Last Day of Road Trip for Colorado Traveling Ducks

We should be home today, but the weather in Denver is definitely not as nice as it is here in northern Montana.   So, we get another day of road trip vacation.   We love it!   Our National Parks do not allow dogs to go on trails, so we are not in the park today.   The dogs may bark or try to chase the wildlife.  A dog trying to chase a bear, moose or elk may not end well.   We are following the river along the southern boundary.

Driving along southern boundary of Glacier National Park in Montana

Now humans, ducks and Chloe, the Colorado Traveling Dog, can all enjoy walking by the river.   We saw the turn off for a boat ramp, and had to get to the river.

Boat ramp. Middle Fork of the Flathead River

This is the Middle Fork of the Flathead River.   Back closer to the road we looked through the trees and wanted to get to this part of the river.

We want to walk on those rocks

But the river bank was rather steep.   This thick vegetation was green and beautiful.

Dense forest

Not a group to give up, we did get down the embankment to the river.   Chloe followed the humans and now is frolicking and exploring.

Chloe by the river

Soapy’s mom walked along the river looking at the different types of rocks.

Soapy’s mom looking at rocks

We spent most of the day wandering along rivers.   Another stop at Dairy Queen, then off to Bozeman, Montana for the night.   Our moms said we could drive from Bozeman to Denver the next day, but it would be a long drive.   Not much stopping.   When we left the motel in the morning, the weather had certainly changed.

Stormy sky leaving Bozeman, Montana

Leaving Bozeman, we really didn’t want to stop much and walk along trails.   Those storm clouds look serious.   From Montana, we drove into and through Wyoming.

Stormy through Montana and into Wyoming

The sky stills looks stormy.   We had some sun, some clouds, and of course, some rain.   So, humans….Why are we heading home today?    But it is OK.   The sun will shine soon in Denver and we are only an hour away from the Continental Divide and our 14,000 foot mountains.    We loved our trip, but we love Colorado also.

Ms. Ducky Goes to Grand Teton National Park

Here she is.   Still traveling in Wyoming, Ms. Ducky is entering Grand Teton National Park.

Grand Teton National Park

Grand Teton National Park

Heading toward Jackson Lake Lodge, a National Historic Landmark, she and her humans take in the beautiful mountain view.

Beautiful

Beautiful

Onward to Jackson Lake Dam and Reservoir.

Jackson LakeDam and Reservoir

Jackson Lake Dam and Reservoir

A great place.

Jackson Lake Dam and Reservoir

Jackson Lake Dam and Reservoir

The river cuts through the land.

River

River

These are absolutely beautiful photos, Ms. Ducky.

Wow

Wow

We love them.

Beautful

Beautiful

Breathtaking

Breathtaking

Wow

Wow

Beauty everywhere

Beauty everywhere

Driving through the Rocky Mountains, the humans and Ms. Ducky crossed the Continental Divide several times.

Crossing the Continental Divide

Crossing the Continental Divide

Wow, Ms. Ducky, Grand Teton National Park is a beautiful place.   Thanks for sharing these pictures.   It looks like you arrived back home in Colorado.   Your human US Marine, Joe, shows us Joe the Marine Duck.

Joe the US Marine with Joe the Marine Duck

Joe the US Marine with Joe the Marine Duck

This seems like a great family vacation.

Ms. Ducky Goes to Yellowstone National Park

Ms. Ducky, our friend, took a great vacation.   She and her humans went to Yellowstone National Park.

Yellowstone National Park with Ms. Ducky

Yellowstone National Park with Ms. Ducky

In 1872, Yellowstone became the world’s first national park.   Yellowstone has so much to see.   First Ms. Ducky took her humans to the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.

Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

Beautiful.

Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park

This is wonderful.

Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park

The river cuts through the rock.

Canyon

Canyon

The color of the canyon walls is caused by heat and chemical action on gray and brown rhyolite rock.  Oh, those waterfalls are perfect.

Canyon and waterfalls in Yellowstone National Park

Canyon and waterfalls in Yellowstone National Park

Ms. Ducky was happy to see this human.

