Palomas, Mexco and back to the Pink Store with Zeb and Soapy

We, the Colorado Traveling Ducks, and humans are back in Palomas, Mexico.   And that means we are going to the Pink Store.

The Pink Store

We love the Pink Store.   This is only our third time visiting, but we look forward to shopping and having lunch here.  And mom did promise that next trip to the Pink Store, she will get a better photo of the store.  It’s really not that dark and dreary there.   The most notable items are possibly the bigger than life statues for Day of the Dead celebrations.

Day of Dead statues

In Mexico, Day of the Dead is celebrated November 1 and November 2.   Many believe the spirits of deceased relatives return to their homes.   Death is not feared, but embraced as a part of human life.

Day of Dead

Here are more items for Day of the Dead.  We like the dogs on the bottom shelf.   Often the living will assemble an “ofrenta”, or memorial of items important to the deceased while they were alive.   But there are many more items at the Pink Store.

Huge selection of pottery

Many pottery items.   All of these are hand painted.

Pottery

We feel that the Pink Store offers some of the best Mexico has to offer.   The items here are of good quality and made in Mexico.   We like the hand blown glass.

Hand blown glass and silver jewelry

And of course, the silver jewelry is beautiful.

Glass vases

These glass vases are pretty also.   The dolls are so festive.

Dolls and a duck

Too bad we don’t have lots of empty shelves at home.   The sheets of papel picado, or cut paper, are really nice, with so much detail.

Colorful paper cutouts available

And who can resist the had painted pottery and ceramics figures?

So festive!

Not us.   We do a little shopping, then have lunch or dinner here at the Pink Store’s restaurant.   A day at the Pink Store is very enjoyable.   And we always seem to have several packages to carry across the international border to our waiting car.   We think you would also enjoy a day, or more, at the Pink Store in Palomas, Mexico.   That is just across the international border from Columbus, New Mexico.   And, the Pink Store and Palomas are not crowded.   You will feel welcome and be able to look and enjoy everything in this small Mexican town.

Palomas, Mexico with Zeb and Soapy Smith Duck

Palomas, Mexico, is a small, friendly and uncrowded border town.   And we love visiting.

Main street of Palomas, Mexico. Traffic but not congestion.

We parked our car in a lot in New Mexico.   Walking across the international bridge into Palomas, Mexico, we notice and remember all the dental buildings.

Medical tourism is very popular. Excellent dental care available at reasonable prices

Medical tourism, especially dental work, is very available in Palomas.   Many of the dentists offer procedures at a much more reasonable price than we can find in the United States.   However, we did not come for dental or any other medical reasons.   We just came for fun, shopping and eating.     Walking into Palomas, we admired the detail work on this statue.

Statue in plaza

Because this is a small town, and not a big tourist destination, there are very few street venders.   We usually see someone selling sunglasses and maybe a small food cart.   But the large selections of silver jewelry and other souvenirs often sold by venders, are usually absent in Palomas.  The gazebo in a park caught our attention, also.

Gazebo in plaza

The cathedral is very prominent and nice.

Cathedral in Palomas

We love these old cathedrals.   Walking down the street, we love the bright colors worn by many of the females.

Beautiful bright dresses

These dresses are really beautiful.   On the main street, we appreciated the statue of the man playing the accordion.

Statue of musician by the street

In another plaza we spotted this statue of a man and his guitar.

Statue of musician in plaza

The same plaza had beautiful carved wooden doors.

Beautiful carved doors

We love the craftsmanship of so many things in Mexico.   Further into town, we discovered this school for young children.

Painted wall for children school

Perhaps a preschool?

Painted wall on children’s school.

But children all over the world love Winnie the Pooh.   And so do the Colorado Traveling Ducks.   We enjoy wandering around Palomas.   We browse and make purchases in a couple grocery stores.   Always something new.   This time we found large chunks of a pumpkin candy.   And we always get small bottles of fresh vanilla.   Often there are new hair products that we have not seen in stores at home.   And, of course, in Palomas, we always visit The Pink Store.   And have lunch or an early dinner at the restaurant in The Pink Store.   Next time, we will show you some of The Pink Store.

Pancho Villa Attacks the US

The United States was attacked by Pancho Villa and soldiers from Mexico on March 9, 1916.   That was the last time a foreign military attacked a state in the United States.   In case you are wondering, Hawaii was not yet a state December 7, 1941 when Pearl Harbor was attacked.   Also, September 11, 2001 the attack on New York and the Pentagon in Washington DC, was done by hijackers using US commercial airplanes.   But back to Pancho Villa and his attack on Columbus, New Mexico.   In Columbus, we visited the Pancho Villa State Park.

