Shooters Grill in Rifle, Colorado with Zeb and Chanel

We are hungry.   Chanel and I, Zeb the Duck, asked our moms when we would eat.   They said  we were stopping in Rifle, Colorado and would eat at Shooters Grill.

Shooters Grill, Rifle, CO

Great news!   I have been to Shooters Grill.   The people are friendly and the food is delicious.   This is a photo of Rifle’s main street, in the summer.

Could be a movie set with the blue Colorado sky

This really is an old west town with great brick buildings.   But it was February this time, so cold and snow dominated.   Let’s go inside and look around Shooters Grill.

Welcome to Shooters Grill

I like the Welcome Sign inside.   You probably noticed the large wooden carved bear at the entrance.   Inside are more carved wooden decorations.

Wood carvings inside Shooters Grill

Much of the work carving these wooden figures is done with chain saws.   Really interesting to watch.   Shooters Grill is a little different than most restaurants.    Guns are welcome.

Guns are welcome. But, be responsible

At Shooters Grill the waitresses are encouraged to wear a pistol, usually a Glock, in a holster on their hip.    All are trained and licensed to carry a weapon.   Also classes in gun safety are regularly scheduled here.    All are welcome and learning how to use a gun properly and safely is very important.   No alcohol is served at Shooters Grill.   But delicious food is served.   Chanel the Bear is sitting on Charlotte’s gun.

Waitresses at Shooters Grill

Charlotte’s daughter owns Shooters Grill.   I, Zeb the Duck, am with our waitress.   This is our food from  previous visit.

Yum!

The portions are large and everything is delicious.   Mom and I usually attack the French Fries first.   We love them, especially while they are still hot.   Looking around Shooters, we feel the atmosphere is very patriot, freedom loving and very friendly.

US flag at Shooters

The flag is displayed with the pledge written.   This photo is great.

We love this picture

A hot bath in the early days.   Here I am from an earlier visit with my cousin, Eider Duck.

Our new friend Jessica

The waitresses have always been so nice and seem to like ducks and bears.   The conversation was great and our food was delicious, but Chanel and I have to head to our next Colorado town.  The old town of Rifle has great street sculptures.

Horse sculpture, Rifle, CO

Chanel and I enjoyed this horse.   When in Rifle, Exit 90 on Interstate 70, be sure to stop at Shooters for a tasty meal and great conversation.

Glenwood Springs Hot Water with Zeb and Chanel

Zeb the Duck here in the world’s largest hot springs pool.   And I love it.   In February, my friend Chanel the Bear and her mom and my mom and I went to our Colorado Mountains to the town of Glenwood Springs.   It’s real easy to get here, it is right on I-70.   This is a great town with lots of outdoor activities and lots of history, but today, we came for the hot pool.   Through the steam of the hot pool, we see the newer hotel.

No shortage of hotels here.

The pool is open all year, and if you get hungry, no need to go very far.

Hungry? Food is close and available.

In the summer, you can get out of the pool, order food and eat outside by the pool.

Good menu for poolside dining.

This pool is big, but how much water does it really have?

So much hot water in this pool.  Snow capped mountains beyond.

This sign says 1,078,000 gallons (4,080,674 liters) of water, hot from Colorado’s natural hot springs.  One end has hotter water, great for soaking, at 104 F (40 C).   The other end is still warm, but it is more like a warm swimming pool, at 92-94 F (33-34 C)  Here you see me, Zeb the duck, on the life guard stand by the area for swimming laps.

Area to swim laps. I, Zeb the Duck, could be your life guard.

We are looking towards the hot end.   While it great to soak in the hot water, admiring the snow capped mountains, eventually we do need to get out of the pool.   Let’s go downtown Glenwood Springs.   During the late 1800s there were famous gunfighters and famous gun fights in America’s southwest.   One of the famous gunfighters was Doc Holliday.   Doc Holliday, a dentist and gunfighter had what we now call tuberculosis.  The dry mountain climate of Glenwood Springs, Colorado, was famous for helping patients with tuberculosis.   While it could not be cured, the mountain air helped them breathe easier.   That is why Doc Holliday relocated to Glenwood Springs.  He is buried in Glenwood Springs, in Linwood Cemetery.    But, here is Doc Holliday’s Saloon.

