Ganesha: The Playful Protector Meets Colorado Traveling At Denver Art Museum

Today, I Zeb the Duck, and Soapy Smith Duck, met Ganesha, the Hindu Playful Protector.   We walked to the Denver Art Museum.

Entrance to Denver Art Museum

But a short distance from the main entrance, we stopped to see this Broom and Dust Pan.

Broom and dust pan sculpture

Denver has several unusual sculptures around the city and the entire metropolitan area.   Inside the Denver Art Museum, we went to the second floor for the Ganesha special exhibit.   Who is Ganesha?

About Ganesha

Normally in the museum, we are not allowed to touch the displays.   But this Ganesha, of yellow sandstone, is for us to touch.


Many rub the belly or feet for good luck.   Of course we did rub the belly.   Every human and duck can use some good luck.  Next we admired this Dancing Ganesha, from India, made of stone.

Dancing Ganesha

At least the sign said he was dancing.   Ganesha is being carried during a parade here.

Mural with Ganesha

A very large mural.   This sign explains the story of Ganesha.

Story of Ganesha

That is quite a story.   Ganesha is loved in the Hindu faith, and Ganesha also has a role in Buddhism, especially in Nepal.   Here is the prize of this exhibit.

Ganesha. On loan from Cambodia

This sandstone statue is on loan from the National Museum of Cambodia.   It is from the 600s-700s.   We ducks were sitting with Ganesha, but an employee told us we could only sit on the floor.

Statue on loan from Cambodia

The sign explains more about this statue.

Zeb and Soapy in front of Ganesha

Here we are, sitting on the floor near this statue from Cambodia.   Check out this mask.

Ganesha mask

The Ganesha Mask is oil paint  on paper-mache.   The mask is from the 1900s.   We liked this bronze.

Ganesha and Consort

Ganesha and Consort from Kerala, India.   From the 1300s-1400s.   There were several items on display, but this wall hanging is the last we will show you today.

Wall hanging of Ganesha

It is from India and is ink and paint on cotton.   Ganesha is an interesting exhibit, but if you want to see it in Denver, you must hurry.   This temporary exhibit is displayed only through this Sunday, January 13, 2019.   We enjoy visiting the Denver Art Museum.   Just wandering around we always find something new and interesting.   We hope you also explore museums near your home.   You never know what you may discover.

Eldora and Nederland, Colorado with Zeb and Chanel

I, Zeb the Duck, and my friend, Chanel the Bear, took three humans to the mountains today.   Chanel and I had a plan.   It was cold in the morning and driving through Coal Creek Canyon we loved these frosted trees.

Trees frosted on drive to Nederland, Colorado

Isn’t it beautiful?   Just like a post card.   Shortly before our destination of Nederland, we turned and found the small town of Eldora.

Eldora. Glimpse of the past

And we mean small.   Look at that population.  Only 170 full time residents.   Here is the Gold Miner Hotel.

Gold Miner Hotel in Eldora

We think it would be fun to spend a night here and explore this town.  Look at that bright blue Colorado sky.  We would wander along the river, look for moose, and appreciate the scenery.   Maybe in the summer, said our moms.

Building, probably private residence across from hotel in Eldora

Across the street from the hotel you can see that the old buildings are well maintained and still used.   We love that.  The road is parallel to the river, as usually happens.   The river is frozen with a light cover of snow.

Frozen river in Eldora

So peaceful and quiet here today.   While we were driving, we were watching for moose.   We have seen them here before.   However, no moose for us today.

Coyote in Eldora

But this coyote was fun to see.   Coyotes and humans don’t always get along in town, but here, in the mountains, we loved seeing this one wandering along.   Driving further, we arrived in Nederland, just in time for lunch.

Lunch at Pioneer Inn in Nederland

Nederland has several restaurants, but we returned to Pioneer Inn, a favorite.

Our food looked and tasted delicious

We ordered three sandwiches; all were delicious and the portions were very generous.   Yum!   After eating, we wandered into another dining room, usually just needed in the evening.

We love fireplaces

We love fireplaces.  Especially in rustic mountain restaurants.   Maybe some evening?  Next stop was a great “rock shop”.

Geodes, Crystals and Fossils here. Fascinating store

The geodes, crystals, fossils and jewelry were beautiful.   But none of the humans were shopping today, just looking.   Next stop, the Carousel of Happiness.

Carousel of Happiness in Nederland

This is the stop Chanel and I planned.  We love this carousel.   Here we are.

