Zeb the Duck Visits Rifle Falls State Park

I love waterfalls.   Mom said we will love Rifle Falls State Park.

Let’s go to Rifle Falls

Here we are.   Turning in, paying fee, parking, and then a short hike to Rifle Falls.

Rifle Falls

I love these.   There are three falls here.   Isn’t that great.   And mom, I’m getting wet here.   But the water spray feels good on a warm, sunny day.   To our left there is a path with flagstone steps.   Up we go.   Now we are near the top of the falls.

Close to the top of the waterfall

Different view looking from here.   There is a lot of calcium in the rocks here, so the the rock wall is lighter color and much softer than granite.   The water has caused cracks and crevices in the rock wall and also formed some caves.

Caves and red tint to rock wall

We also like the red color to the right.   Minerals make the rocks so pretty.   I’m learning that I like caves.

Caves

And here I am, inside a bigger cave.

I’m in a cave

I wonder what animals live here when I, Zeb the Duck, am not here.   The path is going down now, toward the camping areas.

Nice path

You can see this is a nice, easy trail.   We turn around and head back to the falls.   But, look at this.

Caterpillar

On a tree we admire this caterpillar.

Next to the caterpillar, on another tree, we like this animal home or nest.

Caterpillar with trees. Nests?

Not sure what lives here, but it is an unusual form.   Always so much to see and learn.    Back near the top of the falls, I like this view.

Falls. Zeb getting wet again

I am on the grass, but the photo is dark where I am.   Can you find me.   Again I am enjoying the wet spray from the falls.   Back down to the base of the falls, we take a path to the right this time.   Love the water.   But caves are great also.

Larger cave

I’m relaxing in this larger cave.   A great shelter if the weather gets bad.

Looking out

Inside the cave, looking out, I love all the green vegetation.   We were just here a couple days ago, so often in the fall and end of summer things look brown and dry.   But this is beautiful.   Back to the bottom of the falls.

Beautiful Rifle Falls

One last photo, from a different point.   Don’t you just love waterfalls?   Closer to the camping area and parking lot, we liked the picnic area.

Picnic area

Everything you could want for a picnic.   A table with a cover, for rain. snow, or intense mountain sun.   A charcoal grill if you want to cook.   And, my favorite, the river is behind the grill.   Dining music is provided by the river.  Did anybody bring food??   I bet you would love Rifle Falls also.

Zeb the Duck heads to Cripple Creek and Victor, Colorado

Today I, Zeb the Duck, am taking mom and a friend to Cripple Creek, Colorado.

Cripple Creek, Colorado

Cripple Creek is an old mining town in Colorado.   And that is why we are here today.   Our friend’s grandfather left Illinois and came to Cripple Creek about 1900.   The family story says he had mine claims but did not become rich.   In fact, he lost most of his money here.   The family has a photo of him in Cripple Creek, wearing a bear skin coat, from a bear he shot.   We are here today, looking for any records about Grandpa.   First stop is the museum in Cripple Creek.

Cripple Creek Museum

They used to have records available to the public, but not now.   The very nice lady suggested we go the the nearby town of Victor to search for records.   On our way to Victor, we stopped at the outdoor mining exhibit.

Cripple Creek and Victor gold rush

Wow.   Did you read that?? The towns of Cripple Creek and Victor had a really huge amount of gold.   More gold here than in the California and Alaska gold fields, combined.   There were a few old gold mining machines here, but look at this huge tire.

Huge tire

You can hardly see me in this tire.   What do they do with these giant tires?

Tire information

Each tire weighs 3,270 pounds and costs $14,500.   We will never complain about buying new tires for our cars again.   There is now surface mining in this area.   In Victor, we see that things have not changed much.

Victor, Colorado

We love this sign.   Let’s see what was happening in Victor during the gold rush.

Victor, Colorado during the gold rush

Famous people here, Jack Dempsey, a famous fighter, Lowell Thomas, famous radio and TV commentator, and what??  Soapy Smith was here also.   Isn’t this exciting?  Soapy Smith was promoting bullfights.   And fire station.

Firestation

Buildings look the same as when they were built over 100 years ago.   Here is the Lowell Thomas museum.

Lowell Thomas museum

There is an entire section dedicated to Lowell Thomas.   Also many interesting things from Victor and Cripple Creek.   Isn’t this a cute church?

Friends of St. Victor church

This is Friends of St. Victor Church.   Next to the church I, Zeb the Duck, loved this grotto.

Grotto next to church

Of course, while in Victor we inquired about records from the mining days.   They said they did not have any available, but to try Teller County Courthouse.   So, back to Cripple Creek to Teller County Courthouse.

Teller County Court House

We were sent to three different offices and each person we spoke with was so nice.   Everyone looked through the records in their office, but did not find anything we wanted.   But the staff was so helpful and showed us what they did have and let us also look at the records.   But, no records from Grandpa were to be found.   The humans will have to think and decide if they have any other ideas of places to look.   I would not be surprised if in the future we try again.   Leaving the courthouse and heading for our car, we encountered some of the local residents.

