Winter Snow in the Colorado Mountains near Denver

We had snow for Thanksgiving Day and Friday this year.  There was a possibility of more snow for later Sunday.   In town, we had a few inches, but it is still very cold.   Sunday, Zeb the Duck, Soapy Smith Duck, and JB Duck drove a short distance from Denver to see the new snow in our nearby mountains.   Ten or fifteen minutes from Denver, it was very overcast, but these trees look beautiful.

Very overcast close to Denver

Very overcast close to Denver

Soon we saw sun breaking through on this mountain.

Colorado sun is breaking through

Colorado sun is breaking through

Here is I-70 looking west.

View of Continental Divide from I-70

View of Continental Divide from I-70

This is one of our favorite views heading to the mountains.   The continental divide does not have much snow yet, but it will.   You can see the traffic from the mountain ski areas has not begun yet.   Light traffic on I-70 is rare on weekends.   A little further west, the sun is out and our bright blue Colorado sky is beautiful.  *

Snowy trees and bright blue Colorado sky

Snowy trees and bright blue Colorado sky

These trees appeared to be decorated with snowballs, to celebrate the Christmas season.

Decorated with snowballs for the Christmas season

Decorated with snowballs for the Christmas season

We really like this snowy tree, but we don’t want to sit in the cold snow very long.

Snow decorated tree

Snow decorated tree

Looking down the road, winter is coming to the Colorado mountains.

Continuing down the road

Continuing down the road

Although the sun is bright, the temperature was only 20 degrees, in the sun.   We were no more than 20 minutes from our home in the Denver suburbs.   We hope  you visit Colorado this winter.   Many of our ski areas are now open for winter fun.

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Riding The Ghan in Australia with Zeb and Eider Duck

Zeb and Eider Duck are on another train.

Comfortable in our seat with a water bottle

Comfortable in our seat with a water bottle

We had our first long train ride on Australia’s Indian Pacific, and now we are going on another one.   This is the Ghan.   The Indian Pacific travels east and west, between the Indian and Pacific Oceans.   The Ghan travels north and south, connecting Darwin with Adelaide.

The Ghan. Our second Australian train

The Ghan. Our second Australian train

We are getting on the train in Darwin, in Australia’s Northern Territory.   The Ghan is named for the Afghan camel drivers that worked in Australia building the telegraph system.   That is why we have a camel emblem on the side of our train car.   People are still getting on the train.

Many people boarding the Ghan

Many people boarding the Ghan

People are loading our luggage on the train.

The luggage goes on the train. We can only have hand luggage with us.

The luggage goes on the train.   We can only have hand luggage with us.

Larry, the safety manager, said that we have about 36 cars on our train.   We also have train cars with automobiles.   Some people are bringing their personal vehicles with them.   We, of course, retuned our rental car and our personal vehicles are in Colorado and Alaska, so no car for us.   Soon we crossed the Elizabeth River.

Elizabeth River

Elizabeth River

This is one of Australia’s most important rivers.   This is a view as we approach the town of Adelaide River.

Approaching town of Adelaide River

Approaching town of Adelaide River.   Much open space and many trees.

The Ghan stops in Katherine.

Stopping in Katherine

Stopping in Katherine

We stay here for a couple hours.   Eider’s dad took a shuttle into Katherine.   Zeb’s mom took Zeb and Eider into Nitmiluk Park again.   We were here before, but it is very pretty.

Nitmiluk National Park is beautiful

Nitmiluk National Park is beautiful

As we approached the Visitor’s Center, this wallaby was busy and did not pay attention to the tourists taking her photo.

Wallaby at Nitmiluk National Park

Wallaby at Nitmiluk National Park

Wallabies look like small kangaroos.   We like this wallaby.   Some passengers on the Ghan took a short version of the cruise we enjoyed through the gorges.    We did a little hiking.

Hiking in Nitmiluk National Park

Hiking in Nitmiluk National Park

Back on the Ghan, we wanted to show you the inside of  train passenger car.

Inside our car on The Ghan

Inside our car on The Ghan

The dining car looked like the one we showed you on the Indian Pacific train.    In the morning the landscape had changed.

Earth is red approaching Alice Springs this morning. Blurry since train is moving quickly

Earth is red approaching Alice Springs this morning.   Blurry since train is moving quickly

As we approached Alice Springs, in the center of Australia, the dirt is red and we are entering desert areas.   We arrive in Alice Springs.

