Zeb the Duck in Rockville, Indiana. More Covered Bridges!

Normally we love to attend festivals, but today we planned to arrive after the festival was over.   Sounds crazy, doesn’t it?   We arrived in Rockville, Indiana late Sunday afternoon.   After checking into a motel, we walked to the nearest covered bridge.

Billie Creek Bridge

This is a great bridge.   We did walk through it, but thought it was strange to see “Cross this bridge at a walk.”

Horse cart coming through covered bridge

But now I, Zeb the Duck, understand.   Horses are to pass through the bridge at a walk.   Isn’t this a perfect horse pulled cart?   Cars, of course, can drive slowly through the bridge.   OK, we are here in Rockville, Indiana as the Covered Bridge Festival is ending.   The town of Rockville had a population of 2,600 people according to the 2010 census.   A nice, small town.   But the covered bridge festival begins the second Friday in October and lasts 10 days.   During that time, there will be about 2 million visitors, according to the website.   That is a lot of people!   Let’s look around town first.   The courthouse is a majestic old building.

Rockville, Indiana Courthouse. Tents from covered bridge festival

Here we see some of the tents used during the festival.   We love decorations.

Decorations for autumn in Rockville, Indiana

Autumn decorations abound in Rockville.   Near the courthouse, we liked the Memorial Presbyterian Church.

Memorial Presbyterian Church

The town has many old homes that are still in use today.

Older homes

Look at these wide, tree lined streets.

Tree lined street in Rockville, Indiana

Plenty of space for 2,600 people, but too crowded for hundreds of thousands or even millions.   This county in Indiana has at least 31 covered bridges.   The Visitor’s Center provides maps, with 4 recommended routes.   Humans can drive all over the county, following the suggested routes, to experience driving through covered bridges.   We found some bridges Sunday night, but did more driving Monday morning.   Here is Crooks Bridge.

I, Zeb the Duck, am in Crooks Bridge near Rockville, Indiana

I like bridges with windows.   This part of Indiana is farm country.

Tractor in use. This is farm country.

This farmer is working on his tractor today.   Farming is hard work.   This farm has the barn with cows and a covered bridge in the background.

Definitely farm country. Barn on left. Cows with covered bridge in background.

You can see the dust from a car that just drove through the covered bridge.   Of course, farms mean cows, and we like cows.

Cow with covered bridge in background

This cow lives and grazes near the McAllister Bridge.   I, Zeb the Duck, wanted to remind you that these bridges are necessary.

Zeb on edge of bridge, over river

This one allows passage over the river.   This trip we just wanted to see the covered bridges.   We were not particularly interested in purchasing items, but maybe next time we will come during the festival.   We hope you enjoyed festivals and autumn drives this year.   We like them.

Zeb the Duck With a 40 foot Wild Goose

I, Zeb the Duck, have to se this.   A 40 foot tall Wild Goose.   She is in Sumner, Missouri.

Sumner, Missouri

Meet my new friend, Maxie.

Huge Wild Goose, Maxie

She is 40 feet tall and has a wingspan of at least 61 feet.  And something women don’t usually tell me.   She weighs 4,000 pounds.   That is 2 tons!   In 1976 Maxie was sculpted by David C. Jackson, a Kansas City architect.   During the annual Wild Goose Festival, Maxie was dedicated.  Some people say parts of Maxie were delivered by helicopter.    Maxie is watching me.

Maxie is looking at me. With huge eyes

With huge eyes.  Maxie is supposed to turn a few degrees if the wind is strong enough.   No wind today.   Maxie lives in a great park in Sumner.   There is a picnic area and a sports field.   If I lived here, I also would spend a lot of time in this park.   Soon mom says it is time to continue driving.   Next point of interest for us is a state historic site.   Here we are at Locust Creek Covered Bridge State Historic Site.

Locust Creek Covered Bridge State Historic Site

We need to walk to the bridge.

Walking over the bridge

First we must cross the river using an uncovered bridge.

Walking down the road

Then a short walk down the gravel road.   And here it is.

We found the bridge

Locust Creek Covered Bridge.   We will see more bridges in a couple days.  This bridge is closed to vehicle traffic.

Walking inside the covered bridge

Let’s walk inside.   This is great.   We can see the support beams.  We can also hear the river below.   I like this bridge, but why did people build covered bridges?

Why Covered Bridges?

This sign is a little difficult to read, but covered bridges were easier for animals, mostly horses and cows, to enter.   Humans believe the animals felt like they were going into a barn.   Covered bridges also served as emergency shelters.  Weather in Missouri, like most places, is unpredictable and can change quickly.   And importantly, covering a bridge helped strengthen and protect the bridge structure.   I like covered bridges and am eager to see more.   Do you like covered bridges?

Happy Thanksgiving 2018

Happy Thanksgiving!   Today is the day we pause to give thanks for all our blessing.   This is a day for families and friends to gather, to give thanks, and share a huge meal.

Happy Thanksgiving on wooden vintage board with pumpkins and leaves

The traditional meal features a roast turkey.   But many prefer ham, beef, or any favorite foods.   Today at our house, mom is cooking a turkey and a ham.   We do plan for leftovers.   We love this day and our guests will all be offered leftover turkey, ham, pies and whatever we have.   This a great day, no presents are involved today, just family and friends giving thanks.   Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Kansas Boyhood Home of General Pershing

Let’s go to Laclede, Kansas.   A road sign directed us to the boyhood home of General John Joseph Pershing.