Local residents

They are descendants from the mining days and the working burros.

I think he likes me

I love this burro.   He is so relaxed and comfortable with humans and a rubber duck.   Well, time to leave Cripple Creek, but we make one last stop.   This is the famous, former brothel.   The gray building on the right.

Former brothel

Pearl DeVere was the madame and although shunned by the good people of Cripple Creek, she was very generous, helping the children and the poor.  During this time, miners earned about $3.00 per day.   Pearl’s ladies received $250 per night, which included dinner with Russian caviar, and French champaign, and the company of the lady.   And each gentlemen had to pass a personal and financial background check.  We learned about Pearl a few years ago when we were here for the cemetery tour.   Cripple Creek is a great town.   We think you would enjoy a visit here.

Zeb the Duck Meets Leonardo da Vinci

We all know Leonardo da Vinci as the painter of Mona Lisa and The Last Supper, but there is so much more.    We went to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science to see the temporary exhibit about Leonardo da Vinci.

Leonardo da Vinci at Denver Museum of Nature and Science

If this exhibit comes near you, you really should see it.   Many of Leonardo da Vinci’s notes have been found and preserved.

Leonardo’s hand written notes

This bicycle was built from notes found in his papers.   However, he did not draw the sketch.

Bicycle

We now know that the graphite used in the sketch was not discovered until after his death in 1519.   Perhaps this was drawn from memory by one of his students?  Here is an early odometer.

Odometer

This measures the distance traveled.   The wheel rotates, moves a vertical gear, causing the horizontal wheel to move one notch and releases a pebble into the box.   The distance is calculated by multiplying the number of pebbles by the circumference of the wheel.  Cars and self driving cars were also in Leonardo’s mind.

About car

This may well be the first self driving car.

car

Many things were made of tin.   So, he invented the Rolling Mill.

Rolling Mill

Used to produce sheets of tin, the concept is still used today without major variations.   Leonardo sought to master the anatomy of the human body.

Drawings of human anatomy

He was the first to discover atherosclerosis, hardening of the arteries.   Three and a half centuries later his drawings set the style and form for anatomical drawings in the textbook, Gray’s Anatomy.   While Leonardo loved observing and inventing, he did need money to survive.   So, he designed weapons of war for the wealthy in Milan and Florence.   This is his steam cannon.

Steam Cannon

Steam power was used to project missiles from a cannon.   No gunpowder was required, and the cannon was easily moved over battlefields.   The assault ladder.

Assault ladder

This ladder was portable and could be lengthened or shortened.   The incline was adjustable for different angles.   There is a crank below the wheel.   Perhaps this was the forerunner of the modern machine gun.

Forerunner of modern machine gun

Three sets of ten shells could be used at one time, for a total of thirty shots.   While on the move, a bridge may be needed.

Bridge

This bridge could quickly be erected from small tree trunks found on the edge of rivers.   Nothing else was needed and the bridge constructed ton made it very strong.   And beyond war, the birds were a subject of interest to Leonardo.

Flying machine

This was his idea for a flying machine.   The wings were movable, similar to wings of a bird.   A few of da Vinci’s paintings (reproductions) were on display.

Lady with an Ermine

Lady with an Ermine was featured, the original in Krakow, Poland.

La Madonna Renois

Also La Madonna Benois, the original at the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia.    A film was showing about the Last Supper and the restoration process.

Last Supper

As you can see, the painting was over an archway.   This painting was completed in 1498.   Now restored, the painting has survived over 5 centuries.  The painting is in Milan, Italy.   An entire room was dedicated to Mona Lisa.

Mona Lisa

We learned much about the restoration, the materials used for paint and colors, but let’s talk about eyelashes and eyebrows.   We have always been told Mona Lisa had none.   Nobody knew why.   But, perhaps she did originally have them.   During restoration evidence was found to show she may have had eyelashes and eyebrows.   So, where did they go?

Eyebrows and eyelashes??

These are the three main theories.   We will leave it to you to decide what you think.   The original Mona Lisa is at the Louvre in Paris, France.   As if that wasn’t enough for Leonardo to accomplish, let’s not forget costume designing.

A designer

These costumes would look great in theaters today.

Designed for the theater

Leonardo da Vinci was born in 1452 and died in 1519.   While the world now recognizes his genius, he apparently did not feel very accomplished.   These words are said to be Leonardo da Vinci’s own words.   “I have offended God and mankind because my work didn’t reach the quality it should have.”  We really enjoyed this exhibit and hope when it comes to your town, you will visit.

Clean Teeth in Rangely, Colorado with Zeb and Chanel

I, Zeb the Duck, and my friend, Chanel, the Bear, are in Rangely, Colorado.

