Mt. Evans, High in the Colorado Rocky Mountains

Let’s drive on the highest paved highway in North America.   Colorado Traveling Ducks are going to the top of Mt. Evans.  And we will not be more than 2 hours away from home near Denver, Colorado.   First we stop to admire Echo Lake.

Echo Lake

At 10,600 feet above sea level, a short hike by the lake, then a great meal at the lodge,

Echo Lake Lodge

and we are ready to begin our journey to the top of Mt. Evans.

Let’s go to the top of Mt. Evans

This is a combination of Denver Mountain Parks and some Federal land, but our National Park Pass covers our admission.   Our first stop is Mount Goliath.

Mount Goliath Natural Area

Here we see the really old Bristlecone Pine trees, the oldest living things on earth.

Bristlecone Pines

Our bristlecones are only about 1,700 years old.   Some bristlecones in California and Nevada are over 4,000 years old.   Those trees were old when Jesus was born.   We like sitting on this fallen Bristlecone.

Fallen Bristlecone Pine

Our Bristlecone Pines do not get as old as those in California and Nevada because our growing conditions are too good.   They like more wind, more cold, and less moisture.   And we think our winters at this altitude are pretty brutal for growing things.  We are driving our car here, but some people enjoy the challenge of riding a bicycle.  You may notice there are few trees here.   We are approaching timber line.   Above here, the conditions prevent trees and most vegetation from growing.

Hard work to go by bicycle

The road is wide enough for two cars to pass, but not much wider.   There are no shoulders on this road and not a single guard rail to be seen.

Narrow road. No shoulders. No Guard rails.

The drivers need to be careful, and they are.   Each year more cars drive to the top of Mt. Evans, so be aware and be observant.   Look what you may see.

Mountain Goats

As we approach the summit of Mt. Evans, these Mountain Goats are wandering.   Humans do stop to admire and photograph the animals.

Mom and child. Mountain goats

We love seeing these animals.   At the summit of Mt. Evans, there is a parking lot with limited parking, paths to hike, and the remains of Crest House.

On hand rail of remains of Crest House

There are no concessions here, so bring your own water.  Crest House was a gift shop and restaurant, but was destroyed in a fire in 1979.   It was never rebuilt.   At the parking lot, you have reached the end of the highest paved road in North America.   You are at 14,206 feet above sea level.   Be careful.   The air is very thin, meaning there is not as much oxygen in the air as most people usually experience.   Move slowly and stop if you get light headed or dizzy.   If you brought oxygen with you, use it!  And if you are wondering, this road is 154 feet higher than the road to the top of Pikes Peak, a little further south near Colorado Springs.   Let’s head down now.   We love the views along the way.

Enjoy the views

There are some pullouts for hiking and admiring these mountain views.   We are higher than most of the surrounding mountains.

Beautiful views

Small mountain lakes dot the landscape.   Enjoy your time here.  Descending to 12,830 feet above sea level, we stop at Summit Lake.

Summit Lake

The day after Labor Day, the road is closed from here to the top of Mt. Evans.   Usually closed on the first Tuesday of September.   The rest of this road, from Echo Lake to Summit Lake, stays open until closed by snow.   We park here and follow the trails.

Yellow Bellied Marmot wants to go inside

This yellow bellied marmot wants to go inside this building?  We saw a park ranger and he said he opened the door earlier and the marmot went inside.   When he came out, the ranger closed the door.   As he was coming out, he seemed to look right at me.

Yellow Bellied Marmot

Mom, should I be worried?   The sign says he is eating lots to get ready for 8 months of hibernation.   Continuing driving back, we stop to see wildflowers.

This one is producing seeds

This unusual plant is growing and has a seed ball.   Interesting.   But this is my favorite.

Beautiful red wildflowers

I, Zeb the Duck, love red wildflowers.   If you did not drive to the summit of Mt. Evans this summer, we hope you plan to go next summer.   It is beautiful and you pass through so many climate levels.   You will be above tree line.   You will see arctic tundra.   We hope to see you there next summer.

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Boulder Creek Hometown Festival 2018

We love festivals.   And we love festivals in Boulder, Colorado.   Labor Day Weekend, the first weekend in September is one of our favorite festivals.   There is a Farmer’s Market.