Doc Holliday’s Saloon

As you can see, the mountains are really close to town.

Colorado Rocky Mountains very close to downtown Glenwood Springs.

I have been here before, and inside Doc Holliday’s Saloon are a lot of photos from his gunfighting days and photos with some of his famous friends.   This is a favorite of mine.

From the OK Corral…Aftermath???

This is after the famous gunfight at the OK Corral on October 26, 1881 in Tombstone, Arizona Territory.   Arizona was not yet a state.  On the left is gunfighter Doc Holliday with U.S. Marshall Wyatt Earp.   In the center are U.S. Marshall Virgil Earp and Mrs. Allie Earp.   On the right, we see U.S. Marshall Morgan Earp and Mrs. Lou Earp.   Glenwood Springs is between Aspen ski area and Vail ski area if you want to ski.   You can explore Glenwood Caverns, ancient underground caves, enjoy amusement parks in the summer, enjoy the hot pools and have a great Colorado vacation here, any time of the year.   We love Glenwood Springs and we think you would have a great time here also.

Petroglyph National Monument with Colorado Traveling Ducks

Humans said we need to head home.   Horrible words to duck ears while enjoying a road trip.   But, one more stop they promised.   Petroglyph National Monument in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Petroglyph National Monument

Remember, much of New Mexico is desert.   But with enough moisture, cacti do have flowers.

Cactus in bloom

We love blooms on this cactus.  First stop was the Visitor’s Center, of course.   From there we went to one of the trails that allows dogs.   Here we go.

Chloe ready to explore

Chloe and her human mom, also Soapy’s mom, are ready to start.   We are on Piedras Marcadas Trail.

Piedras Marcadas Trail

There are petroglyphs up there.  Yellow.  Maybe for the Colorado Traveling Ducks, but about 700 years before us.

Petroglyphs

Here is another closer to us.

Soapy and Zeb on rock. Not touching petroglyph

We followed a trail up this hill.

Climb a hill here

But, as you can, these petroglyphs are almost in somebody’s back yard.

City from top

Here is another that we liked.

Interesting drawing

This sign explains a little about these petroglyphs.

History was written here

This petroglyph seems to show a human with rabbit ears.

Human with rabbit ears?

We did see some giant rabbits running through the petroglyphs.   Maybe their ancestors were here 700 years ago?  There are so many petroglyphs in this area.   But this is the last one we will show you.

Petroglyph and ducks

New Mexico has beautiful, blue skies.   New Mexico is known for hot air balloons.   There is a huge hot air balloon festival here in Albuquerque in October.   So we had to share this photo, from our February trip, of this lone hot air balloon, soaring above.  We took this from Petroglyph National Monument. If you visit Petroglyph National Monument in Albuquerque, New Mexico, you will see interesting petroglyphs.   The humans and ducks had fun and Chloe, the dog, also loved it.

Chloe had a good day here at Petroglyph National Monument

Hope you visit soon.

Heart of the Desert Pistachio Farm and Winery

Last week we showed you McGinn’s PistachioLand.   But they are not the only Pistachio farm and Winery in Alamogordo.

Heart of the Desert Pistachio Farm and Winery

Heart of the Desert at Eagle Ranch was possibly the first pistachio farm in the area.   This sign, a glowing heart, was completed in May 2018.   It is 26 feet tall, 20 feet wide and built to withstand desert winds up to 114 mph.   They are awaiting a ruling from Guinness, to name it as largest glowing heart in the world.   Today we want to show you Heart of the Desert ranch, but don’t want to repeat the same information.   This is a great picnic area.

Picnic area

And check out this horse.

Horse. With painted secrets

There are things painted on this horse for kids, of all ages, to find.

Find these things on the painted horse

Here is the list.   Both establishments have tours of the farm.   Both grow pistachio trees and process the nuts to sell.

Pistachio trees

Both have vineyards.  Both produce great New Mexican wine.   This 1928 International One Ton Truck is in Heart of the Desert’s parking lot.

1928 International One Ton Truck

The sign explains the importance of this truck.   Driving on the farm when he was seven years old???