The Ghan arrives at Alice Springs

The Ghan arrives at Alice Springs

This camel statue is here to welcome all the passengers to Alice Springs.

Camel statue at Alice Springs Ghan station

Camel statue at Alice Springs Ghan station

We are leaving the train here and flying to Ayers Rock Airport where we will see Uluru, or Ayers Rock.   In the airport, we visited the restroom.   This was a new sign for us.

In the airport. This was an unfamiliar sign for us

In the airport. This was an unfamiliar sign for us

We liked our Australian train trips.   We hope you travel by train there, too.

Happy Thanksgiving 2015

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.   Thanksgiving is time for all of us to reflect on the many things we have to be thankful for in our lives.   Our family is most important for us, followed closely by appreciating the lives we are able to live in Colorado.   We give thanks to all that make these blessings possible for the Colorado Traveling Ducks and the humans.   Enjoy a huge dinner with family and friends today!

Kakadu National Park in Australia’s Northern Territory

Zeb and Eider are in Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory of Australia.   This park is huge.   It is 20,000 square kilometers, or 8,000 square miles of varied Australia landscape.   First we walked

Hiking in Kakadu National Park

Hiking in Kakadu National Park

to see some Aboriginal Rock Art.

Aboriginal rock art

Aboriginal rock art

Our National Geographic guide book says humans were here more than 20,000 years ago.   This sign explains what we are seeing.

With a yam?

With a yam?

Here is some art.

We admire this aboriginal rock art

We admire this aboriginal rock art

This one is also interesting.

Aboriginal rock are

Aboriginal rock art

Now we are getting on another boat.

We love river boat rides

We love river boat rides

We love these boat rides.   There are so many of these brown, wood ducks.

So many ducks along the river bank

So many ducks along the river bank

Aren’t these flowers in the lily pads beautiful?

We like lily pads and bright flowers

We like lily pads and bright flowers

We really like them.   Kakadu National Park is home to both salt water and fresh water crocodiles.   We believe this is a fresh water crocodile.

A really big crocodile at Kakadu

A really big crocodile at Kakadu enjoying the sun.

This bird seems to be looking for a snack.

Bird seems to want a snack

Bird seems to want a snack

He caught a fish and is trying to position the fish so he can eat now.

Now, how to eat this fish

Now, how to eat this fish

Kakadu National Park has 290 species of birds and 74 species of reptiles.   There are also more than 1,600 species of plants and over 52 different types of fish.   Today we saw so many birds.   These white birds are great.

Pretty white birds

Pretty white birds

These white and grayish blue birds are also wonderful.

The beaks match the wings

The beaks match the wings

We really like their beaks.   This looks like a type of eagle.

Type of eagle?

Type of eagle?

After our boat trip, we visited the Warradjan Aboriginal Culture Center.

Cultural Center at Kakadu

Cultural Center at Kakadu

The aboriginal calendar at Kakadu shows 6 seasons.

Six seasons here. We are enjoying the dry season.

Six seasons here. We are enjoying the dry season.

The cultural center was very interesting, but photos were not allowed in many exhibits.   If you go, we think you would enjoy the center.    Before we leave Kakadu National Park, we want to remind you that no boat ride here would be complete without a pelican.

Always admire pelicans

Always admire pelicans

Australia’s Northern Territory is so wild and seems to be as it was thousands of years ago.   When you go, you will feel the difference in the Northern Territory.   We did.

Denver’s Christkindl Market with Zeb and Soapy Smith Duck

On a sunny Sunday, Zeb and Soapy Smith Duck wandered through Denver’s German Christmas Market.   Walking down Denver’s Sixteenth Street Pedestrian Mall, heading toward Skyline Park, we stopped to read the blue cow by Douglas Rouse.

Denver's Blue Cow

Denver’s Blue Cow

We love the blue cow with some facts unique to Denver.   Denver has the nation’s largest city park system with more than 200 parks within city limits.   And we love the 300 days of sunshine each year to enjoy them.   Our airport, Denver International, is the nation’s largest at 53 square miles.   Did you know that the Denver Mint is the largest producer of coins in the world?   And the thirteenth step of Colorado’s State Capitol Building is exactly 5,280 feet above sea level.   We are the Mile High City.   Let’s enter Denver’s Christkindl.

