Rifle Falls Fish Hatchery with Zeb the Duck

Rifle Falls were wonderful, but mom said that is something else we might like to see.   Leaving the falls, I loved this mountain.

Love the red layer of rock

Isn’t the red layer of rock interesting?  Driving along the road, we saw this mailbox.

Love his mailbox sign

I think the black silhouette with the bright orange is so festive.   Here we are.

Rifle Falls Fish Hatchery

This is Rifle Falls Fish Hatchery.   There is a picnic area very close to the parking lot.   And I hear water.

Riparian Zone

This is a Riparian Zone.   Vegetation along rivers is always pretty and I, Zeb the Duck, naturally love rivers.   Come on humans.

Let’s cross this bridge

Let’s cross this bridge.   This stream has beautiful cascades.

Continuing up path

I love it.

Million Dollar Biological Digestive System

This is a Million Dollar Biological Digestive System.   I told mom to just put a photo of the sign here rather than write about it.   Isn’t this amazing?

This vegetation in our semi arid climate?

The plants are so lush and green.   This looks more like a tropical area than a semi arid climate, like Colorado.   Further up the path is wonderful.

Further up the path

Hearing the tumbling water is so calming.   There are so many cascades here, falling over rocks, tree branches and the river bed.

So many cascades

But this a fish hatchery, but we see no fish.   Far up the trail, past a private house, is a large building.   Inside the building there are areas for different size fish.   Eventually when large enough, the fish are released into ponds and streams.   Unfortunately, the building for the fish hatchery was not open for visitors when we were there.   But seeing this river and vegetation was definitely worth coming here.

Bright green moss

See how deep green the moss is on the rocks.   While Colorado is beautiful, we do not have many locations that seem this tropical.   Well, humans think it is time to leave.

So hard to leave

It is really difficult for a duck to leave all this water.  We love Rifle, Colorado.   The waterfalls first and now this river with many cascades.   This must be duck heaven.    But we have another place to visit, so let’s drive on.

Zeb the Duck Visits Rifle Falls State Park

I love waterfalls.   Mom said we will love Rifle Falls State Park.

Let’s go to Rifle Falls

Here we are.   Turning in, paying fee, parking, and then a short hike to Rifle Falls.

Rifle Falls

I love these.   There are three falls here.   Isn’t that great.   And mom, I’m getting wet here.   But the water spray feels good on a warm, sunny day.   To our left there is a path with flagstone steps.   Up we go.   Now we are near the top of the falls.

Close to the top of the waterfall

Different view looking from here.   There is a lot of calcium in the rocks here, so the the rock wall is lighter color and much softer than granite.   The water has caused cracks and crevices in the rock wall and also formed some caves.

Caves and red tint to rock wall

We also like the red color to the right.   Minerals make the rocks so pretty.   I’m learning that I like caves.

Caves

And here I am, inside a bigger cave.

I’m in a cave

I wonder what animals live here when I, Zeb the Duck, am not here.   The path is going down now, toward the camping areas.

Nice path

You can see this is a nice, easy trail.   We turn around and head back to the falls.   But, look at this.

Caterpillar

On a tree we admire this caterpillar.

Next to the caterpillar, on another tree, we like this animal home or nest.

Caterpillar with trees. Nests?

Not sure what lives here, but it is an unusual form.   Always so much to see and learn.    Back near the top of the falls, I like this view.

Falls. Zeb getting wet again

I am on the grass, but the photo is dark where I am.   Can you find me.   Again I am enjoying the wet spray from the falls.   Back down to the base of the falls, we take a path to the right this time.   Love the water.   But caves are great also.

Larger cave

I’m relaxing in this larger cave.   A great shelter if the weather gets bad.

Looking out

Inside the cave, looking out, I love all the green vegetation.   We were just here a couple days ago, so often in the fall and end of summer things look brown and dry.   But this is beautiful.   Back to the bottom of the falls.

Beautiful Rifle Falls

One last photo, from a different point.   Don’t you just love waterfalls?   Closer to the camping area and parking lot, we liked the picnic area.

Picnic area

Everything you could want for a picnic.   A table with a cover, for rain. snow, or intense mountain sun.   A charcoal grill if you want to cook.   And, my favorite, the river is behind the grill.   Dining music is provided by the river.  Did anybody bring food??   I bet you would love Rifle Falls also.

Shooters Grill in Rifle, Colorado with Zeb and Chanel

We are hungry.   Chanel and I, Zeb the Duck, asked our moms when we would eat.   They said  we were stopping in Rifle, Colorado and would eat at Shooters Grill.

Shooters Grill, Rifle, CO

Great news!   I have been to Shooters Grill.   The people are friendly and the food is delicious.   This is a photo of Rifle’s main street, in the summer.

Could be a movie set with the blue Colorado sky

This really is an old west town with great brick buildings.   But it was February this time, so cold and snow dominated.   Let’s go inside and look around Shooters Grill.

Welcome to Shooters Grill

I like the Welcome Sign inside.   You probably noticed the large wooden carved bear at the entrance.   Inside are more carved wooden decorations.

Wood carvings inside Shooters Grill

Much of the work carving these wooden figures is done with chain saws.   Really interesting to watch.   Shooters Grill is a little different than most restaurants.    Guns are welcome.