Joe with Ms. Ducky

Joe with Ms. Ducky

This Joe.   He is a US Marine and she does not see him often.   Ms. Ducky had her humans ride this wagon.

Riding in wagon

Riding in wagon

Where are you going, Ms. Ducky?  The horse seems to like Ms. Ducky, too.

He brought us here

He brought us here

After the wagon ride, this dinner was served.

Ready to eat!

Ready to eat!

Makes me hungry.   Now we know where you were heading while on that wagon.   Great choice!  Thank you for sharing your photos, Ms. Ducky.   Yellowstone National Park is beautiful. Next time she will show us a different area of Yellowstone National Park.

Political Women of Wyoming

I, Zeb the Duck, and Soapy Smith Duck, are impressed with Wyoming women.   In Laramie, Wyoming we visited the Ivinson Mansion.   In 1870 Edward Ivinson bought this city block for his personal residence.

Ivinson Mansion in Laramie

Ivinson Mansion in Laramie

When completed, the mansion had central heating, electric lights and running water. The Ivinson Mansion was the “crown jewel” of Laramie.   Today the mansion contains the Laramie Plains Museum, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Today I want to tell you about the women of Wyoming.   On the grounds of the Ivinson Mansion this statue of Elizabeth Cody Stanton is a tribute to Wyoming women as they shattered the political barriers of the times.

Tribute to the early women of Wyoming

Tribute to the early women of Wyoming

In 1870 the first women were on a jury.

First women on jury

First women on jury:  Eliza Stewart, Amelia Hatcher, G.F. Hilton, Mary Mackel, Agnes Baker and Sarah Pease

In the same year and for the same trial, Martha Symons-Boies became the first woman bailiff in the world.

First woman bailiff

First woman bailiff, Martha Symons-Boies

In the same year on September 6, 1870 Louisa Gardner Swain became the first woman to vote.

First woman to vote

First woman to vote:  Louisa Gardner Swain

If that were not enough firsts for the women of Wyoming, in 1910 Mary Godat Bellamy, Mollie to her friends, became the first woman to be elected to the Wyoming state legislature and began serving in 1911.

First woman elected to Wyoming legislature

First woman elected to Wyoming legislature was Mary Godat Bellamy

She was elected again in 1918.  Wyoming is a fascinating state and the early women of Wyoming were fantastic!   Now I like Wyoming even more than before.

Ivinson mansion from statue honoring women in politics

Ivinson mansion from statue honoring women in politics

Laramie Mural Project

I, Zeb the Duck, and Soapy Smith Duck, were in Laramie, Wyoming.   Walking toward the train depot, we saw great murals.

Great fish

Great fish

Look at this one.

More bright fish.  From same wall

More bright fish. From same wall

The Laramie mural project is a joint venture between the University of Wyoming Art Museum, local Laramie artists, downtown business owners and the Laramie Main Street Alliance.   The blank walls of buildings, usually the back of the building, are painted.

We love Mr. Peanut and the flowers

We love Mr. Peanut and the flowers

We really want to show you some more of what we saw.

Escape.  This is the beginning

Escape. This is the beginning

And…

This is the rest

This is the rest

We hope you go to Laramie, Wyoming to see these murals.

We love the bright colors

We love the bright colors

We saw them in different places as we were walking around.

Isn't this great?

Isn’t this great?

It was fun to turn a corner and see another mural.   You can get information and locations of the murals from the visitor’s center.  We did not.  We enjoyed just walking and discovering murals.

Painted on two walls

Painted on two walls

We probably did not see them all, but we liked all that we saw.   For more information visit http://www.LaramieMuralProject.org   We know you will enjoy a day or more in Laramie, Wyoming.    We did.

Downtown Laramie, Wyoming

Zeb and Soapy Smith Duck wandered through downtown Laramie, Wyoming.

We liked the sign.  The sky looks threatening.

We liked the sign. The sky looks threatening.

Laramie has signs for a walking tour of the area.   We saw the remaining stones from the Bucket of Blood Saloon.   Lawlessness was a way of life.   In the early days Laramie was run by 3 criminals:   the self appointed Marshall, the Mayor and the Justice of the Peace.  Rules were decided in the back room of their saloon.  Landowners were forced to give up their land and miners had to give their claims.  If they refused, the gunfights in the streets leave no doubt as to the name of the saloon.

