Happy Halloween 2016 from the Colorado Traveling Ducks

Today is Halloween.   Our neighborhood has many Halloween decorations.   Some are friendly and some are really spooky.   We like this house.

We like this

We like this

Not too scary, but certainly showing Halloween spirit.   Some houses have a holiday display on the front porch.

Porch decorations

Porch decorations

We were going to take a ride with this guy, but he looked a little too skinny to be riding.

We don't want to ride with him, mom

We don’t want to ride with him, mom

He might fall out of the Jeep.  Another neighbor made a graveyard in the front yard.

Rest in Peace

Rest in Peace

We ducks usually don’t look, talk and laugh in graveyards, but the humans said we could, this is Halloween.   Are these friendly spiders?

Giant spiders in the tree???

Giant spiders in the tree???

We think so.  We are pretty close to one.   Even the tall guy on the right–the green and purple one, seems friendly, when the sun is shining.

Friendly if it sunny

Friendly if it sunny

A friendly guy, he even has a cowboy hat on.

We love him

We love him

We like him a lot.  There is a day care in this house.

Friendly

Friendly

They really have a lot of decorations.   Even motorcycles.   The next house, also part of the day care, has many things.

Through the gate to the house

Through the gate to the house

Tonight when children come trick or treating, they will walk through this arch to receive candy.   They also have Dead End Cemetery here.

Dead End Cemetery

Dead End Cemetery

Halloween is the night that children wear costumes and go from house to house saying “trick or treat”.    The people in the houses have purchased huge amounts of candy to give to the children tonight.   Most young children are accompanied by adults.   We ducks and humans really liked this house.

Lots of work was done here

Lots of work was done here

There is so much here.   From another view, some old farm equipment has been used in the Halloween display.

Even farm equipment

Even farm equipment

The weather in Denver has really been warm and beautiful, so many humans put a lot of time and work into the Halloween decorations this year.   We appreciate all they have done and love looking at them.   At our house, we are ready for many trick or treaters this year.

We are ready for children to come here

We are ready for children to come here

The evening is forecast to be perfect for Halloween, so we expect many children.  The humans usually sit on the front porch giving candy.   There will be a crock pot of chili inside for our humans, friends and neighbors.   Happy Halloween to each of you from the Colorado Traveling Ducks and our humans.

Day of the Dead in Longmont, Colorado With Zeb and Soapy Smith Duck

Prepare for the spirits of your deceased relatives and friends to come back.   What?  November 1 and November 2 is Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead.   This Latin American holiday is gaining popularity in Colorado.   Many humans believe that the spirits of deceased relatives and friends will return on these two days, so preparations are made.   During this time, death is not feared, but embraced and incorporated into everyday life.   Skeletons are everywhere.   Sugar skulls are prevalent.   Ofrendas, or altars are filled with photos of the deceased person and some of his/her favorite things.   We drove to the Longmont Museum to view an exhibit.   These are the greeters.

Skeleton Greeters at Longmont Museum

Skeleton Greeters at Longmont Museum

Inside, we walk through the Arch of Compassion.

Arch of Compassion

Arch of Compassion

In Latin America, arches of marigolds are common.   Here we are invited to write a tribute to honor a loved one and place the paper in the arch.  Sugar skulls are popular.

Sugar Skulls

Sugar Skulls

This ofrenda is typical, including serving utensils and other favorite things.

Ofrenda

Ofrenda

We are impressed with these displays.   Each one was made for a particular human and we read tributes for the deceased human.   Skulls are everywhere.

Embracing death

Embracing death

This ofrenda is dedicated to all men and women who have served this country with honor and distinction.

To all that served their country

To all that served their country

This one remembers Miriam O’Leary, a cancer victim.

To Miriam O'Leary

To Miriam O’Leary

Day of the Dead is not just for Latin Americans.   An altar, or ofrenda to Lost Immigrants.

To Lost Immigrants

To Lost Immigrants

Here we remember teachers from the local high school.

High School teachers remembered

High School teachers remembered

Since mom used to teach in a different high school, this really got to her.   In June of this year, the United States suffered a terrible loss.  In Orlando, Florida 49 people lost their lives at a Nightclub.   This was the largest mass shooting loss in the United States.   Those victims are remembered here and their spirits welcomed back for a visit.

Orlando, Florida nightclub shooting victims. June 12, 2016

Orlando, Florida nightclub shooting victims. June 12, 2016

Look at this.

A skull in the flowers

A skull in the flowers

Even a skull in a flower arrangement.   This exhibit will be open through Saturday, November 5. On that Saturday, there will be entertainment and many activities.   We hope you visit Longmont Museum in Longmont, Colorado.   When you leave, be sure to stop at the gift shop.   Here is a sample of some great gifts and souvenirs.