A Farmers Market in the festival

Yes, we can purchase Colorado lamb and cheerful cut flowers. (Sept 2014)

We like flowers and Colorado lamb

These vegetables are so colorful.

Yum

Makes ducks and humans hungry.   Also so many venders here.

Singing Bowls from the Himalayas.

We love the singing bowls from the Himalayas.   Kids can get inside balls.

Walking on water in a bubble

Doesn’t this look fun?    Or, if you don’t want water, try these bumper balls.

Bumper Balls

And you can watch artists at work.

Artist at work

 

These are great!   But this festival has something special.

So many huge zucchinis

Zucchini Races.   Kids can purchase a giant zucchini.   The wheels are then put on the zucchini for the young human.   There are many choices for these little ones to use for decorating their zucchini.

Work in progress

Now it is time to race.

And the race begins

These races occur every 10-15 minutes, depending when the decorated zucchinis are ready.   Isn’t this fun?  The young human keeps the decorated zucchini.

Zucchini

If you have ever planted zucchini in your garden, you know that it grows quick.   Zucchini is a very prolific plant, so there are always giant zucchinis.   Humans can only eat so much zucchini in one summer.

Racing zucchinis

But that is not all for this festival .   On Monday, the duck races occur.   Of course, we love duck races.   Duck races are to raise money for a good cause.   The organizers of the duck races have hundreds or thousands of ducks that look almost like us.   People or businesses buy (really rent) a duck or ducks.  But they are not allowed to touch the duck.  Each duck has a number, so humans know which is their duck.   All ducks are dropped in Boulder Creek.  And the races begin.

Ducks

Many humans are needed to catch the ducks at the finish line.

Wow! At the finish line

The water carries the ducks to the finish line.

Some of the many ducks

The person paying for the winning ducks receive prizes.   Everybody loves to watch the ducks race down Boulder Creek.   These duck races are very popular and many towns feature duck races in the local festivals.  We hope you watch duck races near you and, of course, think of us, the Colorado Traveling Ducks.

Paint Mines at Calhan, Colorado with Zeb the Duck

I, Zeb the Duck, got to go with the humans to Paint Mines in Calhan.   Calhan, Colorado, is southeast of Denver and northeast of Colorado Springs.

Paint Mines Interpretive Park

Here we are.   Mmmm, this doesn’t look to exciting yet.

Cactus? What is here?

Mom, I’m sitting by cactus and I don’t see anything different.   Walking on wide paths, suitable for strollers and wheel chairs, up the hill we go.   Nice.   A bench to rest.   Look at that.    Down the hill I see white formations.

Bench and a surprise ahead

Now I’m getting excited.

I like this white clay

These white formations look interesting and were unexpected for me.   And more.

White and gold. Great

Now I see lots of white and gold clay.   One of the signs at the entrance said the colored clay was used by naive American Indians to make colorful pottery.

Were these carved?

These formations were all naturally formed.   Sun, rain, snow, sleet, wind and all elements made fascinating shapes.   Walking further, this area looks different.

Seeing some red

In addition to the brilliant white, I am seeing some red clay.   Continuing along, we take another side path.   These paths are more difficult, but look what we saw.

Lots of colored clay

Red, white and gold.   Isn’t this great?  Further along, we now have some red layers in the white clay.

Red layers in the white clay

This is a wonderful place.   And I wasn’t sure we should walk back here?   So glad the humans insisted.   This cave is a natural shelter.

Natural shelter

Humans are believed to have lived here thousands of years ago and I bet they used this shelter.   Oh wow!

Looks like red velvet cupcake with white frosting.

Don’t these look like giant cupcakes?   OK, now you know, we have been eating cupcakes this week.   And ours also had white frosting.   But this is beautiful.

Panorama

We hope this panorama shows you the colors and intensity of these paint mines.   Humans say it is really hot here, and we have been wandering around for more than two hours.   Time to leave.   We have only seen about half of the area.   I bet we will come back here again.

This sign tells much

This sign tells a little about this land.   We liked the sign and hope  you will enjoy it also.   This is definitely a good place to come and explore, learn, and just have your senses filled with the wonders of nature.

Zeb the Duck Visits Clive Cussler’s Automobile Museum

Clive Cussler writes great books, and he owns great cars.   At one time in his life, Clive Cussler, lived in Arvada, Colorado, near Denver.   Mr. Cussler collects and restores classic cars.   At any time,  60-70 of his cars are on display in his museum, near Denver.  Mom and a friend recently accompanied me to the museum.

