Happy Thanksgiving

As the sun rises on this day, we are very grateful.

Sunrise in Denver

Sunrise in Denver

It was 1888 the last time Hanukkah and Thanksgiving came at the same time.  According to the Denver Post the two holidays will not be celebrated at the same time for another 79,043 years.  Wow!!  Hanukkah began Wednesday evening at sunset and will be celebrated for eight evenings.  Just thought you might want to know.

On Thanksgiving and every day we want to take time to remember all we have to be thankful for.  Among our blessings we give thanks for living in the United States of America.  We are thankful for the freedom to pursue and achieve our dreams and ambitions.  We thank all those that protect our freedoms.

We are thankful for our family and friends.  We are thankful for our food, for our homes and for all the comforts we have.

Our Alaska cousin also wishes you a Happy Thanksgiving

Our Alaska cousin also wishes you a Happy Thanksgiving

We, the Colorado Traveling Ducks and our family, wish all of you a very Happy Thanksgiving.

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The Buckhorn Exchange

So much history occurred at Denver’s Buckhorn Exchange.  We go there for excellent exotic food and old time atmosphere.  This famous steakhouse opened for business in 1893.  And it is still serving fabulous food to Denverites, visiting dignitaries and tourists.  I, Zeb the Duck, my Alaska cousin, my Alaska Uncle and my mom went here for dinner.  We all liked it.

The Buckhorn Exchange in Denver

The Buckhorn Exchange in Denver

The Buckhorn Exchange was opened and operated by Henry H. Zietz.  Zietz, one of the most colorful figures of the Early West met Buffalo Bill Cody and became a member of the scouts.

Buffalo Bill Cody was a frequent visitor

Buffalo Bill Cody was a frequent visitor

Through Buffalo Bill, Zietz met Chief Sitting Bull who dubbed him “Shorty Scout”.  The name stuck with Zietz, and he and Sitting Bull became life long friends.

President Theodore Roosevelt ate here and hired Shorty Scout to be his hunting guide.  Other presidents and dignitaries also ate here.  In June 1938 about 30 Indians in full battle regalia rode war ponies down Osage Street to the Buckhorn.   Shorty Scout appeared and Sitting Bull’s nephew, Chief Red Cloud, presented Shorty Scout with the sword, taken by Chief Sitting Bull, from the body of General George Custer at the Battle of Little Bighorn in 1876.  The Zietz family owns the rare sword to this day.

When you visit the Buckhorn Exchange you can keep your souvenir menu, which is newspaper about the Buckhorn Exchange.  Our humans love the paper.  The restaurant walls display a wonderful collection of mounted game and fowl.

The walls have wonderful displays

The walls have wonderful displays

You will also enjoy viewing their fabulous gun collection.

Our humans each ordered the combination plate.  They had a buffalo tenderloin and elk with a mixed berry chardonnay sauce.  They each had a baked potato and mixed vegetables.

Elk at top of plate,then  baked potato, with buffalo closest to my human.  Yum!

Elk at top of plate,then baked potato, with buffalo closest to my human. Yum!

The meat was so tender.  Everything was very tasty.

Our table had a candle and we liked the candle container.

Love this candle

Love this candle

This, like the entire décor, is very rustic and feels Early West.

The white oak bar, made in Germany in1857 is on the second floor of the restaurant.  Framed behind the bar is Colorado Liquor License No. 1.  This is real history.

We are sure you will enjoy visiting and dining at the Buckhorn Exchange.

Enjoy it all

Enjoy it all

Elk

Elk

Take time to experience the history here.  For more information visit www.buckhornexchange.com   The restaurant and lounge is located at 1000 Osage Street in Denver, Colorado.

Roswell, New Mexico

Zeb, the Duck here.  Mom and I went to Roswell, New Mexico.  Roswell is a nice town, pretty far from everything but mom did not tell me everything.  There might be aliens in Roswell.

Many people in Roswell believe that the morning of July 4, 1947 one or more alien spacecraft crashed here near Roswell.  It was a rainy morning, so visibility was low.  Many people believe one or more UFOs crashed that morning and that some aliens died in the crash.

Aliens

Aliens

The United States government removed the debris and the official story was that one or more weather balloons crashed.  To this day, there is no agreement about what happened in July 1947.  As a duck, I have no idea what happened, but I believe everything is possible.

In Roswell we toured the International UFO Museum and Research Center.

International UFO Museum and Research Center

International UFO Museum and Research Center

I liked the museum.  There was a lot of material to read and also a display of aliens with lights that flashed.  I, Zeb the Duck like to see different things and this museum had different things.

Aliens?

Aliens?

In one room mom found this statement from a former United States astronaut.  He seems pretty sure that UFOs did crash in Roswell.

Did UFOs crash in 1947?

Did UFOs crash in 1947?

