North Pole, Alaska. Here come the Colorado Traveling Ducks

Yes, you read that correctly.   Mom said we are flying to North Pole, Alaska.   Not THE North Pole, but the suburb of Fairbanks, named North Pole.  I, Zeb the Duck, am going to Alaska.   Mom, isn’t this winter and isn’t it cold in the winter?  Well, we will experience North Pole, Alaska in February.   Driving to Denver International Airport that morning, Soapy Smith Duck’s mom drove us through snow, ice, and subfreezing temperatures.   Thanks for the safe ride!   After boarding our Alaska Airlines flight, we taxied to the de-icing area.

De-icing our plane in Denver

This man high above our plane, sprayed us.   Driving all around the plane, spraying, he then got higher and further away, and sprayed some more.

More de-icing to keep us safe

Airborne now, our first stop was Seattle, a fast change of airplanes and then on to Fairbanks, Alaska.   Approaching Fairbanks, there was a lot of white snow on the ground.   From our window, we saw the frozen rivers below us.

From airplane, approaching Fairbanks

The Chena River flows into the Tanana River, that flows through Fairbanks.   The Tanana then flows into the Yukon River.   Mom wasn’t sure which river this was.  While waiting for our baggage, we enjoyed seeing this small plane.

Baggage claim area at Fairbanks International Airport

Many areas of Alaska are accessible only by air.   As you can guess, many Alaskan are pilots, with many owning their own airplanes.   But today, our reason for flying to Fairbanks is rather sad.   You may remember that Eider Duck, our Alaska cousin, lives with his dad, my mom’s brother.   In October 2017 mom and I flew to Anchorage, Alaska.   Eider’s dad was in the hospital and he passed away in November, 2017.   Mom and I brought Eider Duck to Colorado and he now lives with us.   Mom is executor of his estate, so Eider, Zeb and mom are here for a few days to start settling things.   Between the airport and Eider’s house, we drove down this road.

Road with snow covered trees

The snow this year is wetter than usual, so snow did not fall through the trees and pile up on the ground.   The wetter snow stayed on the trees and power lines.   The snow covered trees are beautiful, but the snow is not melting and many trees are breaking.   It is not certain if the trees that do not break, will ever be straight again.   Eider is getting excited now.   He knows we are just a few blocks from his house.

Approaching Eider’s house

Here we have many trees that are not bent, but there is still a lot of snow.   Eider and I, Zeb the Duck, are sitting on pile of snow in front of Eider’s house.

On snow pile in front of Eider’s house.

There is about 2 feet of snow on the ground.   It was difficult for mom to try to walk.   She gave up and just stayed where the snow had been plowed and shoveled.   All is so white here.   The white snow, the skies were cloudy and more snow clouds were moving over the area.   Almost every day of our stay, we had some new snow, overcast skies and power outages.   The power company tries to keep the lines clear and keep power on, but it is a huge job.   Usually the power would be out for less than 2 hours, so things were OK.   We did miss our bright blue Colorado skies, but the peaceful, quiet and calmness of the area was wonderful.   A low population means fewer vehicles so the snow stays pristine white and beautiful.   Looking through the window of Eider’s house, was soothing.

So peaceful and calming

Mom took this photo about 20 minutes before sunrise.   In that special early morning light, photos often have that special blue tint.  Very nice in the photos.   We’ll tell you more about North Pole, Alaska next time.

The Knotty Store in Alaska with Eider Duck

Our Alaska cousin, Eider Duck, wanted to show us his favorite gift shop.   Near Fairbanks, in Salcha, Alaska you can find The Knotty Shop.

The Knotty Store

The Knotty Store

The name comes from the Knotty Pine wood.   Inside the store you will find so many Alaskan gifts.   Much is handcrafted by Alaska’s residents.   There is a large selection of clothing.   The knives feature the Alaskan ulu knife, some of them with the handle and stand crafted from Alaska’s diamond willow wood.   Wooden bowls are also popular items at The Knotty Store, as is a birch stein with a lid.   The food section features many flavors of syrup.   Fireweed syrup is available, as is salmonberry syrup, (what is salmonberry?) along with a favorite, wild blueberry syrup.   The Wildlife Museum highlights several Alaskan mounts.

