Holt’s Shell station in Gila Bend, Arizona to gas up, they had all kinds of roadside dinosaurs. When you’ve toured in Arizona I assume you ran across a few mini T-Rexes, …the Arizona Roadrunner. Side note: Interesting scientific flip-flop on the brontosaurus. First the scientist said it was a genus, then they said it wasn’t, and now they are back to saying it is a genus.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.