Visit www.roswellufomuseum.com for more information about this museum.

Many businesses in Roswell have signs and merchandise relating to UFOs.  Even McDonald’s has a green alien on their sign.

McDonald's and aliens

McDonald’s and aliens

I like the idea of aliens visiting Roswell.

Even though a big part of Roswell’s identity involves aliens, I want to be sure that you know Roswell is a real town with schools, hospitals, theaters, parks and all the things other cities have.  I hope you visit Roswell and tell me what you think about the aliens.  Were they there?  Are they still there?  What do you think, or do you even care about an event 66 years ago?  I love to hear from humans.

Roswell is on highway 285 about 100 miles north of the Texas state line.  For more information visit www.seeroswell.com

Capulin Volcano National Monument

A dormant volcano?  Wow!  I, Zeb the duck, was in a dormant volcano in New Mexico.  Mom and I visited Capulin Volcano National Monument in northeastern New Mexico.

Capulin Volcano National Monument, New Mexico

Capulin Volcano National Monument, New Mexico

President Wilson declared Capulin Volcano a National Monument in 1916.

Capulin Volcano erupted 60,000 years ago.  Mammoths roamed these plains in those days.  The eruption of this volcano defines the landscape of northeastern New Mexico.  The flat-topped mesas are ancient lava flows.  The mountains are cinder cones, shield volcanoes, tuff rings and volcanic domes.

Landscape defined by volcanic eruption

Landscape defined by volcanic eruption

I learned so much reading the signs at the monument.

Mom and I drove to the top of the volcano and hiked part of the Crater Rim Trail.  The trail is about one mile long and the views of the volcano are great.  We hiked into the volcano also.

Capulin Volcano, New Mexico

Capulin Volcano, New Mexico

Homer Farr was custodian of the volcano for 32 years.  This sign explains many things he did for the national monument.  Sounds like a lot of work; he must have been very dedicated.

Homer Farr

Homer Farr

Of course, the main attraction here is the dormant volcano, but there are many wild animals here also.  Black bear and cougars hunt within the parks boundaries.  Many mule deer live here and some antelope and elk pass through the park.  Desert plants such as cacti grow here since the annual rainfall is about 15 inches.

Cactus in dormant volcano

Cactus in dormant volcano

The solidago capulinensis is a species of Goldenrod that cannot be found growing wild anywhere but the slopes of Capulin Volcano.

Capulin Volcano is the meeting place for the prairies of the Great Plains and the forests of the Rocky Mountains making it home to the state grass of New Mexico, Blue Grama grass and the state tree, the pinon pine.

Some safety walls are built from lava rock and cement.

Zeb the duck on lava and cement wall

Zeb the duck on lava and cement wall

At the Visitors Center I sat on this huge piece of lava rock.

Zeb the duck on lava rock at Visitors Center

Zeb the duck on lava rock at Visitors Center

Capulin Volcano National Monument is about 30 miles east of Raton, New Mexico or 58 miles west of Clayton, New Mexico on US 64 and 87.  I liked the volcano and I think you would too.  The geology is interesting and the hiking and views are wonderful.  For more information, visit www.nps.gov/cavo

Fort Union National Monument

I, Zeb the Duck, visited an old fort.  I went with mom and my Alaska uncle.  Located in New Mexico, Fort Union is well marked and a fascinating place.

Fort Union, NM with my Alaska uncle

Fort Union, NM with my Alaska uncle

The park rangers told us there were 3 separate forts built on this location.  The adobe ruins of the last fort and the accompanying information signs showed the officers areas, the supply areas, the animal areas and so much more.

The first Fort Union was to protect the Santa Fe Trail.  The second was to establish a Federal presence in the territory.  The third Fort Union was a Union response to the Confederate invasion.  Everyone that is interested in Civil War history should visit Fort Union.

Ruins of Fort Union.  Two previous forts were closer to mountains.

Ruins of Fort Union. Two previous forts were closer to mountains.

The Santa Fe Trail went to Fort Union.

Santa Fe Trail goes to Fort Union, NM

Santa Fe Trail goes to Fort Union, NM

We saw the ruts from the wagon traffic.  This third fort was a large supply facility for the southwest.  At one time about 5,000 soldiers lived here.

We saw the adobe ruins as we followed the trail and read the informational signs.

Adobe remains of officers quarters

Adobe remains of officers quarters

We were warned to stay on the paved walkway and to watch for rattlesnakes.  It was a sunny day.  Guess that is good for us but the snakes also like the sunshine.  We did watch but did not see any snakes.

The National Park Service tells us some amazing facts.  As I said, Fort Union provided supplies to many establishments in the southwest.  In 1868, 44 tons of bacon was brought to Fort Union in 22 wagons.  That’s a lot of bacon!