Pancho Villa State Park in Columbus, New Mexico

This park was previously a US military camp, Camp Furlong.  Now it is home to a museum, with memorabilia from the very brief attack, a picnic area and a camp ground.   Here is Cootes Hill, a look out point from the military days.

Cootes Hill

You can see the cacti and flags of the United States and the State of New Mexico.  First let’s visit the museum.

In front of museum

We like the Mexican architecture and the old wagon here.   During the early morning attack, a young family escaped to Deming, about 25 miles north, in a 1915 Dodge Touring Car.

An antique car that survived bullets

All three members of the family survived, but the man did carry a bullet in him for the rest of his life.

1915 Dodge Touring Car with bullet holes

The car and bullet holes.   A close up photo of the driver’s door.

Bullet holes in the door

We are certainly happy all survived.   But let’s talk about the speed of this attack.   On March 9, 1916, at 2:00 a.m., Pancho Villa crosses the US Mexican border, 3 miles south of Columbus.   At 4:11 a.m. there are simultaneous attacks in the center of town and at Camp Furlong.   By 7:30 the last of the Villistas retreat into Mexico.   This attack lasted a little more than 3 hours, but there were casualties.   Ten townspeople from Columbus, New Mexico died.   Eight American soldiers died.   Eight other Americans were wounded.   Estimates are that 90 Villistas were killed and a small number were taken prisoner.   After a trial,  some prisoners were hanged, some jailed and returned to Mexico in 1921.   We ducks think that was a lot of deaths in a three hour attack.   But, let’s see what else is in the museum.   Soon after the attack, General Pershing was sent to Columbus and a tent city was soon built south of the railroad station and south of town.

A tent city was quickly built south of Columbus

We thought this covered wagon, without the cover, was interesting.

Covered wagon, without cover

Large trucks were brought to Columbus.

truck

And airplanes came also.

1916 JN-3 airplane, replica

This is a replica of a 1916 JN-3 Airplane, provided by Roger Freeman of Vintage Aviation.   These were all interesting, but the question is still why did Pancho Villa attach the United States?

Maybe we will never know why Pancho Villa attacked Columbus, New Mexico

And it is quite possible we will never really know the answer.   The US military spent time and money trying to get Pancho Villa, but he was never captured.   So what happened in Mexico?

Mexican Revolution over

Across the street from Pancho Villa State Park is the first US Military Airbase in the US.

First US airbase in the US

Also in the state park, we visited the headquarters building of Camp Furlong.

Former headquarters of Camp Furlong

Now many people enjoy the New Mexico desert and this picnic area.   There are sites for campers here.

Picnic area

New Mexico is a popular destination for many Americans and Canadians escaping the colder winters in the north.   If you visit Columbus, we hope you take time to explore Pancho Villa State Park and the museum   We think it is quite interesting.

Columbus, New Mexico with the Colorado Traveling Ducks

Columbus, New Mexico is a small border town with about 2,000 permanent residents.

Columbus, New Mexico

Located in a high desert valley, between the Florida and Tres Hermanas mountain ranges, Columbus is only 3 miles from Palomas, Mexico.   Mom and I have been here 3 times, usually looking for warmer weather for a couple days.   Columbus is small and not a touristy town.   The first time mom and I arrived, it was night and we were lucky to find a motel.   Our cell phone did not have service, (that was 2013) so we went to the gas station to call the motel owner to come rent us a room.

Hacienda de Villa Motel

We stayed here at Hacinda de Villa Motel.   Not fancy, but the room was large and very clean.   The people here were very friendly.   We went to the train station, now a museum.

Columbus museum

The museum is interesting, and shows the history of Columbus.   This time we noticed a new sign.

Susan Parks sign

This lady, Susan Parks, was a real hero.   During the attack by Pancho Villa, she called nearby Deming, NM for help.  While the bullets were flying, she placed her young child on the floor, under a desk, and continued calling for help.   The soldiers from Deming did arrive and the attack was over quickly.   I’ll tell you more about this battle next time.   The train was important in earlier days, but it is not running now.   The train station was converted into the museum, and the post office.

Post Office

We enjoyed wandering around outside.   There were train cars.

Caboose

Also a few pieces of old railroad equipment.

Railroad equipment

This classic old car.

Classic car

and old farm equipment.

Old equipment

Each time we visited this museum, there have been very few other people.   The people inside are so knowlegable and so nice.   Here is the safe from the bank.