This all that is left of the Bucket of Blood Saloon

This all that is left of the Bucket of Blood Saloon

The Bucket of Blood was aptly named.  We ducks always follow the laws, so we would have had a difficult time in Laramie’s early days.

The sign said that about 1868 Laramie had 23 saloons, but not one church.   So, St. Matthew’s cathedral was constructed.

St. Matthew's Cathedral in Laramie, Wyoming

St. Matthew’s Cathedral in Laramie, Wyoming

This is a beautiful cathedral.   Next we spotted The Chocolate Cellar.

We love chocolate

We love chocolate

Now we really love Laramie.   This stone building got our attention.  We think the stones are very attractive.

Made of stone

Made of stone

One side of the building is Inner Balance Healing Center.   The other side is Therapeutic Massage.   We like these old buildings.   Albany County Courthouse is still used today and looks very impressive.

Albany County Courthouse is still in use today

Albany County Courthouse is still in use today

We smiled at this sculpture in the front lawn.

Animals at play

Active animals

Laramie is nice.   We are glad we visited downtown Laramie, Wyoming.

Laramie, Wyoming and the Union Pacific Railroad

I, Zeb the Duck, and Soapy Smith Duck, went to Laramie, Wyoming.   Laramie was founded in 1868 when the Union Pacific Railroad came to town.   This sign tells about early Laramie.

Laramie in the early days

Laramie in the early days

We will talk about the women of Laramie on a later day.   Since the Union Pacific was a huge influence in the founding of Laramie, let’s talk about the railroad.   This is the old train station.

This luggage cart is great for ducks, also

This luggage cart is great for ducks, also

We liked the luggage cart here.  There are no passenger trains coming to this station now, so the train station is now a museum.   This sign is reminiscent of the past.

Once this was a very busy train station

Once this was a very busy train station

We saw the engine and some cars from an old train.

Winters here must have a lot of snow.

Winters here must have a lot of snow.

The plow on the front of the engine looks like it could clear the train track in any weather.

There are many train tracks.  This bridge allows pedestrians to cross all these tracks.

Great bridge system

Great bridge system

We ducks are ready to cross the bridge, maybe.

Too many stairs for ducks to climb

Too many stairs for ducks to climb

It was too big for us, so we were carried.  Thanks mom.   This is really a long bridge.

Long bridge to cross all the train tracks.

Long bridge to cross all the train tracks.  It was too windy for us.

We spend some time in Laramie and thought it was a nice town.   The University of Wyoming is in Laramie, also. We liked Laramie and hope you will visit and enjoy this city also.   We are happy the Union Pacific Railroad came here to start the city of Laramie.

Ames Monument in Wyoming

Wyoming has a pyramid. I, Zeb the Duck, and Soapy Smith Duck, saw a pyramid in Wyoming.

Ames Monument in Wyoming

Ames Monument in Wyoming

It is made of light colored native granite and is 60 feet tall.   This monument, completed in 1882, was commissioned and paid for by the Union Pacific Railroad.

President Abraham Lincoln thought a transcontinental railroad would greatly benefit the United States.  President Lincoln asked a US Representative from Massachusetts, Oakes Ames, to arrange for the completion of the railroad.   Oakes and his brother Oliver’s strong support, drive and influence, resulted in the railroad being completed in 1869.   The Ames brothers were wealthy businessmen.   They had inherited Ames shovel manufacturing company.  They filled the need for quality shovels during the California Gold Rush.   They also sold shovels for railroad work, the Civil War, and some shovels used while constructing the Panama Canal.

The Union Pacific Railroad was so grateful, that they built this monument to the Ames brothers.   The east side of the pyramid features a portrait of Oakes Ames.

Portrait of Oakes Ames

Portrait of Oakes Ames

The west side of the pyramid features a portrait of Oliver Ames.

Portrait of Oliver Oakes

Portrait of Oliver Oakes

The north side of the pyramid, which was a few hundred feet from the railroad, says “In memory of Oakes Ames and Oliver Ames”.

