When it comes to travel, it is full of surprises, sometimes literally around the corner.
On an exciting 3-week road trip across the USA (Boston to Los Angeles) with no set itinerary, my friend TG were starting off Day5 from Cheyenne in Wyoming State, where we’d spent the night. We were targeting to get to Colorado River State Park by night fall. This required about 2 hours drive southward to Denver for a brief stop before proceeding for another 4.5 hours Westward to reach the State Park. Seemed like there was adequate time but we also had a habit of stopping often to see as much as we could along the way.
While approaching Denver, I did a quick consultation with google on things to do. One of the outstanding features that came up was a big bright blue bear statue, standing besides a building, listed amongst the top 5. As it was reportedly out in the open, there were no costs involved and it was highly touted as a must see.
As TG manoeuvred through the busy afternoon traffic, I looked eagerly around to see if I could spot it. As we came around a building, it just kinda appeared before us – Wow! She almost ran into the car ahead of her staring in awe. Unfortunately the location is right in the middle of other office buildings so rather inconvenient because there’s no designated parking for bear gawkers.
Thinking quickly, she encouraged me to go ahead, get out and take photos while she tried to find parking nearby. If she didn’t’ succeed she’d go around in circles to give me some time then pick me up in a few. After all, she (US resident) could easily come back another time, while I (visitor) may not get another chance soon to see this magnificence up close.
I jumped out with glee and walked over to gaze at the giant creation of man, intrigued by how it came to be.
The photo is taken outside the Colorado Convention Center in Denver.
By a miracle TG was able to find a spot not far away, and quickly ran to join me a few minutes later. We learned the 12+ metre high, 4,000+ kg Big Brilliantly Blue Bear was created in 2005, and that it is actually called ‘I SEE WHAT YOU MEAN’.
The artist designed it using an animal native to the region, to reflect the expected reaction of people curious about what was in the Convention Centre. What was most amazing is how well he captured the natural form, behaviour and demeanour of a bear in a man-made habitat, complete with it on two feet peering through the glass of the building. If it wasn’t for its blue colour, there may have been concerns about whether it was real or not! Talk about creativity – wow! It was such a delight to behold.
The interesting thing is that the vast majority of the resident population in the country are likely to be unaware of this incredible work of art. Or even if they are aware, they may never have seen this magnificent creation with their own eyes.
This is what travel is about. The surprises you find along the way that inspire admiration for those who create. In my book, this one qualified as ‘something to write home about’.
Do you ‘see what I mean’?