Entrance to Clive Cusler Automobile Museum

I really liked the first car we saw as we entered.

First car as we entered. 1956 Continental

This 1956 Continental is gorgeous, and huge.

Says it all

Each automobile has a sign to explain the history of the car.   I decided to just show you the sign rather than paraphrase the information.   Look at this bright pink car.

I love this car

This is a 1936 Ford Cabriole Hot Rod.   Mr. Cussler often has a character in his book, Dirk Pitt, drive a car like he owns.

Featured in Atlantis Found

This Cabriole was featured in Atlantis Found.   And this bright red 1953 Allard J2X.

1953 Allard J2X

The 1953 Allard J2X was featured in his book, Shock Wave.

Featured in his book, Shock Wave

This Pierce Arrow was a surprise.

1937 Pierce Arrow Travelodge Trailer

This is a 1937 Pierce Arrow Travelodge Trailer.

Who knew?

And we thought motor homes were relatively new.  This orange car caught my attention.

1929 Duesenberg Model J-140

This 1929 Duesenberg Model J-140 was featured in his book, Flood Tide.   In the 1970s Mattel Toy Company patterned one of its famous “Hot Wheels” on this model.   What is this?   A boat in a car museum?   Of course.

Clive Cussler loves to recover shipwrecks

Clive Cussler has interests beyond writing and cars.   He loves to locate shipwrecks.   With this boat he helped find the H.I. Hunley, a Confederate submarine, the first submarine to ever sink a ship.   This happened during the United States Civil War in 1864.

Numa Survey

NUMA Survey is one of his boats.   You have noticed the popularity of the new electric cars.   But, maybe not really so new.

Detroit Electric Model 97

Here is a 1931 Detroit Electric Model 97.

Did you know this?

Wooden wheels?   Really?

Wooden wheel on 1931 Detroit Electric Model 97

Yes, really.   Here is a photo of the wooden wheel on this 1931 Detroit Electric Model 97.   When you are near Denver, you really would enjoy this museum.   However, it is only opened in the summer.  Check http://www.CusslerMuseum.com for more information.   There is a motorcycle in here.   And so many more cars.   And they are not only clean and shiney, there is not a flake of dust near these cars.   We hope  you visit soon.

Alpacas? Zeb and Eider Duck Go to the Alpaca Show

Here we are.

Our first Alpaca Show

Ready to go to our first Alpaca Show.   We are in Denver at the National Western Complex.   This is where Denver hosts the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo.   Let’s see some alpacas.

Group of alpacas watching us

There are lots of alpaca at this show.   These alpaca are watching us.   Some judging already took place here.

This white alpaca has several ribbons

This white alpaca has ribbons.   Alpaca is from Alpacas de la Mancha in Calhan, Colorado.   The brown ones are good.

Tall brown alpacas

We love these guys.   Here is a blue ribbon winner.

First place ribbon here

Our new friend.   In the next area we found these smaller alpaca.

Smaller, recently sheared, and really long necks

They have recently been sheared.   The alpaca wool is really soft.   The necks look really long without the extra wool.   Eider Duck likes this white alpaca.

Eider with white alpacas

And he likes Eider.   Zeb likes these alpacas with lots of wool still on them.

Zeb with alpacas

But we really like all of them.   One more alpaca photo.

This one likes us. Like many a band prevents any nipping.

This white one, like many alpaca here at the show, has the harness or bands around the mouth.   No nipping here.   So many items are made from alpaca wool.

Alpaca products for sale

We will show you several booths with items for sale.

Even alpaca items for Christmas

Even holiday sets.  Great choices.   Alright, we can sit on this alpaca.

We are on this alpaca

No worries about nipping or biting.   And more items for sale.

All so soft

The vendors were all very nice and have so many things to sell and show us.

Great variety

Last photo.   Here we are with a live alpaca.

Posing with alpaca and alpaca owners

The owners of the alpaca are holding us and we love these animals.   We hope you visit alpacas soon.   They were really nice to us.

Zeb the Duck Brings a Bit of Olde Town Arvada home

I, Zeb the Duck, couldn’t omit these last few things from my Olde Town Arvada tour.   Arvada’s flour mill, constructed from 1925-1926, operated until 1960.