Stop at the Gift Shop

Stop at the Gift Shop

Don’t wait too long to go.

Light Rail to Downtown Denver in 9 minutes

Zeb the Duck and Channel the Bear took their moms and the Light Rail train to Denver’s Union Station.  The newest Light Rail station into Denver is in nearby Westminster.

New Light Rail station opened

New Light Rail station opened

Sitting inside, Zeb the Duck and Channel the Bear admire this arch.

On the train admiring arch

On the train admiring arch

Arriving at Denver’s Union Station, safety is emphasized.   In many places we saw lists of Dumb Ways to Die, the list ending with safety reminders for the Light Rail.

Be careful. Don't be careless

Be careful. Don’t be careless

Let’s head for Union Station.

Denver's Union Station

Denver’s Union Station

Here is the Terminal Bar.

Terminal Bar in Union Station

Terminal Bar in Union Station

Even though it is called a bar, much food is also served here.   After exploring Union Station, we head outside, and see Octavia the Octopus.

Octavia the Octopus from WashedAshore.org

Octavia the Octopus from WashedAshore.org

She is made entirely from trash that washed up on beaches.     Visit  www.WashedAshore.org for more information about this program.  We learned that an octopus lives about 4 years, but grows to 20 feet in length.   They are also very intelligent animals.   Denver’s oldest hotel, Oxford Hotel, is located half a block from the train station.

The Oxford. Denver's oldest hotel

The Oxford. Denver’s oldest hotel

The Oxford opened for business in 1891 and an elegant room rented for $1 per night.   Or, $2 nightly for an elegant room with a bath.   It certainly costs more than that now.   Our human moms took us inside and then, inside the ladies room.

Oxford Hotel elegant ladies room

Oxford Hotel’s elegant ladies room

They said this is classic elegance.   The bar is cozy and intimate.   We appreciated the murals on the wall.

One of several murals in bar at Oxford Hotel

One of several murals in bar at Oxford Hotel

Next we went to the Ice House.

Historic Ice House

Historic Ice House

The Ice House had been built as a cold storage facility for Littleton Creamery, later to be sold to Beatrice Foods for cold storage.  Used for 80 years as cold storage warehouse, when the building was abandoned, windows soon were broken out.   Now the entire building was frozen. During restoration, the first step was thawing.   This took about one year.   Wow!  Great construction for cold storage.   Many offices, business and condos are located in this building now.   On the ground floor is the Brazilian steakhouse, Rodizio Grill.   We did not eat here today, but the humans have eaten here previously.   They say the food is good.  Walking in downtown Denver, we saw this plaque about the first robbery of the Denver Mint.

Mint Robbery

Mint Robbery

This is one time our humans feel bad for a thief.   It really is rather sad how this ended for him. Colorado became a state in 1876.   The first City Hall was at this location near Larimer Street and Speer Boulevard.

Bell from Denver's first City Hall

Bell from Denver’s first City Hall

This bell is the only existing relic of our first City Hall.  You remember Soapy Smith Duck, one of the Colorado Traveling Ducks.   He is named for a real rascal, Soapy Smith.   When the human Soapy Smith was in Denver, this was one of his favorite places.

Old Soapy Smith hang out

Old Soapy Smith hang out

Here, across from the first City Hall, a governor tried to fire corrupt commissioners, but a force led by Soapy Smith, changed the governor’s mind.   Along Larimer Street, we stopped in this courtyard.   There are restaurants here and it is a nice area for a meal.  This statue, from 1924, is in memory of Richard Pinhorn.

Cozy courtyard with restaurants

Cozy courtyard with restaurants

In 1894, Richard Pinhorn opened The Manhattan Restaurant.   His establishment soon became one of the favorite haunts of the Rich and Famous.   The Manhattan Restaurant was the first in Denver to serve onion rings.   Yum!   Zeb and Channel love onion rings!   We return to Union Station for something to eat.

Eating lunch outside

Eating lunch outside

Then back to the Light Rail train, and we will be delivered to our car in 9 minutes.   That is fast!

Mt. Pisgah Cemetery in Cripple Creek Comes to Life

The Gold Camp Victorian Society of Cripple Creek, Colorado held their annual cemetery tour, with Zeb and Soapy Smith Duck proudly in attendance.   This great tour features pioneers of the Cripple Creek area, portrayed by members of the Gold Camp Victorian Society.   We are ready to board the Trolly to Mt. Pisgah Cemetery.

Let's get on the trolly.

Let’s get on the trolly.

We have arrived.

Mt. Pisgah Cemetery, Cripple Creek, Colorado

Mt. Pisgah Cemetery, Cripple Creek, Colorado

This cemetery is located on the slopes of Mr. Pisgah, a mountain with a native American burial grounds.   Isn’t it great that native Americans and white settlers have final resting places on the same mountain?  One of our stops was to visit with Dr. Susan Anderson, or Doc Susie.

