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.

Theodore Roosevelt National Park with Zeb and Soapy Smith Duck

We love National Parks!   We are in western North Dakota on I-94.   Theodore Roosevelt National Park is here.

Welcome to Theodore Roosevelt National Park in western North Dakota

Welcome to Theodore Roosevelt National Park in western North Dakota

First we stop at the Painted Canyon Overlook.   This is part of the North Dakota Badlands.

Pink in the Painted Canyon

Pink in the Painted Canyon

The pink shows why this is called a painted canyon.   This place takes your breath away.

Painted Canyon has many moods

Painted Canyon has many moods

Don’t you just love it?   Next we went to the Visitor’s Center, received our map, and drove through the South Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park.   First stop is the Little Missouri River Bottomlands.

Little Missouri River

Little Missouri River

Very pretty.   The sign said these are Cottonwood trees, dark green jumpers and dwarf sagebrush.

Overlooking Little Missouri River

Overlooking Little Missouri River

We ducks, like humans, enjoy seeing this beautiful, tranquil scenery.   There are thousands of prairie dogs at various areas of the park.

Prairie dogs. Talking about us?

Prairie dogs.   Talking about us?

They are so cute.   We do not want them in our yards, but we love to see them in parks.   Oh no!   This could be trouble.

Could this be trouble?

Could this be trouble?

The coyote is walking among the prairie dogs.   We hope it is not time for him to eat.

Coyote says to relax

Coyote says to relax

Looks like he is saying, “I told you I was not hungry”   Some of the road are paved, and some are not.

Quiet road in park

Quiet road in park

We are fortunate that there is very little traffic in the park now.   This area is known as Beef Corral Bottom.

Beef Corral Bottom

Beef Corral Bottom.   Today we see prairie dogs, not cattle here

Years ago during the free range cattle round up, the cattle were brought here.   Then the owners could check the brand and take their cattle home to prepare for sale.   These buffalo are lounging by the side of the road.

Enjoying the sunny day.

Enjoying the sunny day.

We did not get out of our car here.   No reason to be foolish.   This is the home of the buffalo, not the home of tourists.   The color of the rock varies here.   Whitish in some areas.

Lighter rocks

Lighter rocks

Darker rock is other areas.

Darker rocks

Darker rocks

We like the open lands also.   The minerals in the soil effect the color of rocks.   This lone buffalo stood on a hill surveying his land.

Buffalo watching us admire him

Buffalo watching us admire him

He was so still at first, we were not sure if he was real, but he did begin to turn his head and walk away.   Behind the Visitor’s Center, is the Maltese Cross Ranch House.

Maltese Cross Ranch House. Theodore Roosevelt lived here summer of 1884

Maltese Cross Ranch House. Theodore Roosevelt lived here summer of 1884

In September, 1883 Theodore Roosevelt part an interest in the Maltese Cross Ranch.   He loved the Badlands of North and South Dakota.   The following winter his wife and his mother died with hours of each other.   When the weather permitted, here came back to North Dakota and lived in the Maltese Cross Ranch House.    Here he was able to find peace and renewed strength of spirit and body.   This ranch house was later moved to its present location in the National Park.   We hope you also have beautiful sunny weather when you visit Theodore Roosevelt National Park.