Indoor Wildlife Museum

Indoor Wildlife Museum

Eider lives here, so these animals do not make him nervous.

Love the fox

Love the fox

We think the fox could be our friend.   While the selection of gifts is incredible, the real attraction is outside.

Large

Large

Eider wants you to see several of these carved animals.

Great

Great

We really think they all are wonderful.

Adorable

Adorable

Such talent to make these.

Takes talent

Takes talent

Eider loves to visit this store.

Eider rides again

Eider rides again

We could not choose a favorite.

Moose or caribou?

Moose, reindeer or caribou?

But these antlers do grab and hold our attention.   Which is your favorite?   For more information and photos of The Knotty Shop, visit http://www.AlaskaKnottyShop.com   Eider, we love this shop.   Thanks for sending us the photos, cousin Eider.

Halloween Party in Chatanika, Alaska

I, Zeb the Duck, have news from Alaska.   Eider Duck, my Alaska cousin, sent me these pictures.     Eider and the humans go to Chatanika, Alaska, a town near Fairbanks, for the Halloween party.

Eider said he had a lot of fun.   Some people wear costumes.

Halloween in Chatanika, Alaska

Halloween in Chatanika, Alaska

Fun in Chatanika, Alaska

Fun in Chatanika, Alaska

The decorations are pretty fantastic.

Scarey

Scary

Eider says everybody has a lot of fun.

Really decorated

Really decorated

The bar and restaurant also has a few motel rooms, so many people stay for a night or two.

People have a wonderful time in Chatanika.

Halloween party in Chatanika, Alaska

Halloween party in Chatanika, Alaska

Eider, be careful.   Is this party safe for feathered creatures??

Eider. Watch your neck

Eider. Watch your neck

Thanks for sending these photos, Eider.   Looks like you had a crazy, but great, Halloween party.  We all hope you have fun for Halloween.  Remember, have fun and be safe.  Halloween is a holiday for all ages to have a great time.

Moose Hunting in Alaska with Eider Duck

My Alaska cousin, Eider Duck, went moose hunting.   He sent us these photos.   Eider and his humans drove north on the Dalton Highway.

Eider Duck on the Dalton Highway

Eider Duck on the Dalton Highway

These are his human hunters.

Ready to start the hunting trip

Ready to start the hunting trip

They camped in tents in northern Alaska for two weeks in September.

Eider, take care of the humans.

Eider, take care of the humans.

Hunting in northern Alaska requires a variety of vehicles.

These hunting vehicles came here on trailers behind their trucks

These hunting vehicles came here on trailers behind their trucks

This is a sample of the area they visited.

Careful Eider.   Don't get lost out there.

Careful Eider. Don’t get lost out there.

Some of their traveling was near the famous Alaska pipeline.   The pipeline here doesn’t look very far from the ground, but it is.

Passing the Alaska pipeline

Passing the Alaska pipeline

Eider told me the pipe must me far enough off the ground for herds of caribou and moose to easily pass under the pipeline.   Eider and his humans are heading down this road.

Northern Alaska in September with Eider Duck

Northern Alaska in September with Eider Duck

Eider said he had fun on the hunting trip, but the humans did not see even one moose.  The moose also know when it is hunting season.   Eider is back home now and ready to go to the grocery store with his humans.  The rule of his human hunters:  If you shoot it you must eat it.  They did not shoot any moose, so there is nothing to eat.   A trip to the grocery store will fill the refrigerator this season.

Eider will going to the grocery store soon.

Eider will going to the grocery store soon.

Thanks for the photos Eider.  And thanks for telling me about your camping and hunting in northern Alaska last September.

Zeb the Duck goes to Denver International Airport

I, Zeb the Duck, went to the airport.   My Alaska cousin, Eider Duck, flew from Fairbanks, Alaska to Denver.  Eider is going to visit me for a few days.   I can’t wait to see my cousin!

