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.

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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.

Let’s Explore Olde Town Arvada with Zeb the Duck

Olde Town Arvada is fun to explore.   Only a few miles northwest of downtown Denver,  Olde Town Arvada is a great place to meet friends, wander, shop, and eat.   The plaza here has tables for us to sit and chat, or enjoy a treat from great restaurants and snack shops.

Don’t you love to sit outside on sunny spring days.

Looking down the street, you will see brick buildings from more than 100 years ago.

A quiet weekday morning in Olde Arvada, Colorado

I like these murals on the Army Navy Surplus store.

Murals of Colorado

We are proud of our Colorado history.   Let’s explore one of the small shops here.

A store devoted to socks.

This store is dedicated to socks.    Just so you remember that we are in Colorado, we have a buffalo head in our sock store.

The buffalo is watching you and the socks

I’m sitting on Toe Sox.   Almost gloves for feet.       And still more socks.

More socks

You really need to visit this store.  Socks of all lengths, colors, designs and more.   This really is a fun store and the employees are so nice. After the sock shop we continued wandering.   Silver Vines is our winery.

Silver Vines winery.

We didn’t stop here today, but maybe another day.  After all, shouldn’t we support all our local businesses?   Arvada even has an old water tower.

Water tower in Olde Arvada

It is just perfect to see a water tower in Olde Town.   We are going to visit this coffee shop.   It is Global Goods.

Global Goods coffee shop

This group serves coffee and great tea blends.    And the pastries…  What can I say.   I love the muffins.  Global helps people from war torn countries.   The profits from food and beverages help those in need.   The small gift shop features items made by the victims of war.

So many choices

Those necklaces next to me use beads that are made of paper, usually pages of a magazine.   Before ducks, mom spent 3 weeks in Uganda and we have some of these necklaces at home.   These pictures on the wall are made by people affected by war.

Intrigued by the pictures on the wall

Great baskets and purses.   Global Good also operates a thrift store further north, on 88th Avenue.   We like helping others and we love this store and the refreshments.   We will be back here soon.   Next time we will show you more of Olde Arvada.   It is a great place to explore and eat.   Maybe we will see you there soon.

Colorado Mountains in Winter with Zeb and Eider Duck

I, Zeb the Duck, wanted to show my cousin, Eider Duck, our Colorado Mountains in the winter.   Eider lived in North Pole, Alaska, near Fairbanks, until recently, so Eider knows about winter snow.   But our Colorado winters are different.   We have so many days with bright sunshine, so our snow melts much faster.   We drove west on I-70 from Denver.   Our first stop was Dillon Reservoir.

Dillon Reservoir, frozen

We drove through the Eisenhower Tunnel, under the Continental Divide.   But, the tunnel is still more than 11,000 feet above sea level.   This reservoir has many sailboats in the summer.   This is also a source of water for Denver.   In the winter, this frozen reservoir is beautiful and serene.   Continuing west on I-70, we stopped to watch humans skiing on the groomed snow slopes of Copper Mountain.

Copper Mountain ski area

We went into Copper Mountain resort, but from I-70 you can see many trails with skiers.   Copper Mountain resort consists of three villages, each with hotels, restaurants, ski lifts and several trails.   This is looking through the entrance to Center Village.

Entrance to Center Village, Copper Mountain, Colorado

Thousands of skiers are here at any time, so many services are needed.   And this is just one of several ski areas in Colorado, along I-70.   Colorado, because of the Rocky Mountains, has many more ski areas further from the interstate highway.   A little further west on I-70 we stopped at this rest area on Vail Pass.   From inside a building at the rest area, the view through the window shows snow to the windows and ice on the top of the window.

Through window of rest area at Vail Pass

There is a designated recreation area here at the rest area also.   Humans enjoy exploring on snow machines.

Snow machines at Vail Pass

Looking back east toward the Continental Divide, from Vail Pass, we like this view.

Continental Divide from Vail Pass

We are still less than 100 miles from our home near Denver, Colorado.   But mom says we need to head back home.   About 20 miles from Denver there is a buffalo herd that lives near I-70, at Genesee Park.  A tunnel beneath the highway allows the herd to move from one side of the highway to the other.  Today they were in the area best for viewing.   We pulled off the highway and admired these buffalo.

Buffalo herd near Denver, Colorado

There is a fence since buffalo are huge and they are wild animals.   We just want to admire these magnificent animals.   They are fun to see, don’t you agree?  Near Rocky Mountain National Park, we often visit Estes Park.   In the summer Lake Estes is a great water recreation area.   In the fall, we often see elk herds in the adjoining picnic area and sometimes drinking from the lake.   But this winter day the lake is partly frozen, the boaters are gone and the elk have moved to their winter areas.

Lake Estes in the winter

Today, another serene scene for us to enjoy.  Today our Colorado sky is a vivid blue.   Peacefulness of winter.   Another favorite winter trip is 20-25 minutes from our house.   Coal Creek Canyon follows the South Boulder Creek.   We often follow this creek and road to the town of Pinecliffe.   Let’s travel into this canyon today.

Entering Coal Creek Canyon

Close to Denver there is not much snow today.   The intense Colorado sun has melted most of last week’s snow fall.  We ducks love sitting by the creek, listening to the water.   Further into the canyon, another stop is appreciated as we admire the snow capped mountains.

View snow capped mountains from Coal Creek Canyon

Our blue skies are beautiful and we like watching the white clouds moving in.   In Pinecliffe, Colorado, we view the frozen South Boulder Creek.

Frozen South Boulder Creek in Pinecliffe, Colorado

Again, we must head home.   One last view of the sun streaming through the trees as Zeb and Eider relax on a fallen pine tree.

Sun filtering through trees in Coal Creek Canyon

Hard to see in this photo, but our pine tree perch had many tiny pine cones.   We love pine trees, pine cones and the fresh smell of pine.   Winter in the mountains is beautiful and peaceful.   But at times falling snow, wind and avalanches are treacherous.   Please, when visiting mountains in the winter, be prepared (carry water and warm clothing) and be careful.   Check weather conditions before you go and tell someone where you are going and when you expect to return.   Precautions can keep you safe and let you enjoy the beauty, serenity and enjoyment of winter in the mountains.  Have fun!