Dr. Susan Anderson, or Doc Susie

Dr. Susan Anderson, or Doc Susie

A female doctor, she helped many in Cripple Creek and than finished her career in Frasier, Colorado.   The dry mountain climate helped her personal battle with Tuberculosis contributing to her long life of more than 90 years.   Next we visited one of Cripple Creek’s more infamous entrepreneurs, Madam Pearl DeVere.   Pearl owned and operated the most expensive and successful brothel in the Cripple Creek area.

Madame Pearl DeVere

Madame Pearl DeVere

With miners wages about $3 per day, her ladies received $250 per night from clients, after they passed personal and financial background checks.  For that amount of money, the gentlemen received a dinner with Russian caviar and French champaign.   Of course, they also received a female companion for the duration.  Breakfast was also available.    Sounds like a very exclusive gentlemen’s club, doesn’t it?  Nearby we saw the tombstone of the original Fred E. Krueger, born December 7, 1881 and passed January 21, 1897, long before movies made his name famous.

Fred E. Kruger

Fred E. Kruger

On to the Civil War Memorial.   Our host, Lt. David McClintock of the 21 Ohio Infantry, is the only Confederate soldier buried here.

David McClintock

Lt. David McClintock

He moved to Cripple Creek and became the local butcher, passing June 15, 1906.   Next we heard from Mabel Barbee Lee, a very accomplished women.   Born in 1824 she soon moved to Cripple Creek.   She became a teacher at nearby Victor High School, an administrator at Colorado College and later at University of California in Berkley.   Author of 4 books, her first Cripple Creek Days was written when she was 75 years old.   Mom just finished reading this book and thought it was both informative and entertaining.

Mabel Barbee Lee

Mabel Barbee Lee

Mabel passed in 1978.   Wasn’t she an amazing lady?   Next a lady of Cripple Creek told of a sadder side of life.   During the mining time, cyanide was used in the process.   One day a miner came in, so thirsty, he drank from the first cup he saw.  It had some cyanide in the water. While the miner, Mr. T. Miyake died in horrible pain, no one helped him, as he was just an immigrant.

Remembering T. Miyake

Remembering T. Miyake

That incident was published in the newspaper and was the beginning of better treatment for all.  In the late 1800s Cripple Creek was a very rich district.   The cemetery would bury anyone, for free, in the Potter’s Field area.   This lady walked across the field, singing, carrying her baby.

Potter's Field

Potter’s Field

She said she had no name and that her baby died right after the birth, which also took the life of the mother.   This is sad, but also good as thousands, at least had a place to be put to rest.   This nun is a Sister of Mercy.   The Sisters started and ran St. Nicholas Hospital.   During the fires of 1896 many were helping save the hospital.  However, there were some in town that did not like the Catholic Church and one man got in the hospital, where he put dynamite in the stove chimney.

Sister of Mercy

Sister of Mercy

But, the dynamite exploded immediately, taking a part of the man’s leg and throwing his boot on the tea kettle, simmering on the stove.   The Sisters of Mercy nursed him back to health and he then became one of the biggest supporters of St. Nicholas Hospital.   Another citizen of Cripple Creek, Winfield Scott Stratton, began leasing a mine claim and through hard work and some luck, became one of the richest miners in the area.   When mining was slow, he gave tours of the mine, generating extra income.   The members of the Gold Camp Victorian Society that portrayed him, were his grandchildren.

Early gold mine owners

Early gold mine owners

One of the true characters of Cripple Creek was Johnny Nolon.   This Irishman ran a saloon in town.   One day the notorious, Carrie Nation, a female temperance movement leader, came into town.   After a discussion about drinking and nude pictures, Johnny Nolon picked her up, carried her out of his establishment and set her in the middle of the street.

Johnny Nolon

Johnny Nolon with the Colorado Traveling Ducks

Carrie Nation was known for attacking alcoholic establishments with a hatchet.   The story says that he also escorted her to the next train leaving Cripple Creek and she did not return.   Johnny Nolon’s establishment is still in business on Cripple Creek’s main street.

Johnny Nolon's at original location

Johnny Nolon’s at original location

He, however, moved to nearby Colorado Springs.   This was a great tour.   Our tour guides were very nice and very knowledgeable.

Our tour guides

Our tour guides

It was informative and a lot of fun.   We, Zeb and Soapy, never knew dead humans could be so much fun!   After leaving the cemetery, we saw another famous resident, a left over from the mining days.   When miners left town, they often just released the donkeys.   Now there are wild donkeys roaming the streets of Cripple Creek.

Donkey of Cripple Creek

Donkey of Cripple Creek

Isn’t he so cute?   We hope you visit and take the cemetery tour next September.

