Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Colorado Chronicles: Christmas at the Zoo and FREE Fishin' Tips

'Tis the season to be jolly and locations all over the USA are getting into the swing of things. One place that's really swingin' is the Pueblo Zoo in Southern Colorado. Each year, the Pueblo Zoo puts on a light show of a different stripe. It's called ElectriCritters. To see exactly what I'm talking about, click here and look at the animated wolves (or coyotes). Can you imagine lots of displays like this one and more than a quarter million other lights, too? Top that off with a great Pueblo Zoo experience observing over 140 species of animals and Christmas music playing in the background, and you've got yourself some memories that'll last a lifetime.You can get more information on dates, times and admission prices on the Pueblo Zoo's web site.

I would be remiss if I didn't include this information. If Santa is bringing you a new rod and reel for Christmas and you'll be in the Pueblo area, follow the road running beside the Arkansas River going west of town to a small town called Texas Creek. Find a safe place to park on the side of the road and get ready for some real good trout fishing. Be sure to use light line (6lb test at the most) and an in-line spinner bait like Panther-Martin or Mepps. Chunk your bait upstream into an eddy and retrieve it just a little bit faster than the flow of the river and hang on. There are some large brown trout in there. An added bonus: the last time I was there I was just across the river from a family of mountain goats stopping by for a sip of water. Don't be like me and not have a camera at the ready. You can thank me later.

Maine Minutiae: Dashing Through the Snow...

Over the last few days, we have seen some of the most incredible Christmas displays in Maine. Like this one. Or this one. Two tremendous displays, no doubt. I thought, however, that we would change gears and get into a Christmas tradition that was around waaaaaaayyyyyy before Christmas lights, yet it's not something that we typically think about during the Yuletide season. At least those of us from the South. I am talking about a good old fashion sleigh ride. With snow, horses and everything.

 My super human Google Fu again led me to the information I needed. Behold the fruits of my Google Fu labors!
  •  High View Farm - High View Farm in Harrison, Maine has been in the Winslow family since 1810! That's only thirty-four years after the Declaration of Independence! To put it another way, Abe Lincoln was one year old and thirteen years before Maine became a state! Those facts alone warrant a visit to High View Farm. I am blown away by it all and my fingers are tongue-tied.
  • Meadow Creek Farm - These guys give wagon rides and sleigh rides as well, with Belgian Draft Horses doing the pulling. These horses weigh about 2000 pounds each! Wow! Meadow Creek also offers youm the choice of having the rides at your location or right there on Meadow Creek Farm where your ride will be a bit more private.
  • Rockin' Horse Stables - Another great choice for your sleigh or wagon ride. I noticed on their home page some testimonials from customers past. All are effusive in their praise for the crew at Rockin' Horse Stables. The guys at RHS will also be glad to host your own private event, like weddings and the like.
I want to mention up front that the sleigh and wagon rides are a bit a pricey, so click on the links above to get all the pertinent information. The cost be damned, a sleigh ride through the snow-covered Maine countryside would provide you with a lifetime of memories and something your kids or grand kids would cherish forever.

Dashing through the snow , in a one horse open sleigh....

Texas Tidbits: Prairie Lights 2010 !

Tunnel of Lights
As we continue our Christmas Tour through Texas, we are going to see what's up in Grand Prairie. The last time I was in the Metroplex was about ten years ago and I know that things are drastically different than they were back then. One thing that remains the same, however, is the undeniable Christmas Spirit that is a part of Texas and the outstanding Christamas light displays throughout the state, including the DFW area.

My Christmas Google Fu was strong this morning as I searched for just the right post to put up today. I ended up in Grand Prairie and discovered Prairie Lights 2010. This is a great Christmas light extravaganza! The display is located at Lynn Creek Park and is a drive thru kinda thing. Cutting a two mile path through the park, with over 600 lighting displays and four million lights, Prairie lights should be on the To Do List for every family within 100 miles of the park.

From, we get this: "During your visit to Holiday Village take the time to experience the Holiday Magic Theater. See more than 500,000 lights dance, chase and transform from one scene to another all right before your eyes.
See more than 500,000 lights dance, chase and transform from one scene to another all right before your eyes." There's a neat video giving you a virtual tour of Prairie Lights 2010 and it's definitely worth the four minutes of your time to view it.

Half way through the drive through Holiday Village, you can stop and grab hot dog and a soft drink AND get pictures of your kids with Santa!! The best part of this Christmas light magic is that it takes place on the shores of Joe Pool Lake!

After reading this post and looking at some photos and videos from the Prairie Lights 2010 web site, how can you not make plans to experience this magnificent Christmas celebration in lights?

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All Original Material © Toby Shoemaker