Guns are welcome. But, be responsible

At Shooters Grill the waitresses are encouraged to wear a pistol, usually a Glock, in a holster on their hip.    All are trained and licensed to carry a weapon.   Also classes in gun safety are regularly scheduled here.    All are welcome and learning how to use a gun properly and safely is very important.   No alcohol is served at Shooters Grill.   But delicious food is served.   Chanel the Bear is sitting on Charlotte’s gun.

Waitresses at Shooters Grill

Charlotte’s daughter owns Shooters Grill.   I, Zeb the Duck, am with our waitress.   This is our food from  previous visit.

Yum!

The portions are large and everything is delicious.   Mom and I usually attack the French Fries first.   We love them, especially while they are still hot.   Looking around Shooters, we feel the atmosphere is very patriot, freedom loving and very friendly.

US flag at Shooters

The flag is displayed with the pledge written.   This photo is great.

We love this picture

A hot bath in the early days.   Here I am from an earlier visit with my cousin, Eider Duck.

Our new friend Jessica

The waitresses have always been so nice and seem to like ducks and bears.   The conversation was great and our food was delicious, but Chanel and I have to head to our next Colorado town.  The old town of Rifle has great street sculptures.

Horse sculpture, Rifle, CO

Chanel and I enjoyed this horse.   When in Rifle, Exit 90 on Interstate 70, be sure to stop at Shooters for a tasty meal and great conversation.

Horses in and Around Denver

Colorado became a state in 1876.   At that time most people traveled by horse.   Today, many people in Colorado own horses.   Every January Denver hosts the National Western Stock Show.  The rodeos at the National Western are among the largest in the country.   We have horse carriages on our pedestrian mall in Denver.   But, we have many statues of horses that just don’t look like the horses I usually see.   Mom says this is artistic interpretation.   What do you think?   This horse statue is in west Arvada, near a beautiful, new housing community.

Horse across from beautiful new housing community

Horse across from beautiful new housing community

What is in its mouth?  And what is it wearing?  Horse shoes or horse boots?  In western Colorado, in the town of Rifle, this statue resembles a horse, but what is the horse standing on?

Balancing horse in Rifle, Colorado

Balancing horse in Rifle, Colorado

Rifle is a great western town.   I like Rifle.   West of Denver and south of Boulder, is the town of Eldorado Springs.   This horse was outside a sculpture studio.

Horse sculptured in Eldorado Springs, Colorado

Horse sculptured in Eldorado Springs, Colorado

Denver encourages public art.   This horse is on the corner with a Wal Mart.

Horse with fancy feet.

Horse with fancy feet.

The prancing horse, created in 2008 by Jim Dolan, is called Montana.   In downtown Denver, the main Denver Public Library is in the Denver Art Museum complex.   Here we have a small horse standing on a big chair in front of the Denver Public Library.

Small horse on big chair

Small horse on big chair

One of Denver’s more famous horse sculpture in at Denver International Airport.   This well known sculpture is also famous for killing its creator.

Blue Horse at Denver International Airport

Blue Horse at Denver International Airport

During the creation, the horse fell and did kill the artist.   The artist’s son finished the blue horse.

Red eyes on blue horse at Denver International Airport

Red eyes on blue horse at Denver International Airport

These red eyes on the horse really are noticeable as night approaches.   Perhaps our most famous, and most loved horse is the white bronco on the stadium where our Super Bowl Champion Denver Broncos play football.

The Broncos play here

The Broncos play here

The people of Colorado do love the Denver Broncos football team, and our horse, Bucky.

Bucky. Mom did not take this photo.

Bucky. Mom did not take this photo.

Bucky was moved to his traditional place of honor when a new stadium was built over 20 years ago.   There are many statues with horses in Colorado and in fairness, we wanted to show you some of the more unusual.   But we love our state and our many horses.

Zeb and Eider Duck in Rifle, Colorado

We did go to Rifle, Colorado to eat at Shooters Grill,

Shooters Grill is awesome!

Shooters Grill is awesome!

but we really liked the town.   The people were so friendly.   This street reminded us of the old west from countless movies we have watched.

Could be a movie set with the blue Colorado sky

Could be a movie set with the blue Colorado sky

Zeb and Eider really thought this horse was great.

A horse ducks can love

A horse ducks can love

Ducks can sit on the feet of a horse and not be afraid.  The Big Kids Corner Bar also looked inviting.

Maybe another time we will visit the Big Kids Corner Bar

Maybe another time we will visit the Big Kids Corner Bar

We drove out of town to visit one of the many parks.   The lake is so refreshing.   Just like you would expect to see in the Rocky Mountains.

Love the lake

Love the lake

The name, Walleye Parking Lot, made us smile.   The humans used to fish for walleyes in northern Wisconsin when they were kids.   The blue color of this mountain lake is just beautiful.

Incredible blue lake

Incredible blue lake

We love our Colorado lakes.   Some of our distant relatives are swimming out there.

Swimming ducks

Swimming ducks

We tame ducks like our water a little warmer for swimming.  Isn’t this some of the clearest water you have ever seen?

Clear Rocky Mountain water

Clear Rocky Mountain water

We can see all the rocks and smaller pebbles on the bottom of the lake.   As we left this park heading back to I-70, this mailbox caught our attention.

Great mailbox!

Great mailbox!

We loved it!   You should visit Colorado soon.   It is a great state.