Engraving honoring Ames brothers on north side near train tracks

Engraving honoring Ames brothers on north side near train tracks

At the time of construction the town of Sherman was here and was utilized by the railroad.   Later the railroad moved 3 miles south and Sherman is now deserted.   The monument is located at the highest point of the transcontinental railroad, 8247 feet above sea level.

This monument, located 20 miles east of Laramie on I-80, is on the US National Register of Historic Places.   This monument may look out of place in the Wyoming landscape, but at a closer look you can see it was build to mimic the surrounding features of the mountain landscape.

Monument in Wyoming with storm clouds

Monument in Wyoming with storm clouds

We ducks were there, but pyramid is big, ducks are small and the powerful Wyoming wind was blowing us away.

If you are traveling on I-80 through Wyoming, stop to see this monument.  We believe you will enjoy seeing this piece of history.

Tree Rock in Wyoming

I, Zeb the Duck, and Soapy Smith Duck, experienced strong winds in Wyoming.   The wind was over 65 miles per hour.   We tried to pose for photos, but we started to blow away.

Tree Rock in Wyoming

Tree Rock in Wyoming

Lucky for us, the moms caught us.   We came back another time and the wind was only about 35 miles per hour, so we did pose for photos and we saw this tree.

This tree is growing out of a rock.  This is on I-80 in Wyoming, between Cheyenne and Laramie.

Tree appears to be growing out of rock

Tree appears to be growing out of rock

The tree is between the east and westbound lanes of the highway.   There is a sign to exit the interstate highway.   The men working on the railroad from 1867-1869, diverted the Union Pacific train rails to save this little tree.   When the trains began traveling, the trains stopped by the tree and the locomotive fireman gave the tree a drink from the water bucket.

Tree rock with storm coming

Tree rock with storm coming

When the tracks were moved a few miles to lower ground, the route became a wagon road. Travelers noticed the tree and it became a favorite subject of photographs.   This tree was also on the favorite postcard.   The Lincoln Highway, later US 30 passed the tree in the 1920s and in the 1960s I-80 also passed by the tree.

This tree is twisted limber pine (Pinus Flexitis).

Tree growing thru crack in pink marble

Tree growing thru crack in pink marble.  Marble is Billions of years old.

The age of this tree is unknown, but this type of tree can live to 2000 years in this area.  The tree grows out of a crack in a boulder of Precambrian era pink Sherman granite that was formed about 1-4 billion years ago.

This is the tree when we ducks were out there.

Less wind but stormy skies

Less wind but stormy skies

This is the tree when the winds were howling.

Winds over 65 mph.  Trucks asked to exit highway.  Wish of blowing over is very high

Winds over 65 mph. Trucks asked to exit highway. Risk of blowing over is very high

You will like seeing this little tree in the rock.  So many tourists have seen and remembered this tree.   Stop to see it when you are on I-80 in Wyoming.

Rock Climbing in Vedauwoo Mountains

I, Zeb the Duck, saw the Vedauwoo Mountains in Wyoming.

Vedauwoo Mountains in Wyoming

Vedauwoo Mountains in Wyoming

These mountains looked a little different.  They resembled a pile of rocks, all grown together.   We took these photos of the mountains.

Great mountains

Great mountains

You can see the lines, or crevasses in the rock.

When we were there, the famous Wyoming winds were fierce.

Vedauwoo Mountains in southern Wyoming

Vedauwoo Mountains in southern Wyoming

So we just admired the mountains.   Until 1961 this area was used for military training, so you could encounter “unexploded ordnance”.   If you do, do not touch it, just report it to the authorities.   You probably will not encounter any of this, so plan to have a great climbing experience.

This photo, courtesy of the Wyoming Department of Tourism, shows what you can do there in calmer weather.

This looks like fun!

This looks like fun!

This looks like a fun time, but it was too windy for us to try to climb.   To reach these mountains, use Exit 329 on I-80 in Wyoming. We hope you go to Vedauwoo Mountains and climb.   If you do, please tell about your experience.

Tell us about your climbing experience.

Tell us about your climbing experience.