Tea And Tree

 Posted by at 2:33 am  Nick's Blog
Jun 192013

I spent the last few days working on a new book project and finished it Monday night so I needed to get away from my desk for a while. Yesterday was a day for tea and tree. Celestial Tea and Leanin’ Tree, that is.

Celestial Seasonings is located a short distance away in Boulder, so we drove over to take the free factory tour.

Celestial sign

Started by hippies gathering herbs in the Rocky Mountain foothills in 1969, today it is the largest tea company in America. At the Visitor Center we were handed tea cups and invited to sample as many flavors as we wanted to while we waited for our tour to begin. There were also displays, photographs, and information on the company and its philosophy to keep us occupied until tour time.

They even had an evening gown, shoes, and hat, all made with tea bags!

Tea Dress

The tour started with a ten minute video about the company’s history, and then we donned hair nets (and face nets to cover facial hair) and a very nice young lady took us through the plant. The smells of all of the teas and other herbs used in the different blends were intoxicating at times, and almost overwhelming when we went into the peppermint storage room. A couple people had to step back out into the hallway because their eyes started to burn in the peppermint room.

No photographs are allowed in the factory, but it is a very interesting process, with lots of automation, which is needed due to the huge volume of product made and shipped every day. After the tour we browsed in the gift shop for a while, where they have more kinds of teas and herbal products on display than I’ve ever seen in one place before.

Tea display

Until our neighbor here at the Elks lodge campground told us, we were not aware that the Leanin’ Tree Museum and Sculpture Garden of Western Art is just a few blocks from Celestial Seasonings, so with our tour over and with a couple of boxes of tea in hand, we went to check it out.

Leanin Tree outside

We’ve all seen the Western-themed greeting cards Leanin’ Tree is famous for, and at their complex in Boulder they have a marvelous collection of Western sculpture and paintings on display.

We started in the sculpture garden, where 25 beautiful bronze life-size sculptures of wildlife, cowboys and Indians were on display. Some, such as this cowboy waiting for the mailman to arrive, have appeared on the company’s greeting cards.

Mailbox statue

This is Two Crows, leader of the Dog Soldier Society of the Crow nation.

Two Crows statue

Terry and I were fascinated by this amazing “junk art” sculpture named Ironfire, which was created by sculptress Dixie Jewett, using trash scavenged from junkyards, broken farm machinery, and whatever else she could come up with. What a talent to see such beauty in what most of us see as garbage!

Junk horse

Junk Horse head

Inside, the free museum displays over 250 paintings and 150 sculptures from over 100 artists. As we went from gallery to gallery, Terry and I spent a lot of time saying, “Oh honey, look at this one!” What a splendid collection!

Museum gallery

There is also a gift shop with a huge collection of their cards available.

If you’re in the Denver area, you really need to make a side trip to Boulder to see these two places. They are well worth your time.

I mentioned that I had just finished a new book project. A lot of folks who read my Bad Nick blog have been asking me to compile the posts into a book, so here you go, over four years of Bad Nick all in one place in my new Bad Nick book! It is available as a Kindle e-book now, and as soon as I can figure out a glitch in the Barnes & Noble website, I’ll have it uploaded for Nook e-book readers as well.

Bad Nick cover small

But that probably won’t happen today, because our longtime friends Barry and Jan Kessler are coming by for a visit. We have not seen them since they were volunteering at Mustang Island State Park in Texas back in February, 2012. And in honor of their visit, last night Miss Terry put together a big batch of her delicious cinnamon rolls, which she’ll serve them piping hot when they get here. It’s going to be a great day in more ways than one!

Thought For The Day – Why is doing the wrong thing always easy while doing the right thing is usually difficult?

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  7 Responses to “Tea And Tree”

  1. Love the subtitle of your new book, Nick!

  2. Great discriptions of the factory and museum. One question…is the Learning Tree Museum free?

  3. What beautiful sculptures, thanks for sharing them, I have put the two museums on our bucket list for next summer when we plan to tour the state.

  4. Yes, Susie, both are free

  5. Bought the new book, love it! I’m always telling my dad and brother about Bad Nick but since neither are into computers I can’t show them the columns. Now I can whip our my smart phone or Kindle and read them to them!

  6. The horse sculpture made out of junk is just amazing. I love this kind of art the best as it doesn’t use up a valuable resource but instead uses things others have deemed to be useless and transformed into something beautiful.

  7. I loved that junk horse! Really, really cool!
    Just bought your new book, glad to have it. Keep telling it like it is Nick

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