Zeb and Channel riding ostrich

Riding an ostrich is great.   Remember that we have been here before.   There was a young Marine, Scott, that served in VietNam, received a music box from his sister.   While the war was around him, the music box inspired him to create a Carousel of Happiness when he returned to the US.   Scott choose the mountains near Nederland, Colorado as his home and also the home for his Carousel of Happiness.   Scott learned to carve, purchased the necessary parts, and what you see here today, is the result.   Scott had carved all the animals here.   Now look at this one.

Zeb and Chanel on Kangaroo

Zeb and Chanel are riding a kangaroo.   This is not a normal carousel animal.   This kangaroo has her baby, her joey, and is holding a globe of our world.   If you look carefully, you will see that the globe is showing Australia, the home of the kangaroo.   This place is so much fun.   And the Carousel of Happiness is for everyone.   The price of a ride is only $1.00.   Now that is a bargain.   And Scott is still carving.   Here we are, on a tiger.

Perching on a tiger. Not even on the carousel

And this tiger is not even on the carousel.   There are great carvings all over this building.   Whenever we go to Nederland, we always stop for a ride on the Carousel of Happiness.   We hope you will also.   We love this place.

Grand Lake, Colorado with Zeb the Duck and Channel the Bear

We love visiting Grand Lake, Colorado.   I, Zeb the Duck, and my friend Chanel the Bear, took our moms to Grand Lake.

Entering Grand Lake, Colorado

Let’s visit my favorite store, Quackers.

Quackers in Grand Lake, Colorado

This store in Grand Lake features rubber ducks!   Yes, an entire store dedicated to me and my duck relatives.

Giant duck in Quackers

Meet my largest relative.   Chanel and I invited some friends to pose with us.   As great as ducks are, we also enjoy the fudge.

We love fudge

And there is more.   Roasted nuts.

Yum. Roasting nuts taste good and smell delicious

Of course some came home with us.   While rubber ducks are the stars of this store, Martin the Moose is pretty great also.

Martin the Moose on skis

Remember we are in the Colorado mountains.   Moose do live here.   However, Martin is the only moose I ever saw wearing skis.   We purchased new family members.

Purchased at Quackers

And some fudge and roasted nuts.    Then headed out for lunch.

Lunch at The Sagebrush

Today our choice is The Sagebrush.   Here are some new friends.

New friends at The Sagebrush

Aren’t we an attractive bunch of friends?  Our table has a complimentary bucket of peanuts.

Peanuts and cow tablecloths here

We are to toss the peanut shells on the floor.   That is the sign of a fun place to eat.   Notice the cow pattern table cover?   Our lunch was delicious and the portions were large.   A good place to eat when you are in Grand Lake.  Now to the adjoining bar.

Old West bar here

Looks like it is from an old Western movie.   We enjoy the hats and license plates as part of the rustic decor.   Our next stop is Studio 8369, an art studio in town.

Studio 8369 in Grand Lake, Colorado

The 8369 refers to the elevation of the town of Grand Lake.  That is about 2550 meters above sea level.   The Rocky Mountains in Colorado are rather high.   Inside Studio 8369 we admire the Gourd Art.

Gourd Art by Ivy Howard

This is by Ivy Howard of Grand Lake, Colorado.   Surrounded by the Rocky Mountains, Studio 8369 has some beautiful photography.

Stunning photography here

You would love this place.   A couple weeks later mom and I returned to Grand Lake.   This time there was more snow.   A few miles from Grand Lake is Lake Granby.

Lake Granby with low clouds

We loved the partially frozen lake and the low clouds.   Driving through town, past Quackers, we went to Grand Lake.   Grand Lake is the largest and deepest natural lake in Colorado.   It is also part of the headwaters for the mighty Colorado River.   Remember the Colorado River heads southwest and continues to carve the Grand Canyon.

Rent boats here in the summer

In the summer tourists can rent boats to explore and enjoy the lake.   Now snowy and frozen, we enjoy a winter landscape.   Back into town, near Quackers, we spotted these snowmobiles, or snow machines.

Snow machines today, mom?

Mom said we were not renting them today, but we had to try them for size.   These are big.   The employees at Spirit Lake Lodge rent these machines.   They were very nice to us, the Colorado Traveling Ducks.  A drive into Rocky Mountain National Park was next.

Rocky Mountain National Park, West Entrance

Grand Lake is at the western entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park.   The road had been cleared.

Driving in Rocky Mountain National Park

Isn’t this a beautiful winter drive?  However the road is only cleared for part of the park.   This road ascends to over 12,000 feet (3657 m) and is closed during the snowy winter months.   We did enjoy many beautiful winter scenes.

One of many spectacular views in the national park

As you know, we love our mountains.   Both in the summer and in the winter.   We hope you explore a little and enjoy our mountains during the winter, or explore your part of the world and enjoy all the seasons.   It is a new year, so enjoy and discover new things and places.   And tell us about your adventures.

