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.

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.

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.

Eldora and Nederland, Colorado with Zeb and Chanel

I, Zeb the Duck, and my friend, Chanel the Bear, took three humans to the mountains today.   Chanel and I had a plan.   It was cold in the morning and driving through Coal Creek Canyon we loved these frosted trees.

Trees frosted on drive to Nederland, Colorado

Isn’t it beautiful?   Just like a post card.   Shortly before our destination of Nederland, we turned and found the small town of Eldora.

Eldora. Glimpse of the past

And we mean small.   Look at that population.  Only 170 full time residents.   Here is the Gold Miner Hotel.

Gold Miner Hotel in Eldora

We think it would be fun to spend a night here and explore this town.  Look at that bright blue Colorado sky.  We would wander along the river, look for moose, and appreciate the scenery.   Maybe in the summer, said our moms.

Building, probably private residence across from hotel in Eldora

Across the street from the hotel you can see that the old buildings are well maintained and still used.   We love that.  The road is parallel to the river, as usually happens.   The river is frozen with a light cover of snow.

Frozen river in Eldora

So peaceful and quiet here today.   While we were driving, we were watching for moose.   We have seen them here before.   However, no moose for us today.

Coyote in Eldora

But this coyote was fun to see.   Coyotes and humans don’t always get along in town, but here, in the mountains, we loved seeing this one wandering along.   Driving further, we arrived in Nederland, just in time for lunch.

Lunch at Pioneer Inn in Nederland

Nederland has several restaurants, but we returned to Pioneer Inn, a favorite.

Our food looked and tasted delicious

We ordered three sandwiches; all were delicious and the portions were very generous.   Yum!   After eating, we wandered into another dining room, usually just needed in the evening.

We love fireplaces

We love fireplaces.  Especially in rustic mountain restaurants.   Maybe some evening?  Next stop was a great “rock shop”.

Geodes, Crystals and Fossils here. Fascinating store

The geodes, crystals, fossils and jewelry were beautiful.   But none of the humans were shopping today, just looking.   Next stop, the Carousel of Happiness.

Carousel of Happiness in Nederland

This is the stop Chanel and I planned.  We love this carousel.   Here we are.

Zeb and Channel riding ostrich

Riding an ostrich is great.   Remember that we have been here before.   There was a young Marine, Scott, that served in VietNam, received a music box from his sister.   While the war was around him, the music box inspired him to create a Carousel of Happiness when he returned to the US.   Scott choose the mountains near Nederland, Colorado as his home and also the home for his Carousel of Happiness.   Scott learned to carve, purchased the necessary parts, and what you see here today, is the result.   Scott had carved all the animals here.   Now look at this one.

Zeb and Chanel on Kangaroo

Zeb and Chanel are riding a kangaroo.   This is not a normal carousel animal.   This kangaroo has her baby, her joey, and is holding a globe of our world.   If you look carefully, you will see that the globe is showing Australia, the home of the kangaroo.   This place is so much fun.   And the Carousel of Happiness is for everyone.   The price of a ride is only $1.00.   Now that is a bargain.   And Scott is still carving.   Here we are, on a tiger.

Perching on a tiger. Not even on the carousel

And this tiger is not even on the carousel.   There are great carvings all over this building.   Whenever we go to Nederland, we always stop for a ride on the Carousel of Happiness.   We hope you will also.   We love this place.

Grand Lake, Colorado with Zeb the Duck and Channel the Bear

We love visiting Grand Lake, Colorado.   I, Zeb the Duck, and my friend Chanel the Bear, took our moms to Grand Lake.

Entering Grand Lake, Colorado

Let’s visit my favorite store, Quackers.

Quackers in Grand Lake, Colorado

This store in Grand Lake features rubber ducks!   Yes, an entire store dedicated to me and my duck relatives.

Giant duck in Quackers

Meet my largest relative.   Chanel and I invited some friends to pose with us.   As great as ducks are, we also enjoy the fudge.

We love fudge

And there is more.   Roasted nuts.

Yum. Roasting nuts taste good and smell delicious

Of course some came home with us.   While rubber ducks are the stars of this store, Martin the Moose is pretty great also.

Martin the Moose on skis

Remember we are in the Colorado mountains.   Moose do live here.   However, Martin is the only moose I ever saw wearing skis.   We purchased new family members.

Purchased at Quackers

And some fudge and roasted nuts.    Then headed out for lunch.

Lunch at The Sagebrush

Today our choice is The Sagebrush.   Here are some new friends.

New friends at The Sagebrush

Aren’t we an attractive bunch of friends?  Our table has a complimentary bucket of peanuts.

Peanuts and cow tablecloths here

We are to toss the peanut shells on the floor.   That is the sign of a fun place to eat.   Notice the cow pattern table cover?   Our lunch was delicious and the portions were large.   A good place to eat when you are in Grand Lake.  Now to the adjoining bar.

Old West bar here

Looks like it is from an old Western movie.   We enjoy the hats and license plates as part of the rustic decor.   Our next stop is Studio 8369, an art studio in town.

Studio 8369 in Grand Lake, Colorado

The 8369 refers to the elevation of the town of Grand Lake.  That is about 2550 meters above sea level.   The Rocky Mountains in Colorado are rather high.   Inside Studio 8369 we admire the Gourd Art.

Gourd Art by Ivy Howard

This is by Ivy Howard of Grand Lake, Colorado.   Surrounded by the Rocky Mountains, Studio 8369 has some beautiful photography.

