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!

Zeb and Soapy Smith Duck Stay at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado

Our moms said we would come back and stay at this hotel.   And we did.   Here we are at the famous Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado.   Many say this hotel is haunted.   Movies have been made here.   And we love it here.  Come on humans.   We ducks climbed the stairs and are waiting for you on the porch.

Let's go humans

Let’s go humans

It is time to register for the night.

Checking in

Checking in

We walked up one flight of stairs to our room.   This area at the top of the stairs is very light.   We loved the mirrors, the chandelier, and the beautiful window.

Looking out from our floor

Looking out from our floor

The sitting or reading area is also very pleasant.   We admired this lamp standing on an old pump.

Great lamp pole

Great lamp pole

The humans had appointments with Madame Vera.

Visiting Madame Vera

Visiting Madame Vera

We liked this psychic.   However, the humans won’t tell what she told them.    Isn’t this a calm feeling area?

View of conversation area from our room

View of conversation area from our room

This small conversation area can be seen from our room and is just outside the back door of our wing.   We think plants and fire pits are comfortable and soothing.   We think it is time for lunch.   Here is our table.

Outside dining area

Outside dining area

The weather was so nice and sunny, outside seating was our preference.   The view of this fountain was nice.

View of waterfall during lunch

View of waterfall during lunch

We love the sound of cascading water.  Stevie, Soapy Smith Duck’s dog, is with us.   Stevie knows that the container contains lunch treats for her.

Stevie is hoping for leftovers.

Stevie is hoping for leftovers.

The Stanley Hotel was the inspiration for Stephen King’s novel, The Shining.  Although the original movie was not filmed at The Stanley, Stephen King later produced a mini series of The Shining, that was filmed here at this hotel.   This is the doll house that was used in the TV mini series.

Doll House from The Shining mini series

Doll House from The Shining mini series

Many movies have been filmed here, including the comedy, Dumb and Dumber.   As you can see, the natural setting of this hotel is film worthy and the hotel itself, rumored to be haunted, is also beautiful and photogenic.   In the lobby we liked this 1910 Stanley Steamer, Model 60.

1910 Stanley Steamer

1910 Stanley Steamer

Freelan Oscar Stanley (F.O. Stanley) and his twin brother, Francis Edgar Stanley owned Stanley Dry Plate Company which produced plates for photography and later the owned Stanley Motor Carriage Company which produced the Stanley Steamer.    This is the bar of the Stanley Hotel, which has been in films, including Dumb and Dumber.

Bar at Stanley Hotel

Bar at Stanley Hotel

On previous visits we have enjoyed lunch here at these tables.

Eating area in bar

Eating area in bar

This hotel opened in 1909 as a guest house for F.O. Stanley’s wealthy friends from the eastern part of the United States.   F.O. Stanley was diagnosed with tuberculous in 1903.   The recommended treatment at that time was relaxation and clean air.   Like many with TB, F.O. Stanley spent summers in the Colorado mountains.   The public restrooms have old elegance.

Public ladies room has old fashioned elegance

Public ladies room has old fashioned elegance

When the Stanley Hotel opened in 1909, it featured a hydraulic elevator, dual electric and gas lighting and was the first hotel in the west to have telephones in every room.  In the evening we enjoyed a performance by Aiden Sinclair of Illusions of the Passed.

Waiting for Illusionist, Aiden Sinclair

Waiting for Illusionist, Aiden Sinclair

We did not take photos during the performance.   The show was very good.   If it was magic, is appeared very real.   Ghosts of the past were called and answered by causing bells to ring.   If you visit The Stanley, we recommend this show.   However, on our next visit we will take the evening ghost tour.    Many believe the hotel is haunted and say they have seen ghosts.   Primarily ghosts of happy children on the fourth floor.   Soapy and his mom took the tour a few years ago, but will all hope to go again.   We ate a leisurely breakfast on the front porch while enjoying this view.

View from terrace while eating breakfast at Stanley Hotel

View from terrace while eating breakfast at Stanley Hotel

Later we walked around the hotel grounds and saw this bronze elk.

Colorado Traveling Ducks on bronze elk

Colorado Traveling Ducks on bronze elk

It did make us smile.   October, 2014 we were here and the lawn of The Stanley was a temporary home to a herd of elk.

Elk herd on the Stanley lawn in 2014

Elk herd on the Stanley lawn in 2014

In the fall, the elk often roam all over town and then return to the nearby Rocky National Park.   Before leaving for Denver, we took one more photo, showing Lake Estes and the fabulous Colorado Rocky Mountains.

From Stanley Hotel view of Lake Estes and Colorado's Rocky Mountains

From Stanley Hotel view of Lake Estes and Colorado’s Rocky Mountains

We hope you visit here soon and also enjoy the spectacular views.