Safe from bank

During the Pancho Villa attack, the safe was shot.   The bullet hole is marked.   What a great museum.   Columbus had rich mineral deposits.   Miners found silver, copper, lead and zinc here.   There is not much mining in Columbus now.   We like this small church.

Holy Family Church

It is Holy Family Church.

Church bell

We admired the church bell, on its own post.   Columbus is not a tourist destination, but if you go, wander around town and you will find several little pieces of history, and very friendly people.   It is a nice change from the busy lives we all live.

Hatch, New Mexico: Chile Capital of the World With Zeb and Soapy Smith Duck

If you love New Mexico cuisine or if you love chile peppers, Hatch, New Mexico is the place for you.

Hatch, New Mexico

I, Zeb the Duck, have visited Hatch a few times, so you will see photos from various trips.

Chiles everywhere

Hatch chiles are famous in most parts of the United States, and beyond.   After harvesting, the chiles are strung and become ristas.

Zeb with chile ristas

Here I am with so many fresh red chile ristas.    But red is not the only color.

Not only red chiles in these ristas.

These ristas have more than just red.   There are also ristas of green chiles, and ristas with red and green chiles.   In the fall, after harvest there are so many ristas and the aroma of fresh roasting chiles is everywhere.   Hatch, New Mexico, with population from the last census, of under 2,000 is the self proclaimed Chile Capital of the World.   On this road trip, Hatch was a necessary stop.   We stopped at Hot Stuff.

Hot Stuff Restaurant and Gift Shop

It is winter, although rather nice temperatures, so things are little different.

So many colorful pots

Look at all these pots.   We love these things.   So useful and so colorful.   Often they are out in front of the restaurant, but now being protected from any bad weather.   The restaurant is open and most people sit inside.

Eating out here is perfect in warmer weather

But in the summer, out here at these tables is the place to be.   Soapy’s mom bought green chili stew here.   Lots of pork and perfectly seasoned with Hatch green chile.   She will be back for more whenever she is in the area.   Next door, more chiles.

Hatch Chile Sales

Hatch Chile Sales was open.   So many more ristas and many bags of chiles.

More ristas with our Soapy

And more than chiles to eat.

Chile pepper wind chimes

How about chiles painted on wind chimes.   Again, Hatch is the place for chiles.   Now another place.

Sparky’s Burgers BBQ and Expresso

Sparky’s Burgers and BBQ.   Sparky’s always has a line, but it moves rather quickly.   But, Sparky’s is only open Thursday through Sunday, and we were there on Tuesday.   Sparky’s has many unusual and larger than life statues around the restaurant.   First an alien.

Alien

Many people believe an alien space ship landed in New Mexico many years ago, so aliens are a popular theme here.  But not only aliens.

Statue collection

Teako Nunn grew up in the 1960’s and loved the larger then life statues from that era.   And now he has several.  We loved the red and green chiles on the bucket ofKentucky Fried Chicken.  Teako Nunn and his wife, Josie, own and operate Sparky’s.   Next to Sparky’s we enjoyed seeing Uncle Sam.

Uncle Sam

With chile peppers, of course.   Chloe, Soapy’s dog, was really sorry we were here on a Tuesday.

Wonderful for dogs. But only open Thursday through Sunday.

She could have had her own 7 ounce burger patty.   Next trip will try to plan our time in Hatch better.   And you can be sure we will be back here again.   Hatch is a nice, friendly town with great chiles.   And fabulous food.    You will smile a lot when you visit Hatch, New Mexico.

Colorado Traveling Ducks at Fort Union, New Mexico

Another road trip.  Everybody is happy about road trips.   Our moms just decided to get in the car and drive, preferably south.   It is winter here in Colorado.  Let’s take a quick trip looking for warmer weather.  We are an unusual group this trip.   I, Zeb the Duck, Soapy Smith Duck, my mom, Soapy’s mom and Soapy’s dog Chloe.

Chloe. Soapy Smith Duck’s dog

Chloe is part Pit Bull, part Labrador, and probably has some Dalmatian.   Under her white fur, some black spots are on her skin.   This is Chloe’s first long road trip.   This will be her first time in a motel, first time in an elevator, and many more firsts.   Heading south from Denver on I-25, we enter New Mexico, and about 100 miles further this rest area caught our attention.

Fort Union National Monument

We are near Fort Union and this rest area is part of Fort Union National Monument.   The rest area has all the normal things, rest rooms, information maps and vending machines, but there is more.

Nice picnic area

Isn’t this a nice picnic area?  We liked the overhead cover.   Gives protection from snow, rain and the intense New Mexico sun.  Maybe we will stop here for a picnic on another trip.  We liked this wagon wheel.  Part of old American history.