Entrance to Denver's Christkindl Market

Entrance to Denver’s Christkindl Market

There are so many venders with German or European themed items and food.   We, Zeb and Soapy, want Soapy’s dog, Steve, to help us decorate this Christmas tree.

Let's decorate this tree

Let’s decorate this tree

Remember our Soapy Smith Duck is quite the rascal, so Zeb and Steve will watch him so he does not take ornaments off the tree and give them to strangers.   We love the top picture of a pier going over the water.

We like this art

We like this art

This booth had great art for sale.   We were so tempted and had to try the potato pancakes, with applesauce.

Wonderful potato pancakes

Wonderful potato pancakes

We really like them.   Hand carved wooden decorations were a big hit.

Wood carvings at Bethlehem Nativity

Wood carvings at Bethlehem Nativity

Aren’t they nice?   The potato pancakes were good, but we could still eat more.   Then we saw the Styria Bakery.

Stryka Bakery. Can't pass up a good bakery

Stryka Bakery.   Can’t pass up a good bakery

This huge pretzel with cinnamon and sugar was just what we wanted.

Cinnamon Pretzel

Cinnamon Pretzel

Delicious!   Here we are near the warming tent, which also happens to be the beer garden.

Entrance to warming tent and beer garden

Entrance to warming tent and beer garden

By the entrance we saw and recognized this statue.

The Musicians of Bremer

The Town Musicians of Bremen

The Town Musicians of Bremen.

The musicians created by the Brothers Grimm

The musicians created by the Brothers Grimm

Inside the tent, people were enjoying the German beer.

Beer available here

Beer available here

We spend a little more than one hour here, but it is great.   The Christkindl Market will be opened every day at 11:00 a.m.    It will close at 1:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving.   It usually closes at 7:00 p.m., but stays open until 9:00 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.   The market will be in Denver through December 23.   We hope you will visit here on one of our many sunny days.   We might even return again.    This is a great place to purchase gifts, for others and for yourself.

Katherine Gorge in Nitmiluk National Park with Zeb and Eider Duck

Zeb and Eider Duck are going to another Australian National Park   We are going to Nitmiluk National Park.   Nitmiluk National Park was formerly called Katherine Gorge National Park.   First we go to Edith Falls

Beautiful Edith Falls in Nitmiluk National Park

Beautiful Edith Falls in Nitmiluk National Park

Several humans are swimming in the water.

Swimming in Edith Falls pool

Swimming in Edith Falls pool

It is so refreshing.   The water from the falls flows under the bridge and becomes a peaceful river.

Edith Falls feeds this serene river

Edith Falls feeds this serene river

Near Edith Falls, we enjoyed this grassy area.

Would be great picnic place if we had more time

Is a great picnic place

Now we are getting on a boat on the Katherine River.

On the boat to tour Katherine Gorge

On the boat to tour Katherine Gorge

Heading through the first gorge.

Boating on first gorge

Boating on first gorge

Pretty steep rock walls, really sandstone walls,  here.

Steep rock walls of gorge

Steep sandstone walls of gorge

People can rent canoes here also.

Canoes are available

Canoes are available

We get out of our boat and walk toward this narrower gorge.

Walking to second gorge

Walking to second gorge

Now we are on the second boat,

Riding on boat on the second gorge

Riding on boat on the second gorge

cruising again.   But, we are not alone here.

Big crocodile. They SAY fresh water crocodiles will not bother us. But stay clear!!

Big crocodile!   They SAY fresh water crocodiles will not bother us.  But stay clear!!

This is the famous view in Katherine Gorge.

Postcard view in Katherine Gorge

Postcard view in Katherine Gorge

There are many postcards with this picture.   Heading into a small cave,

Into the cave

Into the cave

we see these mud nest made by migrating birds and bats.

Mud nests on roof of cave

Mud nests on roof of cave

We dock, get off the boat, and walk along the path to where our first boat left us.

Pathway between two gorges

Pathway between two gorges

Back on the first boat, we are heading back to our starting point.

Enjoying boat ride in Katherine Gorge

Enjoying boat ride in Katherine Gorge

This is a beautiful river and an incredible gorge.   Some of the people that helped us today in this national park are Jawoyn, the local people.   They were here first and are now the custodians of Nitmiluk National Park.   We loved our cruise.   We hope you go on it soon, too.