Arvada’s Old Flour Mill

Wheat was grown in the area, so a flour mill was needed.   There are 4 levels here, some for offices, some for equipment, some for processing and bagging flour.   Our flour mill could process 250 pounds of wheat per hour.   That’s a lot of flour.   As the area grew, the railroad and trolley carried people into Denver.   Agriculture thrived also.   Now, the area is still growing.   The train goes through Arvada.   Passengers can take the bus to Denver, and soon we will be able to take the Light Rail into Denver and beyond.

Light rail station for Olde Town Arvada. Agriculture equipment behind sign

There is a little technical problem with the light rail trains and the train gates that come down to stop traffic.   Our light rail line in not operational yet, but they say soon….  The sign is up, the tracks are ready, and there is farm equipment here also.   We ducks like that Arvada is proud of its past and keeps the history.

Light rail, train, farm equipment and flour mill

Our flour mill and agriculture equipment remind us of farming times.   Now that we have all that flour, what should we do with it?   Well, let’s look around Olde Town Arvada and look for something that used flour.   My favorite, the Rheinlander Bakery.

Rheinländer German Bakery

This is a German bakery.   This bakery has been open at this same location since 1963.  It is really good to stay in business that long.   Let’s see what is available today.

They have so many items

So many things to see and taste.   It sure smells good in here.   Today we wanted some of their delicious strudel.

We want the famous strudel

Look at all these strudels.  So hard to decide.   Let’s look closer.

So many types of strudel.

Now we can buy strudel, their signature and most popular item, by the slice.   I couldn’t decide, so here I am at home, with two slices of Olde Town Arvada.

I, Zeb the Duck, with a slice (or two) of Olde Town Arvada at home.

They are both warm, flaky and so full of fruit.   One with cherries and another with apples.  The added sweet touch on the top.   Ahhh  Tastes heavenly.   There are so many more things to see and do in Olde Town Arvada.   The florist shop makes beautiful arrangements.   But if you want the flowers to last, there is another shop that sells only artificial flowers and plants.   They look so real.   The flowers in the vases even have fake water.   It is a great shop, but no photos are allowed inside.   I really hope you take some time this spring or summer to wander around Olde Town Arvada.   The consignments stores are fun.   The antique shops are fascinating and we love the used book store.   And so many small, independently owned restaurants have delicious food.   Next time we will take you on a far away adventure.   We needed our passports, so stop by in a few days and share our latest adventure.

Zeb the Duck Visits Spicy Old Town Arvada

Penzeys is a must visit store in Olde Town Arvada.

Penzey’s Spice Shop

Oh  yes, it is a spice store.   There are so many spices here.   I, Zeb the Duck, never knew all of these existed.  Start here with Spices A to Z.

So many spices

Such a variety.   And did you know that this many types of pepper were available?

This is all pepper??

What is a duck to make using all these wonderful spices?   Penzey’s has the answer to that question also.

Let’s try new recipes.

Cookbooks to lead the duck or human into the wonders of cooking with new flavors.    Let’s get it straight.   Seasonings and spices are different here.   So many seasonings.

And seasonings

What kind?   Check out this seasoning to put on Chicago Steak.

For Chicago steaks

Another area features Taco Seasoning.

Taco seasoning

We have Chicken, hot and original.   And soups.   So many soup bases.

Let’s have soup.

Remember this store next time you are looking for that memorable gift for a cook or chef.

Gift box

Gift boxes offer the chance for the recipient, even if you are buying for yourself, to try more than one item.   In our house, we don’t experiment in the kitchen very often, but this is one of our favorite places to shop for a cold winter evening.

My favorite. Hot chocolate.

The hot chocolate is just perfect for us.   Rich chocolate, I prefer chocolate with mint, thick, great flavor and topped with those small marshmallows.   It sends my taste buds to duck heaven.   I better stop thinking about that now, or I won’t finish this, I’ll be savoring mint hot chocolate.   When leaving Penzey’s, with the feeling of a kid in a spice store, within a few steps, you can be like a kid in a toy store.   Have fun in Super Zoom.

Super Zoom

They have such a variety, and important for me, this toy store is not overcrowded.   You really can see things and have room to move around.   Great for adults, ducks and children.   Olde Arvada truly is a wonderful place.   We think it may be time for you to explore Olde Arvada, Colorado.