Waiting for supplies

Waiting for supplies

Also, Fort Union had the premier hospital in the region with 6 wards and 36 beds.  You could get treatment and care for 50 cents per day!

Fort Union is located in Watrous, New Mexico, on I-25.  The National Monument is about 20 miles north of Las Vegas, New Mexico and about 100 miles south of the Colorado state line.  The exit is well marked and Fort Union is easy to find.  Visit it and you will have a couple enjoyable hours.  The area has so much vacant land that I could imagine living here 150 years ago.

Visit Fort Union National Monument

Visit Fort Union National Monument

When you visit Fort Union National Monument I hope you watch the film at the Visitors Center.  And don’t miss the gift shop.   For more information visit www.nps.gov

Colorado Mills Mall

Yesterday we went to the mall.  We had never been to a mall before.  Wow!  It is so much more than shopping.

I, Zeb the duck, my Alaska cousin, my Alaska uncle and my mom went to Colorado Mills in Lakewood, Colorado.  The humans immediately headed to Cinnabons.  It did smell wonderful.  They got the food and drinks and we were ready to experience our first taste.

Ready to taste.  Smells so good!

Ready to taste. Smells so good!

It was soooo good.  Warm; tasting of cinnamon, sweet bread and creamy frosting.  One Cinnabon has pecans.  Yum!  We will be asking to return here, often.

While eating, we saw the carousel.

Looks fun

Looks fun

Or, some humans call it a Merry Go Round.  Here we are checking things.

We can ride this horse

We can ride this horse

This is fun.

Next we walked around the mall and took a ride on Clifford the Big Red Dog.

Wow!  We are riding Clifford

Wow! We are riding Clifford

We like this place.

While we were on Clifford, a train came down the walkway in the mall.  We did not get to ride on the train because we were still on Clifford, but maybe next time.

A train in the mall.  This is fantastic!

A train in the mall. This is fantastic!

We used to think that malls would be boring for us, just watching humans shop, but this was fun.  Mom said we could go to other malls soon and see the Christmas decorations and maybe see Santa Claus.  She says Christmas is coming soon.  It sounds like fun.  Keep reading here and share our duck adventures.  Tell us what you think about malls and everywhere we go.  We love to hear from humans.

Felines at the Denver Zoo

Denver has a wonderful zoo.

Zeb the Duck goes to the zoo

Zeb the Duck goes to the zoo

It is huge and has many animals.  The zoo also has some special exhibit areas.  To see and enjoy the entire zoo, we would need to spend a full day, never stopping, or see a little each day.  Mom and I have a zoo membership, so we visit the zoo for an hour or more several times during the year.  If you live near Denver, you would enjoy a zoo membership also.

This trip we entered and headed for the large felines.  Mom and I really love the cats.  They are so powerful and so graceful.

Mom's favorite

Mom’s favorite

Now that you know how we visit the zoo, let’s talk about this visit.

Entering the zoo, we watched the banded mongoose run and play.

Banded mongoose

Banded mongoose

Some hid under a gunnysack and then jumped out, then hid again.

I was at the zoo.  The mongoose was playing.

I was at the zoo. The mongoose was playing.

In the same enclosure we watched the African crested porcupines.

African porcupines

African crested porcupines

They were lounging, not very active today.

Next exhibit were the dik diks.  These look like baby impalas or baby deer.

Dik Dik.  So little and cute.

Dik Dik. So little and cute.

However they are full grown.  Just look like toys.

I was with mom and saw all these animals also.  It was hard to get pictures of me, Zeb the Duck, with these animals.  They are so big and I would not go in the cage with them.  Next time at the zoo there will be more pictures of me.

Then we saw the servals.  These are African felines that hunt in tall grasses in Africa.  They hunt by sound rather than by sight.  We saw them, but they were too close to the fence for a good photo.  Then we watched the leopard.

Leopards climb trees

Leopards climb trees

This feline often sits in trees for a better view, and will usually take their meal in a tree with them.  The leopard then feels safe from everything, except humans.  So, when on an African safari, look up to see the rare leopard.

Siberian tigers are mom’s favorites.  Now I know why.  They are beautiful.  We saw the tiger calmly resting and waiting for dinner.  Dinner arrived, and this huge feline ate, while exhibiting good table manners.

Tiger with dinner

Tiger with dinner

Such grace and calmness.  WOW!!

Walking to the African exhibits, we saw this cheetah.  A cheetah is the fastest land animal, sprinting at 70 mph.

Cheetahs are fast!

Cheetahs are fast!

With speed and grace this feline is a real classy animal.  Never knew I would learn so much at the zoo and see such magnificent animals.

I am looking forward to our next zoo visit.  Go to www.denverzoo.org  to learn more.  I hope to see you at the zoo on my next visit.  You will enjoy your day here.  I, Zeb the Duck, love the zoo.