Wagon wheel. Maybe from Santa Fe Trail travelers?

Santa Fe trail was here

The Santa Fe trail passed through here.   Can you imagine traveling across the desert and over mountains in a covered wagon?   It was still chilly and windy here, so we did not go Fort Union this time.   But mom and I have been here before, so I want to show you more about Fort Union.   I, Zeb the Duck, was very young and this was one of the first trips in my blogging career.   Mom, I, Zeb the Duck, and my Alaska uncle visited here in 2013.

Fort Union, NM with my Alaska uncle

The park rangers told us there were 3 separate forts built on this location.    The first was to protect the Santa Fe Trail, the second to establish a Federal presence in the territory, and the third Fort Union was a Union response to the Confederate invasion.   Those interested in our Civil War should visit here.

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

Also history of Santa Fe Trail.

Santa Fe Trail goes to Fort Union, NM

Ruts from wagons on the Santa Fe Trail are visible in the hard, dry ground.   The third Fort Union is the one most visited.

Adobe remains of officers quarters

This fort was a large supply facility for the southwest.   At one time about 5,000 soldiers lived here.   We were warned to stay on the paved walkway and to watch for rattlesnakes.   It was a sunny day.   Pleasant for us, but rattlesnakes also like sunshine.   We stayed on the path, read the signs, and did not see any snakes.   About those supplies:  In 1868, 44 tons of bacon were brought to Fort Union in 22 wagons.   That’s a lot of bacon.   Many other supplies were also delivered here.

Waiting for supplies

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 was abandoned in 1891.   Fort Union is easy to visit, just a rather short drive from I-25.  It is interesting.

Visit Fort Union National Monument

If you visit, watch the film at the Visitor’s Center, and don’t miss the gift shop.   More about our new road trip next time.

Cuba at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science

I, Zeb the Duck, and Soapy Smith Duck visited the Cuba exhibit.

Cuba exhibit

But where is Cuba?

Where is Cuba?

Cuba, the largest Caribbean Island nation, is only 94 miles (150 km) from our state of Florida.   But for many decades Americans could not visit this tropical island.   Cuba and the United States have very serious political and economic differences so travel between the countries has been prohibited or restricted since the 1960s.   This exhibit at our museum looks like a main street in Havana, Cuba.

Havana street

You will see store fronts, small businesses and Cuban people.   And the cars.

Old US car

Cubans still have old cars from the United States.   Those built in the 1950s and early 1960s.   The Cuban people have developed incredible mechanical skills.   They cannot get original parts for replacements, so they improvise.   The automobiles still run and are in great condition.   These large American cars are very popular as Cuban taxis now.   In recent years, Americans have been able to visit Cuba on approved tours, if requirements are met.   I, Zeb the Duck, and mom visited Cuba in December 2013.   The exhibit in Denver shows many things we saw on the streets of Havana.   Cars are scarce and very expensive in Cuba, so bicycle taxis are also popular.

Bicycle taxi

Many Cuban people ride bicycles and many others walk wherever they need to go.   The food is delicious.

Cuban food

We, Zeb and Soapy, would like to sample these, but mom said no.    Many of the coral reefs in the Caribbean are sick or dying, but the Gardens of the Queen Reef is healthy.

Cuba’s coral reef

The fish around the reef are beautiful.  The two main crops of Cuba are sugar cane and tobacco.

Tobacco shop in Havana

This is a tobacco shop.   The hand rolled Cuban cigars are among the best in the world.   Often you will hear music in Havana.

Cuban musicians

Many musicians will sit on the street, against a building and play.   The music is wonderful and the Cuban people appear to be happy, always with a smile on their face.  They love to play games.

Let’s play Dominos

Men playing Dominos along the street or in plazas are also common.   There is much more to this exhibit.   The wetlands, southeast of Havana, on the southern coast is definitely worth a visit.   There is also a display recognizing Cuban immigrants in Denver.   If you want to see this exhibit, you need to hurry.   It will only be here until Sunday, January 13, 2019.   While at Denver’s Museum of Nature and Science, take time to see the IMAX film, Cuba.

IMAX film about Cuba

The film features a man who dedicated his life to preserving Cuba’s old architecture and a young ballet student.   The largest ballet school in the world is located in Havana.   And the film features Cuba’s coral reefs and discovers why Cuba’s reef is much healthier than others in the Caribbean.  We hope you visit this exhibit this week.   And visit other museums near your home also.   You will find something interesting.