Zeb the Duck Visits the Birthplace of George Washington Carver

Near Joplin, Missouri we stopped in Diamond, Missouri to visit the George Washington Carver National Monument.

George Washington Carver National Monument

George Washington was born a slave on January 1, 1864.

Building dedicated to George Washington Carver

OK mom.   Let’s go inside now, I’m getting off the bench.   Inside this building we watched a short movie about his life and wandered through the museum.   When George was very young, he and his mother were kidnapped.   Moses Carver, the slave owner, got George back, but his mother was never heard from again.

Choose what to remember and what to forget

What does George know or remember about this bleak time of his life?  After learning about this episode of his young life, George began to realize that he was important and his life had worth.  Moses Carter had given a $300 racehorse for his return.  George was born in this house.

The foundation and frame of George’s birthplace

All that is remaining is a foundation and the frame of the house.   As a young boy, George was fascinated with plants.   He learned as much as he could, just by studying what he saw in the woods and asking a few questions.   George became known as “the plant doctor.”  He had a secret garden where people could leave sick plants and he usually was able to make the plants healthier.   He also made plant house calls.

Young George Washington Carver

This is George Washington Carver at a young age.   This statue is located by the bridge crossing this creek.

Bridge over creek

I, Zeb the Duck, love water and plants, so I insisted on being photographed here. More water.

Peaceful lake

Isn’t this a pretty lake?   I love sitting on the bench and just watching the lake.

Turtles sunning on log

And here is lake company.   These two turtles are enjoying the autumn sun.   At the museum, we received a map of the grounds.   Following the trail, we came to the Carver farm house.

Carver farm house

I’m going inside.   We entered through the back porch.

Inside Carver farm house

I, Zeb the Duck, met a new friend.   This man, another tourist, entered the house and was very nice and friendly.   My new friend was traveling from Oklahoma to North Carolina.   Continuing on the path, we discovered the family cemetery.

Headstones of Susan Carver and Moses Carver

The graves of Susan Carver and Moses Carver are here.   Moses and Susan are the owners of this farm and also of the slave, George Washington Carver.   The American Civil War has ended, so now all slaves are free, but George stays here and Susan teaches him to read.   George is incredibly curious about everything and he loves to learn.   Many schools still did not allow black students.   George finally graduates from Minneapolis High School in Minneapolis, Kansas.   After many disappointments and much racial prejudice, George becomes the first black student at Iowa State University and receives his Bachelor of Science Degree.   George is a botanist and inventor.   He teaches alternative crops to cotton so farmers can rotate the crops to prevent soil depletion.   He works with peanuts, sweet potatoes, soybeans and pecans.   Back near the museum, we see this bust of George Washington Carver.

Bust of George Washington Carver

He soon joined Booker T. Washington at the African American Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee, Alabama.   George Washington was an extremely important figure in agriculture and nutrition.   He was an advisor to President Theodore Roosevelt, and also to Mahatma Gandhi of India.   Carver taught farmers how to grow different crops and also invented hundreds of products from these new crops.   Although he is remembered as a botanist, he was also a talented artist.

He was also an artist

This painting by George Washington Carver is displayed in the museum.   And he had more talents.

His violin

He loved music and was an accomplished musician.   This is his violin.   His monument is located the wooded area of southwest Missouri.  Upon his death, January 5, 1943, Carver is buried in Tuskegee, Alabama near Booker T. Washington.

Beautiful setting in the Ozarks

We hope you visit here soon.  The Monument is very interesting and the wooded area is beautiful.

Zeb the Duck Finds Big Things in a Small Town

I, Zeb the Duck, am in an amazing small town in Illinois.

Casey, Illinois

Casey, Illinois, wants tourists to stop here, so they have big things in a small town.   Starting here.

World’s Largest Wind chime

This is the world’s largest wind chime.   This is 55 feet (16.76 m) tall and weighs over 8 tons.   What else do they have?

All this in Casey, Illinois

This sign lists 8 world’s largest things. Across from the wind chime is the rocking chair.

World’s largest rocking chair

This rocking chair is 56.5 feet (17.22 m) tall.   Too big for this duck to sit and rock.   Now we are heading toward Casey Country Club.

World’s largest golf tee

At 30.5 feet (9.29 m) tall, this is the world’s largest golf tee.   We like the golf course.   Next item, not far from Casey Country Club is a pitch fork.

World’s largest pitch fork

This, the world’s largest, is 60 feet (18.28 m) long and weighs almost one ton.   Smaller pitch forks are used on farms.   Back into town, we found a parking place near a pencil.