His truck from Nebraska

Let’s see the entire truck.   A real classic.   In 1974, George Schweers bought 400 2-year old pistachio trees, and Eagle Ranch was born.   Trees have been added since that time.   We heard that George Schweers gave pistachio trees to Mr. McGinn when he decided to start his pistachio farm.   Good neighbors help each other.   In 2002 vineyards and wine production was added to Eagle Ranch.   Visiting either, or both of these pistachio farms will definitely add to your enjoyment of the Alamogordo area.   As you know, we like to stop at unusual roadside attractions.   So here we are at Basin Pipe and Metal Recycling.

Basin Pipe and Metal

And this is why.

Giant roadrunner

A huge roadrunner.   The roadrunner is the state bird of New Mexico, and this one, built from scrap metal, seems at least 20 feet tall.   There is an area to pull off the main road to look at and photograph this roadrunner.   We like finding new things in New Mexico.

New Mexico Museum of Space History with Colorado Traveling Ducks

Let’s go to the space museum.   We ducks are interested in many things, with aviation and space travel near the top.   Today we are visiting the New Mexico Museum of Space History in Alamogordo, New Mexico.

New Mexico Museum of Space History, Alamogordo, New Mexico

Before we even enter the building, we see many exhibits outside.

German Air Force Tornado 45 + 11

This is a German Air Force Tornado 45 + 11.  These planes were at nearby Holloman Air Force Base from July 2, 1999 through June 10, 2009.   One of its primary missions was precision strikes against ground targets.   This plane is highly serviceable due to its automatic terrain-following and electronic counter-measure systems.   That’s what the sign said.   We followed the sign to the Gravesite of HAM.

HAM, world’s first AstroChimp. Final resting place.

HAM was the world’s first Astrochimp.   He was the first chimp to visit outer space, on Jan 3, 1961.   He completed all his tasks on his mission.   He flew at 5800 mph, reaching an altitude of 155 miles.   During is 16 minute mission he experienced 7 minutes of weightlessness.   Inside the museum, we saw his space suit.

xico,  Chimpanzee Restraint Suit for HAM the Chimp

Actually called a restraint suit.   Also, we saw the Mercury Primate Capsule.

Mercury primate Capsule for HAM the Chimp

This was his protection while he was strapped in for his flight.   After his flight, HAM lived at National Zoo in Washington, DC until 1979.   Then he moved to North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro, NC until he died January 19, 1983.   His remains were brought here to New Mexico.   We don’t usually do this, but I want to show you a photo from Grand Bahama Island from mom’s visit in 2011.   That was before I, Zeb the Duck, was even born.

Grand Bahama, The Bahamas, near 1961 splash down sites

On Grand Bahama Island, SE of Florida, the East End Missile Base Library salutes the Mercury 7 Space Pioneers.   The splash down area for early US space flights was very close to this location.   HAM was the first in space January 3, 1961.   Alan B. Shepard, Jr. was the second on May 5, 1961.   Shepard was the first American human in space.   Later, in 1971, he also walked on the moon.   Gus Grissom was the second American human in space, flying July 21, 1961.   All flew separately, and all were successful.   There was so much to see outside the museum.

X-7A Test Vehicle

This is a X-7A Test Vehicle.   It was used to develop a ramjet engine for anti-aircraft missiles.   As a test vehicle it was meant to be reused, so it was covered by parachute.  Also we saw this Air Force Plane.

Air Force Plane

And a capsule used in the space program.

Capsule from space missions

Inside the museum, there were many exhibits and many hands on activities.   We will just show you a few things.   Moon Rocks.

Moon rocks

These moon rocks were brought back by Apollo 17 astronaut, Harrison Schmitt in December 1972.   These rocks are believed to be 3.7 billion years old.   If you were alive in 1969, you probably saw this on TV.

Set for TV coverage of first lunar landing

This is the replica of the moon hung behind Walter Cronkite during the CBS TV coverage of the Apollo 11 lunar landing.   On July 20, 1969 Neil Armstrong landed Apollo lunar module Eagle on the moon.   This was the first ever moon landing.   July 21, 1969 Neil Armstrong became the first human to walk on the moon.   Buzz Aldrin joined him on the moon.   They walked on the moon for about 2 hours and 15 minutes that day.  They gathered rocks and sent many pictures back to earth.   Here is an early space suit.

