McGinn’s Pistachio Farm and Vineyard

We love pistachio nuts.   We love the green color, and we love the taste.   In Alamogordo, New Mexico, we visited McGinn’s Pistachio Tree Ranch and Winery.

McGinn’s Pistachio Tree Ranch

But, are pistachio nuts really 30 feet tall?

World’s largest pistachio

This is the world’s largest pistachio nut.   It is 30 feet tall, made from 5 yards of concrete and then colored with 35 gallons of paint.   When the founder, Mr McGinn, died, his heirs had this pistachio nut created.   They remember as kids they would travel around the country with him, always stopping for these oversized, roadside attractions.   We ducks have seen a lot of these attractions also, and we always are amazed by what we find.    But, back to Alamogordo and this pistachio farm.   The building is huge, housing equipment, gift shop, small cafe and lots of storage.

Large building

PistachioLand is the name, but there are also vineyards here.   Our first activity was a tour of the farm.

Tour bus. Soapy’s dog Chloe went on bus with us.

These ladies were so friendly and so smart.   Our moms were the only humans on this tour, so Soapy’s dog, Chloe, was also allowed to go with us.   First we saw the vineyards.


Seven types of grapes are grown here and they press the grapes and produce their own brand of wine.   Continuing, we saw acres of pistachio trees.

Pistachio trees

You may notice the irrigation hoses on the ground.   Remember, southern New Mexico is mostly desert.   These pistachio trees are grafted.   There is a university in California that has trees that do well in this climate.   Pistachio trees are grafted onto these trees, creating hardy Pistachio trees that thrive in the desert of New Mexico.   After our enjoyable tour, we headed towards the gift shop.

We like gift shops and love ice cream

We see that ice cream cone.   Near the entrance, we stopped at the Koi fish pool.

Koi pond

We love water and we love watching the fish.   We ducks are sitting here with the sheriff.

Ducks with sheriff

He is telling us stories.   At the end of the long porch is a patch of cement.

The notorious of the American Old West

This cement has names of some of the notorious people from the early days of “The Wild West.”

Ducks on wine barrels

Adding to the rustic atmosphere, we are sitting on wine barrels, under the sign for the Saloon and Hotel.   Inside the gift shop, we found normal souvenirs of t-shirts, post cards, refrigerator magnets, and many fascinating items.   Also a nice collection of regional cookbooks, many flavors of salsa and sauces, and wines.   There was a sampling table of candy, most with pistachios.   We especially liked the pistachio brittle.   Soapy’s mom liked the chili pistachio candies also.   Another section had old signs and this 1940 Ford.

1940 Ford

We like this gift shop and we really liked all the people we met.   But, now it was time for the serious stuff.   Remember the ice cream.   We didn’t want sandwiches or any other food, just ice cream.   Each human got 2 scoops of ice cream (huge scoops) in a waffle cone.   Mom had some with pistachios.   Soapy’s mom had some with chocolate.   We went outside so Chloe, our dog, could join us.

Nice area to sit with Soapy’s dog Chloe and eat ice cream

The ice cream was delicious.   We had a great time here at McGinn’s pistachio farm.   When you are near Alamogordo, we hope you will stop.   The tour was good, the atmosphere fun, the gift shop incredible and the samples are tasty.   The ice cream was a bonus and a reason to stop here on a warm day.   Next time we are in Alamogordo, we will stop here.   Maybe we will see you.


The Knotty Shop With Zeb and Eider Duck. Only in Alaska

It is time for a little shopping in an unusual store.   This is The Knotty Shop in Salcha, Alaska. Follow the Richardson Highway south from Fairbanks to Salcha and you will discover The Knotty Shop.   Founded in 1989 to showcase Alaskan made gift items, this is a great store.

The Knotty Shop.  We are by a moose head.

The posts and animals in front of the store are made of knotty pine.   Alaska has giant mosquitoes, but we are glad they are not really this big.

Giant mosquito

That stinger could kill humans and small ducks.


There are a few animals carved here.


Even if the store wasn’t fascinating, and it is, these animals of knotty pine would make us enter this shop.  Toward the back of the store, we enjoyed this mountain with Alaska’s animals.

Animals of Alaska

We Colorado Traveling Ducks have seen most of these alive while exploring Alaska.   The sock displays always intrigue mom.

Sock display

We have some of these socks at home now.

Ulu Knives

The Ulu knife of Alaska is handy for chopping and cutting.   This is a nice display with many choices for Ulu purchasing.  Hungry?

Alaskan made jams, jellies and sausage.

If you weren’t these jams and jellies will tease your taste buds.   And the sausage is flavorful.   Go ahead and indulge.   They are delicious.   These painted gold pans and saw blades are useful and decorative.

Painted gold pans and saw blades

We have gold pans and gold mining in Colorado, but we love these pans with Alaska scenes.   After a hard afternoon of shopping, we needed some ice cream.

We love ice cream

Of course, mom bought her favorite, mint chocolate chip.   It is our favorite also.   Sitting on the knotty pine picnic tables eating Alaska made ice cream was a great end to our shopping trip.

Buffalo Bill is in Colorado’s Lookout Mountain

Buffalo Bill Cody loved Colorado.   He especially love the view from the top of Lookout Mountain in Golden, Colorado.    Let’s go the the top of Lookout Mountain.

Buffalo Bills Museum and Grave

Buffalo Bills Museum and Grave

Buffalo Bill told his wife Louisa, daughter Irma and foster son, Johnny Baker that he wanted to be buried up here.

Final resting place for Buffalo Bill Cody

Final resting place for Buffalo Bill Cody

When he died in 1917, he was buried here.   Later his wife joined him in this final place.

Bill and Louisa rest here

Bill and Louisa rest here

This is a popular area to visit, so the bars protecting the graves are necessary.   Along the path to the graves, this buffalo greets the visitors.

This buffalo is watching

This buffalo is watching

Here is the museum honoring Buffalo Bill and the Old West.

Come this way to visit the mseum

Come this way to visit the museum

As you enter, you are greeted by these early Colorado residents.

Welcoming committee

Welcoming committee

Since this is a popular place for tourists, and locals, you can have your head on Buffalo Bill’s body.   We three Colorado Traveling Ducks all sat on his body.

Three duck heads for Buffalo Bill

Three duck heads for Buffalo Bill

Why did Buffalo Bill love Lookout Mountain?

Beautiful from the top

Beautiful from the top

This view explains a lot.   Looking down to the city of Golden, you will see Coors Brewery.   This brewery, started by Joseph Coors has been famous in Colorado and all over the United States.

Coors Brewery of Golden, Colorado

Coors Brewery of Golden, Colorado

Now Coors has merged with Molson Canadian and Millers Brewery of Wisconsin, but still the original Coors beer formula can only be brewed here in Golden, Colorado.   This beer is made with pure Rocky Mountain Spring Water, that is only found here.   Other Coors beer can be brewed at other locations, but not the original Coors.   Pahaska Tepee is the gift shop here.

Pahaska Tepee

Pahaska Tepee

Pahaska means ‘long hair” and that was the Lakota nickname for Buffalo Bill.   All good gift shops also have snacks.   The fudge here is so smooth and creamy.   Mom and I prefer chocolate pecan, and Soapy Smith and JB Duck prefer chocolate peanut butter.   And, we all love mint chocolate chip ice cream.

So Good

So Good

Such yummy treats.   Well, now we will head down from Lookout Mountain.

Time to head home

Time to head home

We need to go home to cut the grass.