Mom and I drove to DIA (that’s Denver International Airport).  Driving on the airport property, we saw this big blue horse.

Big Blue Horse at Denver International Airport

Big Blue Horse at Denver International Airport

Many people all over the world have seen and remember this horse.  Eider’s flight was late, so mom and I explored a little.  We were not flying anywhere, so we could not pass through security to enter other parts of the airport.   We saw this statue in an area for arriving passengers.

A pioneer in aviation

A pioneer in aviation

He is Captain Elrey B. Jeppeson, an aviation pioneer.   Denver has lots of art in the airport.  These are some of the paintings near the baggage area.

Points of interest in the United States

Points of interest in the United States

 

Mural near the baggage area

Mural near the baggage area by Leo Tanguma

Also by Leo Tanguma, October 1995

Also by Leo Tanguma, October 1995

Denver will have a hotel in the airport in 2015.

Denver will have an airport hotel

Denver will have an airport hotel

This will be convenient for travelers and for conventions.  I, Zeb the Duck, have stayed at the airport hotel in Miami International Airport.   I liked it and am looking forward to Denver having an airport hotel.

Denver’s airport has many stores and restaurants, as most airports do.   But this is probably only in Denver’s airport.

Relax at Denver's airport while waiting for your flight

Relax at Denver’s airport while waiting for your flight

This market place has many interesting and tasty things.

So much to see and taste  here.

So much to see and taste here.

It really is a nice place to spend time waiting for a flight.

Near line for security check

Near line for security check

You may have heard many rumors and strange information about the construction of this airport, but we are ducks, and ducks don’t do drama, so we have nothing to say about that aspect.

La Memoria de la Tierra or Our Land has Memories by Judith Baca

La Memoria de la Tierra or Our Land has Memories by Judith Baca

My cousin, Eider’s plane has arrived and Eider and human are getting luggage. We will have more to tell you about our time with Eider in the future. I want to see my cousin now.

Welcome to Denver, Eider

Welcome to Denver, Eider

Chinese New Years in Las Vegas with Eider Duck

My Alaska cousin, Eider Duck was in Las Vegas, Nevada for Chinese New Years.  These pictures from Eider and dad show some of the displays in a few resorts.   The Venetian is a huge resort.  Just look at this, even before entering the building.

Outside the Venetian.  I see a gondola there.

Outside the Venetian. I see a gondola there.

This is the year of the horse, so lots of horses in Las Vegas displays this month.  I can’t pick a favorite—I like them all. These are in the Palazzo,

Horse with coins inside the Palazzo

Horse with coins and Eider inside the Palazzo

which is connected to the Venetian.   Did you know that upon the completion and grand opening of the Palazzo on January 17, 2008, the Palazzo became the largest building in the United States?  The Palazzo displaced the Pentagon as the largest building in the United States in terms of floor space.  According to Wikipedia, the Palazzo has 6,948,980 square feet of floor space.  WOW!!

Inside Palazzo

Inside Palazzo

Now Eider and the humans have entered the Wynn Resort.

Inside Wynn Resort

Inside Wynn Resort

More magnificent Year of the Horse displays.

Inside Wynn Resort

Inside Wynn Resort

These photos from inside the Bellagio are great Eider.

Inside the Bellagio

Inside the Bellagio

Bellagio display for Year of the Horse

Bellagio display for Year of the Horse

Happy Chinese New Year

Happy Chinese New Year

The Bellagio has a wonderful outside water show.

Dancing fountains at the Bellagio with Eider Duck

Dancing fountains at the Bellagio with Eider Duck

Between the Mirage and Treasure Island, Eider seems to be in trouble.  These statues honor Siegfried and Roy and their tigers.   Eider, get out of the tiger’s mouth!!

Eider get out of there!!!

Eider get out of there!!!

Looks like Eider is having a great time in Las Vegas.

Eider Duck…You lucky scoundrel.

Eider Duck…You lucky scoundrel.

More pictures from Eider to come.