Early space suit

Those suits look bulky and very uncomfortable.   But they did protect the astronauts.   The suits are getting more streamlines, as you can see here.   Old suit on one leg, newer suit on other leg.  This is an Apollo fuel cell.

Apollo Fuel Cell

We ducks don’t really understand everything about this space stuff, but we enjoyed seeing everything.   Back outside (we had to leave because the museum was closing for the day), we visited this memorial.

Memorial to those who perished in US Space Program

The United States has suffered three deadly accidents in the space program.   This monument is a memorial to those that perished.   Each disaster has a plaque.

First disaster

 

Second disaster   

 

Third disaster

We hope you will visit the New Mexico Museum of Space History in Alamogordo, New Mexico.  We found it interesting and believe you will also.

McGinn’s Pistachio Farm and Vineyard

We love pistachio nuts.   We love the green color, and we love the taste.   In Alamogordo, New Mexico, we visited McGinn’s Pistachio Tree Ranch and Winery.

McGinn’s Pistachio Tree Ranch

But, are pistachio nuts really 30 feet tall?

World’s largest pistachio

This is the world’s largest pistachio nut.   It is 30 feet tall, made from 5 yards of concrete and then colored with 35 gallons of paint.   When the founder, Mr McGinn, died, his heirs had this pistachio nut created.   They remember as kids they would travel around the country with him, always stopping for these oversized, roadside attractions.   We ducks have seen a lot of these attractions also, and we always are amazed by what we find.    But, back to Alamogordo and this pistachio farm.   The building is huge, housing equipment, gift shop, small cafe and lots of storage.

Large building

PistachioLand is the name, but there are also vineyards here.   Our first activity was a tour of the farm.

Tour bus. Soapy’s dog Chloe went on bus with us.

These ladies were so friendly and so smart.   Our moms were the only humans on this tour, so Soapy’s dog, Chloe, was also allowed to go with us.   First we saw the vineyards.

Vineyards

Seven types of grapes are grown here and they press the grapes and produce their own brand of wine.   Continuing, we saw acres of pistachio trees.

Pistachio trees

You may notice the irrigation hoses on the ground.   Remember, southern New Mexico is mostly desert.   These pistachio trees are grafted.   There is a university in California that has trees that do well in this climate.   Pistachio trees are grafted onto these trees, creating hardy Pistachio trees that thrive in the desert of New Mexico.   After our enjoyable tour, we headed towards the gift shop.

We like gift shops and love ice cream

We see that ice cream cone.   Near the entrance, we stopped at the Koi fish pool.

Koi pond

We love water and we love watching the fish.   We ducks are sitting here with the sheriff.

Ducks with sheriff

He is telling us stories.   At the end of the long porch is a patch of cement.

The notorious of the American Old West

This cement has names of some of the notorious people from the early days of “The Wild West.”

Ducks on wine barrels

Adding to the rustic atmosphere, we are sitting on wine barrels, under the sign for the Saloon and Hotel.   Inside the gift shop, we found normal souvenirs of t-shirts, post cards, refrigerator magnets, and many fascinating items.   Also a nice collection of regional cookbooks, many flavors of salsa and sauces, and wines.   There was a sampling table of candy, most with pistachios.   We especially liked the pistachio brittle.   Soapy’s mom liked the chili pistachio candies also.   Another section had old signs and this 1940 Ford.

1940 Ford

We like this gift shop and we really liked all the people we met.   But, now it was time for the serious stuff.   Remember the ice cream.   We didn’t want sandwiches or any other food, just ice cream.   Each human got 2 scoops of ice cream (huge scoops) in a waffle cone.   Mom had some with pistachios.   Soapy’s mom had some with chocolate.   We went outside so Chloe, our dog, could join us.

Nice area to sit with Soapy’s dog Chloe and eat ice cream

The ice cream was delicious.   We had a great time here at McGinn’s pistachio farm.   When you are near Alamogordo, we hope you will stop.   The tour was good, the atmosphere fun, the gift shop incredible and the samples are tasty.   The ice cream was a bonus and a reason to stop here on a warm day.   Next time we are in Alamogordo, we will stop here.   Maybe we will see you.