The Shard in London with Channel the Bear

I, Zeb the Duck, just received great photos from my friend, Channel the Bear.   Channel is in England.   She visited The Shard in London.

The Shard. London

The Shard. London

The Shard was opened to the public in 2013.   There are restaurants and a hotel in The Shard.   There are two floors of observation decks.

London

London

Observations decks begin on the 68th floor. The Shard is 1016 feet tall.

London

London

What great views, Channel.   Channel sent me another photo that is a little personal for me to discuss.   Channel said it is the Loo with a View.

Loo with a View

Loo with a View

Channel said she felt comfortable using it because there were no helicopters around then.  In the last photo of Channel, sitting in a chair in the home of her British friend in Brenchley.

Channel resting in England

Channel resting in England

Thanks for these photos Channel.   The Shard in London looks fantastic and I love to see you relaxing.   You look great!

Channel the Bear in Brighton, England

Channel the Bear is in England.   Today she sent me these photos from Brighton, England.   She went to a great observation tower.

Brighton, England. British Airways

Brighton, England. British Airways

This is really tall.    Channel is going to the top.

Brighton, England. Really tall tower.

Brighton, England. Really tall tower.

Looks like a space ship from this view.

Brighton, England

Brighton, England

The beach is beautiful, even from above.

View in Brighton, England

View in Brighton, England

She may even go to the beach later.   It looks like you had a great day, Channel.   Thanks for sharing your photos with us.

Zeb the Duck Remembers Africa

I, Zeb the Duck, really loved my summer in Southern Africa.   I wanted to show you some of my favorite memories, but there were so many.   Remember this trip started with us volunteering for a couple weeks with Ripple Africa in Malawi.

Ripple Africa

Ripple Africa

The students were so friendly and eager to learn.

Students

Students

We saw this all over Southern Africa.   Living on the shore of Lake Malawi, we appreciated the sunny days and the evenings watching the moon rise over the lake.

Moon rising over Lake Malawi

Moon rising over Lake Malawi

We saw people everywhere carrying items on their heads.

Great posture and great balance as they carry heavy loads

Great posture and great balance as they carry heavy loads

The humans walk so gracefully and have beautiful posture.   These changu changu moto stoves save so much wood and requires so much less work to use.

Changu changu moto wood burning stove

Changu changu moto wood burning stove

They are a huge improvement over the traditional three stone stove.   Men stack wood on frames on their bicycles.

Loading firewood on bicycle

Loading firewood on bicycle

Seeing them ride with all the wood was fascinating.   We smiled at this sign, but it was true.

The monkeys do take things

The monkeys do take things

The monkeys will pick up most items and the items may be gone forever.   Victoria Falls is so big and so powerful.   It really is a sight for all to see.

Rainbow Falls at Victoria Falls, Zambia

Rainbow Falls at Victoria Falls, Zambia

This is Rainbow Falls on the Zambian side.   The rainbow seems to be there almost all the time. Male dancers and singers in the Kingdom of Swaziland entertained us.

Entertainers from Kingdom of Swaziland

Entertainers from Kingdom of Swaziland

Many humans think of large animals and safaris whenever Africa is mentioned.   We loved our safaris and the animals are so majestic, and in many cases, they were playful and entertaining. Impalas are so plentiful and also so delicate and graceful.

Impala

Impala

We never tired of seeing them.   We love the zebras.

Zebra

Zebra

The stripes are so exotic to me.   And the massive elephants, especially in groups always take your breath. And there is nothing like a baby elephant to soften your heart.

Elephants

Elephants

Cape Buffalo always make us smile.

Cape Buffalo

Cape Buffalo

The Swazi candles were some of our favorite souvenirs.   Packing them was a challenge!

Candle from Swazi Candles.

Candle from Swazi Candles.

This monkey candle is bigger than I am.   I loved seeing the Indian Ocean from Bonnie, our horse.  p1000388The money in Africa was very colorful.   We like each denomination a different color.    Makes things easier for humans.   Each country used a different currency, but US dollars were accepted most places.

Money from Malawi, Mozambique, and South Africa.

Money from Malawi, Mozambique, and South Africa.

Zimbabwe did not print their own paper money.   The official currency of Zimbabwe is the US Dollar.  We did bring a little local currency home, but most of the left over money is donated at airports to help the local people.   If everybody gives a little, that equals a lot of money and a lot of local help.   We did purchase many Visas, each time we entered a country, and flights between countries in Southern Africa were expensive and not always convenient.   But the experience was unforgettable.   The people–so friendly and helpful.   The land and animals are beautiful.  We were able to visit Malawi, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana, Kingdom of Swaziland, South Africa and Mozambique.    We hope you visit these countries soon.   You will never forget the experience.