Rangely, Colorado

It is February, snowy and very cold.   Rangely is in the mountains of northwest Colorado, close to the Utah and Wyoming state borders.   Chanel’s mom’s granddaughter is studying to be a Dental Hygienist.   This is a three year program, and Hannah will graduate in a few months.   We came to visit Hannah.   But first, let’s look around Rangely.   The Main Street Cafe serves great food, but it was too cold to sit outside today.

Main Street Cafe

We went inside and enjoyed our hot chocolate.   It even had fresh whipped cream, but the humans started eating whipped cream and drinking the hot chocolate, without even taking a photo.  Our first night in Rangely, we dined at Agave, a Mexican Restaurant.

Agave Mexican Restaurant

We met Hannah and her roommate here for dinner.   Again, delicious and again, eating and not taking photos.   Chanel and I tried, but those humans were not listening to us.   Now about that snow.

Snow pile

The small parking lot had been plowed and this is the resulting snow pile.   Huge piles of snow are fun to play on, but sitting on snow gets cold.   Many buildings have murals painted on them, but this was one of our favorites.

Mural on building

We stopped at Sweetbriar.

Sweetbriar

A wonderful shop that offers gifts, home decor items and floral arrangements and supplies.   Scented candles seemed to call us.

Scented candles at Sweetbriar

They are pretty and smell so good.   And this.

Gourmet confections at Sweetbriar

Gourmet confections are always a treat.   And home decor.

Love and Dreams home decor area

Love and dreams are always popular.   We really liked Sweetbriar.   Mom bought some body scrubs.   Good choice, mom.   Useful and they smell good.   Let’s go visit Hannah.   Hannah is a dental hygienist student.   She is required to find her own patients, so our moms are here to be Hannah’s patients.   The appointments were Tuesday and Thursday, so we stayed in Rangely a couple nights.   This is the Dental Hygiene Clinic building at the university.

Dental Hygiene Clinic

Inside the moms got very thorough dental exams, x-rays, evaluations and teeth cleaning.   They also purchased some professional strength teeth whitening strips.   The moms were very happy with their dental experience and both thought Hannah was wonderful–and gentle.  Also on campus, we saw this ice tower.

Ice column

This ice column is for learning and practicing ice climbing.   Heading back to our car, we passed this cute picnic area.

Relaxation and picnic area

Again, another place to relax and enjoy spring weather in a few months.   This road trip was to see Hannah and get teeth cleaned, but enjoyed seeing so many other things and meeting some wonderful people.   We love road trips.   Tell us about some of your favorite road trip experiences.

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.

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.

Ganesha: The Playful Protector Meets Colorado Traveling At Denver Art Museum

Today, I Zeb the Duck, and Soapy Smith Duck, met Ganesha, the Hindu Playful Protector.   We walked to the Denver Art Museum.

Entrance to Denver Art Museum

But a short distance from the main entrance, we stopped to see this Broom and Dust Pan.

Broom and dust pan sculpture

Denver has several unusual sculptures around the city and the entire metropolitan area.   Inside the Denver Art Museum, we went to the second floor for the Ganesha special exhibit.   Who is Ganesha?

About Ganesha

Normally in the museum, we are not allowed to touch the displays.   But this Ganesha, of yellow sandstone, is for us to touch.

Ganesha

Many rub the belly or feet for good luck.   Of course we did rub the belly.   Every human and duck can use some good luck.  Next we admired this Dancing Ganesha, from India, made of stone.

Dancing Ganesha

At least the sign said he was dancing.   Ganesha is being carried during a parade here.

Mural with Ganesha

A very large mural.   This sign explains the story of Ganesha.

Story of Ganesha

That is quite a story.   Ganesha is loved in the Hindu faith, and Ganesha also has a role in Buddhism, especially in Nepal.   Here is the prize of this exhibit.

Ganesha. On loan from Cambodia

This sandstone statue is on loan from the National Museum of Cambodia.   It is from the 600s-700s.   We ducks were sitting with Ganesha, but an employee told us we could only sit on the floor.

Statue on loan from Cambodia

The sign explains more about this statue.

Zeb and Soapy in front of Ganesha

Here we are, sitting on the floor near this statue from Cambodia.   Check out this mask.

Ganesha mask

The Ganesha Mask is oil paint  on paper-mache.   The mask is from the 1900s.   We liked this bronze.

Ganesha and Consort

Ganesha and Consort from Kerala, India.   From the 1300s-1400s.   There were several items on display, but this wall hanging is the last we will show you today.

Wall hanging of Ganesha

It is from India and is ink and paint on cotton.   Ganesha is an interesting exhibit, but if you want to see it in Denver, you must hurry.   This temporary exhibit is displayed only through this Sunday, January 13, 2019.   We enjoy visiting the Denver Art Museum.   Just wandering around we always find something new and interesting.   We hope you also explore museums near your home.   You never know what you may discover.