Stunning photography here

You would love this place.   A couple weeks later mom and I returned to Grand Lake.   This time there was more snow.   A few miles from Grand Lake is Lake Granby.

Lake Granby with low clouds

We loved the partially frozen lake and the low clouds.   Driving through town, past Quackers, we went to Grand Lake.   Grand Lake is the largest and deepest natural lake in Colorado.   It is also part of the headwaters for the mighty Colorado River.   Remember the Colorado River heads southwest and continues to carve the Grand Canyon.

Rent boats here in the summer

In the summer tourists can rent boats to explore and enjoy the lake.   Now snowy and frozen, we enjoy a winter landscape.   Back into town, near Quackers, we spotted these snowmobiles, or snow machines.

Snow machines today, mom?

Mom said we were not renting them today, but we had to try them for size.   These are big.   The employees at Spirit Lake Lodge rent these machines.   They were very nice to us, the Colorado Traveling Ducks.  A drive into Rocky Mountain National Park was next.

Rocky Mountain National Park, West Entrance

Grand Lake is at the western entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park.   The road had been cleared.

Driving in Rocky Mountain National Park

Isn’t this a beautiful winter drive?  However the road is only cleared for part of the park.   This road ascends to over 12,000 feet (3657 m) and is closed during the snowy winter months.   We did enjoy many beautiful winter scenes.

One of many spectacular views in the national park

As you know, we love our mountains.   Both in the summer and in the winter.   We hope you explore a little and enjoy our mountains during the winter, or explore your part of the world and enjoy all the seasons.   It is a new year, so enjoy and discover new things and places.   And tell us about your adventures.

Zeb the Duck Tours and Tastes at Celestial Seasonings Tea Factory

Today I, Zeb the Duck, took mom and one of her friends to Boulder, Colorado.   We visited and toured the international headquarters for Celestial Seasonings Tea Company.

We love tea

We love tea

Our first stop was signing up for the next tour.

We sign up for free tour here.

We sign up for free tour here.

All tours are free.   There were some great seasonal decorations here.

Seasonal decor

Seasonal decor

We received a packet with 4 tea bags of Sleepytime Tea.   This is our ticket for the tour and a great, tasty souvenir.   Sleepytime is the most popular tea blend, so we will certainly enjoy our gift.   While waiting for our tour, we sampled several tea blends.

Many flavors of tea ready to sample

Many flavors of tea ready to sample

Some teas were hot and some cold.   A menu of all teas is also on the counter and we could request any of the teas.   We did try an additional blend and all of them were delicious.   Also available, for purchase, were these gorgeous pastries and other snacks.

So tempting

So tempting

Some small tables by a window made waiting for our tour a pleasant break.   Here is a picture of Mo Siegel, one of the founders and current head of Celestial Seasonings.

The beginning of Celestial Seasonings

The beginning of Celestial Seasonings

As the herbal tea blends became popular, tea bags were needed.   This sewing machine was used to make the first muslin tea bags.

Sewing machine

Sewing machine

Our tour was called, so into the theater we went.   After watching a short video about the company, including the humble beginnings, international source of tea, and shipping Celestial Seasonings Tea to various countries around the world.   All tea is packaged in Boulder and distributed from this Boulder factory.   On display is this ensemble.   The dress, shoes, hat and purse are all made from Celestial Seasonings tea packages.

Dress, shoes, purse and hat all made from Celestial Seasonings tea packages.

Dress, shoes, purse and hat all made from Celestial Seasonings tea packages.

This dress was commissioned in support of the Heart Truth campaign of 2006, to raise awareness about the risk of heart disease in women

After the film but before entering the factory, everyone must put on a hairnet.

Visitors wearing required hairnets.

Visitors wearing required hairnets.

Men with beards also needed to wear a beard net.  The humans did look a little funny, but nothing except tea and herbs will be in our next cup of tea.    Sadly, we are not allowed to take photos inside the factory.    In the processing area we touched and smelled samples of the product of the moment.   They were making teas with lemon grass.   I like lemon and this smelled so good.   We passed large sacks of tea blends that have been certified by the tea master, insuring proper quality and flavor.   The conveyor belts fill, wrap and seal the boxes.   There are boxes of various sizes for various foreign countries.   One of the most memorable stops on the tour is the mint room.   We love mint, but the aroma was so strong that I, Zeb the Duck, and most humans could not stay in the room very long.   The room is sealed shut most of the time to prevent the strong mint flavor and aroma from dominating all tea blends.   Did you know that the tea blend, Tension Tamer contains catnip?  Yes, the same stuff that cats love.   It is even listed on the box as an ingredient.   The tour ends in the gift shop, or tea shop.  This is just one wall of tea varieties.

So many tempting types of tea

So many tempting types of tea

So hard to decide, but of course we purchased Tension Tamer with catnip.   And with all this tea, how should we drink it?  Here are a few suggestions for mugs and teapots.

Love the mugs

Love the mugs

Want more choices?

Presentation is important and so much fun with tea.

Presentation is important and so much fun with tea.

And there are even more.    Mom has several teapots and teacups, so we did not purchase more.   But this is what we brought home.

Look what came home with us. And we already had a lot of tea. Yes, we do like many varieties of tea.

Look what came home with us. And we already had a lot of tea. Yes, we do like many varieties of tea.

We already had several blends of tea at home, but we do really love and drink a lot of tea.