Welcome to our Adventure!

Al and I are thrilled that you have found your way to our blog. We hope you enjoy reading our journal and viewing our photographs of the natural wonder of our United States of America. Let's hit the road together!
Homer, Alaska

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Bishop's Castle and Geocaching Fun

Last week was mostly laid back, staying close to the area and doing some cleaning on the trailer in preparation for our move on the 12th. We did take a day trip to see one of Colorado's quirkier attractions,
Bishop's Castle. For forty years, Jim Bishop has been building a castle on a mountainside in Wetmore, Colorado. We figured it was something interesting to go see, and was a beautiful drive through ranch country  near Westcliffe, a scenic area east of the Sangre de Cristo mountain range. A scenic byway, Frontier Pathways, also runs through the area.

We arrived first at our furthest point of the day, Bishop's Castle.
As the sign says, it has been built by hand, using more than 1,000 tons of rock hauled to the building site by Jim Bishop from the nearby San Isabel National Forest.

This was the sign that greeted us as we walked up the driveway!

Another sign. I have to warn you, Jim Smith has very definite views of the government, and politicians...he doesn't like any of them! Can't say as I blame him nowadays....:-).

Walking up to the entrance

Inside the castle...an interesting mix of ironwork, stained glass and sculpture. Casey and Chelsea didn't care for walking on the open metal grates on the stairs, so they went back down

They're way down there by the "gift shop"

I went outside on the "balcony" and took this picture of the tower...you can go up there, but can't say as I was too comfortable on those open walkways either! You can go up into the top of the tower and ring the bell, but I admit I was feeling a bit of vertigo and decided to come back down myself

The outside stairs!

The castle as seem from a trail across the street. It was definitely an interesting "off the beaten path" site to investigate.

We turned around on the ByWay at this point, and slowly headed back towards Chalk Creek, geocaching along the way. We stopped at this neat little spot for one, down a dirt road in the San Isabel National Forest
The Mingus Family Homestead, an early 20th century ranch that has been renovated by the Forest Service, the Frontier Pathways Scenic ByWay, and the Colorado State Historical Society. 

Ranch land scenery near Silver Cliff with the Sange de Cristo mountains in the background. It was in the town of Silver Cliff that we made one of those discoveries we so treasure being on the road. We were really hungry, and stopped at the first place we saw that had food...let me tell you, few and far between :-). It turned out to be a pizza and Italian food restaurant, with THE best pizza and sausage hero we've had since leaving New York. It was a riot. The owner stopped by our table to talk with us, and turns out she is from New York...I knew it as soon as I heard her say "forgetaboutit"! The restaurant is for sale, long story short, she wants to "get back to Boca" :-). But I am still licking my lips over that pizza!

A few more caches and we were back in Westcliffe, with one of them at the "All Aboard Westcliffe Interpretive Center"

Trains are a very big part of Colorado history, and the town of Westcliffe was actually founded by the Denver and Rio Grande railroad to service the silver and gold mining camps of the Wet Mountain Valley.

It was an interesting and beautiful drive in an area we hadn't explored, well worth spending a day on! And we collected 14 geocaches that day as well! Later in the week, the geocachers all got together on a morning we had off, and went out caching together on the Narrow Gauge Trail, our favorite hiking trail in Chalk Creek canyon.
It was a beautiful morning, and 5 people and 4 dogs set out for some fun and exercise...this is Al, Joe, Tamara hiding in the back, and Sandi with Osaka and Kyoto. Casey and Chelsea are up front with me!

Found one! See the big thumbs up?

I'm very proud of Chelsea with the little dogs...she really behaved herself! 

Is this not the most beautiful morning on a most beautiful trail? I never get tired of it!

Geocaching is serious business! Must check those co-ordinates!

Pups all patiently wait for the silly humans to find whatever it is they're looking for.

One of the caches were hidden very well...some rock-climbing was needed to get to this one!

We finally reached what Chelsea was looking for...the creek! Time to get a drink and cool off.

Chalk Lake and the Chalk Cliffs of Mount Princeton...another site I never tire of...our summer backyard this year!

Alas, it's time to head back and get to work...so for today, here's 
The End!


  1. Beautiful...I never get tired of reading about your adventures and looking at your beautiful pictures...and of course your narration is great and makes me laugh at times too!! Told you ..you should seriously think about a book...;-)
    Love to you, Al and of course the pups too!!
    <3 Beth

  2. We also stopped by Bishop's Castle when we were in Colorado. It is a must see for those in the area for sure. Love the trail pics. We have to get back to Colorado.

  3. What an interesting place and even more interesting creator. Thanks for showing it to me. I've never heard of it.

    I never tire of your gorgeous header photo. You sure did pick a beautiful place to spend your summer. We're still sweating here in Virginia. Envying you those lovely hikes.

  4. More places to add to our list the next summer we spend in CO! Hope the pizza place will still be there. Sorry we didn't get to meet you while we were in the Salida area.

  5. Interesting Castle - That area looks like a beautiful place to spend the summer.

  6. We plan to be in CO next summer. Love reading about the sites you visit and seeing your pictures. We'd like to try geocaching. What GPS unit do you use? We bought one but didn't like it so we returned it. We have been in Oregon for the summer and really have enjoyed the weather and beautiful scenery. It beats the heat of Florida!

  7. Great pics (of everything!) and I love the stained glass!

  8. That castle looks really cool, but I'm not too sure about those stairs, either!! We need to do more geocaching . . . our find record isn't too good so far!