Laclede, Kansas. Boyhood home of General Pershing

General gained much recognition during World War I.   This statue is a tribute to the General.

General Pershing

But there is more here.

Boyhood home

This is the boyhood home of General Pershing.   His family moved here when he was very young.   We visited the Visitor’s Center here and the ladies told us much about General Pershing, and other points in Kansas.   They said John Pershing was a teacher here for a short time.

Prairie Mound School

Prairie Mound School seems so small now.

Let’s go inside the school

Let’s go inside.   Two doors and two rooms.   First the door on the right.

Door on the right. Portrait and memorabilia

A large portrait of General Pershing greeted us.   Many medals and memorabilia are on display inside.   Next, door on the left.

From World War I

Several flags and posters from World War I are displayed here.   The displays in both rooms are very interesting.   The ladies in the Visitor’s Center reminded us of the Poppy Fields in Flanders.

Poppies and Flanders Field

This sign tells much.   In Laclede, the town citizens have planted a poppy field.   We were there in late October, so nothing was blooming then.

Poppy Garden in Laclede, Kansas. Will bloom next summer.

The garden has been cleaned out for winter, but we expect a beautiful poppy display next summer.  This also is a very peaceful place.   We hope you visit Laclede, Kansas.   General John Jospeh Pershing had a remarkable military career, graduating from West Point, the military academy, being recognized for outstanding service, he was called to New Mexico when Pancho Villa attacked Columbus, New Mexico.   During World War I he was Commander of the American Expeditionary Force in Europe.  General Pershing is the only person to be General of the Armies of the United States.   He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery, near Washington D.C.    Visit Laclede, Kansas, stop at the Visitor’s Center and spend a little time wandering around the grounds.   We liked visiting Laclede and we think you will also.

Over 10 Tons of Twine with Zeb the Duck

We are going to Cawker City, Kansas now.   Another small town trying to attract tourists like us.   Here in Cawker City we see this huge ball of twine.

Largest ball of twine in Cawker City, KS

A circumference of 43 feet.   This ball of twine was started by Frank Stoeber in 1953.   Oh, a clarification.

World’s largest ball of Sisal Twine

This is the world’s largest ball of sisal twine.   Over 8 million feet of twine and more than 10 tons.   That is huge.   Here it is.

Ball of twine. Ready for Halloween

We were there in late October, a few days before Halloween.   The giant ball of sisal twine is ready for Halloween also.   When Frank Stoeber died in 1953, other cities were making larger balls of twine.   Cawker City, Kansas didn’t want to be beat, so they started an annual Twine-A-Thon.   All citizens are encouraged to bring their twine and add to the size of this record setting ball.   But, only sisal twine.   No string.  No yard.   Across the street from the world’s largest ball of sisal twine, we see this restored 1930’s gas station.

Old, renovated gas station

But this is not a gas station now.   It is a mini hotel.

Now tiny hotel

From the sign, you can see there is a vacancy here.   The maximum occupancy of this hotel is 4 humans.   This is a cute town.   The gift and information shop for the ball of twine was not open when we were there, but other shops offer crafts and merchandise with a twine theme.  Near Cawker City, we stopped for this bridge.

Double Arch Bridge

This sign and the bridge are made of local limestone.  This is a double arch bridge.

Double Arch Bridge

At one time it was the main bridge for this road, but as traffic increased and the road was widened and straightened; the new road bypassed this bridge.   Progress happens, but sometimes we like to see the old things.   When you drive through Kansas, slow down, drive the local roads and enjoy viewing unusual things.

Center of the United States with Zeb the Duck

This may not be the center of the world, but we are at the geographic center of the contiguous 48 states of the United States.   That means Hawaii and Alaska are not considered when determining this center point.

Geographic center of the 48 states

Remember, Hawaii is thousands of miles away in the Pacific Ocean.   And Alaska is north of Canada.   This flagpole displays the flags of the United States of America and the State of Kansas.

Flagpole. United States and Kansas flags

This geographic center is near Lebanon, Kansas, 12 miles south of the state border of Kansas and Nebraska.   There is a small chapel here.

Small chapel

We went inside and this is the view from the door looking toward the altar.

Inside chapel. Looking to altar

A really is a small chapel.  Looking from the front toward the door.

Inside chapel

This chapel has 8 pews, so no big crowds, please.   Here you can see the whole area.

Nice area

The chapel, a covered picnic area and the flag pole.   We enjoyed this peaceful setting.   We just didn’t bring a picnic.   Maybe next time?

Happy Veteran’s Day 2018

Today, and every day, we thank those brave men and women that have served, and those currently serving, the United States of America.  Today, November 11 is the official holiday to honor all our veterans.   Veteran’s Day is from Armistice Day, the end of World War I.   The treaty was signed at 11 a.m. on the 11th day of the 11th month.   That was November 11, 1918.   Yes, this is the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day.   Please call and thank a veteran today.   Perhaps take a veteran for coffee or a meal.   Visit a hospitalized veteran.   Deliver some veteran’s day greeting cards.  We, the Colorado Traveling Ducks and our humans, pause to reflect on how much we owe our veterans.   Please don’t let Veteran’s Day be a lost day, overshadowed between the shopping frenzies of Halloween and Christmas.

Happy Veteran’s Day

Thanks you veterans.