A large wooden pencil

This is 32.5 feet (9.9 m) long, but it is not the world’s largest pencil.   The world’s largest pencil sits in the City Museum in St. Louis, Missouri.   That pencil is 76 feet (23.16 m) long.   Here is a useful item.

World’s largest mail box

The world’s largest mail box.   You can climb the ladder behind the mail box and go inside.   You can also visit the store behind, purchase a post card and mail it from this mail box.   Inside a nearby candy store, look what we found.

World’s largest wooden shoes

The world’s largest wooden shoes.   They are 11.5 feet (3.5 m) long and 5.5 feet (1.67 m)  wide.   Each shoe weighs over one ton.   Who can wear those shoes?   And walk with a ton on each foot?  And this is crazy.

World’s largest knitting needles and world’s largest crochet hook

Inside this yard store we find the world’s largest knitting needles and the world’s largest crochet hook.   The knitting needles are 13 feet (3.98 m) long with a diameter of 3.25 inches (8.25 cm).   The crochet hook is 6 feet 1.5 inches (1.87 m) long and a diameter of 3 inches (7.6 cm).   To obtain the record for the largest knitting needles, Jeanette, the knitter, was required to cast on 10 stitches and knit 10 rows of material.   This was not easy, as each knitting needle weighs 25 pounds (11.33 kg).   I, Zeb the Duck, do not know this, but I bet this was a group knitting project.   Those are heavy knitting needles.   While it is true that Casey, Illinois has many large things, we want to remind you that it is a nice small town.

Pedestrian crossing in Casey, Illinois

Here is a sign for a pedestrian crossing, probably near a school.   This seems to be a very friendly town.   I, Zeb the Duck, liked Casey and I liked the people we met there.   And, yes, we did purchase a few things.

Zeb Asks “Why Indiana??”

We stayed in Indianapolis, Indiana for 3 nights.   That is a long time for us on a road trip.   We stayed with our friends and former neighbors.   This morning we drove south to Columbus, Indiana.   This is a small town, but many artists and architects have done fantastic work here.   Our first stop in Columbus was the Visitor’s Center.   In the Visitor’s Center, we saw this beautiful glass sculpture.

Large glass sculpture by Dale Chihuly

Dale Chihuly, the famous glass sculptor, created this.   It was spectacular, with sun streaming through windows and through the glass.   There were other, smaller works of art by Dale Chihuly.

Dale Chihuly glass sculptures

His work is beautiful.   There are traveling displays of his work and some permanent displays, such as this one.   If you are near some of his glass creations, please stop to take a look.  Columbus is known for unusual architecture.   There are tours that take humans around town and show different buildings and tell about them.   We wanted to take a tour, but we were too late.   Next time we will arrive earlier.   We purchased a map and drove around town.   We did see many things, but next time, the tour for us.   Driving through town, following our map, we saw some great buildings and sculptures.   North Christian Church, one of 7 National Historic Landmarks in Columbus, was our first photo stop.

North Christian Church

Architects used new and unusual designs here in Columbus.   North Christian Church was designed by Eero Saarinen, while Dan Kiley was the landscape architect.   Our next stop was St. Bartholomew Catholic Church.

St Bartholomew Catholic Church

The architects were William Browne, Jr and Steven R. Risting.   When you visit Columbus, take the tour, buy the map and drive, or walk through the downtown section.   Better, yet, do a combination of all three.   But, now for the real reason for this road trip and our extended time in Indiana.   My friend and former neighbor, Liam, is a senior at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana.   Liam is a very accomplished musician.   He is majoring in music composition.   We came for his senior recital.

A small ensemble performing Liam’s composition

Here, a small group of musicians, are playing one of his compositions.   The University of Indiana has a great music program.   And as you can, a great pipe organ.

Organ and huge pipes

This is the room for Liam’s recital.   Liam, the composer, is directing another of his compositions.

Liam conducting one of his compositions

Liam attended Denver School of the Arts for high school.   During that time, he composed pieces that were performed during the end of year concerts.   After this piece, Liam, is recognized by the audience.

Liam is the composer.


I, Zeb the Duck, am so excited to see Liam on the stage again.   Liam not only composes, and that means he writes the music for each instrument in the orchestra, but he is an accomplished violin player as well.   This piece was not only composed by Liam, but Liam also performed in the orchestra.   Since Liam was performing, a guest conductor was invited to lead the orchestra for this piece.

Liam is composer and performer. Guest conductor for this piece

I, Zeb the Duck, am so proud of my friend, Liam.   Mom and all the humans are also very proud of Liam.   This was a wonderful evening for us.   Liam’s parents furnished food after the recital, so there were many there to congratulate Liam and lots of pleasant conversation.