Published: August 28th 2011August 27th 2011
This sign was on a trash can at the lake near Colorado City. What you can hardly see is the word "gut".
June 28—Today I went to see Bishop's Castle, near Colorado City. (Don't get confused like I did. There is a Colorado City south of Pueblo and and Old Colorado City which is a suburb of Colorado Springs. Having fun yet?) Anyway, I went with a friend and we took sandwiches to a pretty lake near CC. While we were there a family of geese strutted their stuff and I got some good pictures.
Then we drove on up into the San Isabel Forest where this eccentric man is building a castle. I say is building, because he has been in the process, I understand. for several decades. He continues to fight all kinds of laws, e.g., building codes, zoning, etc. to build this place and is rabid against all forms of government. There are signs about the government and laws everywhere and if there is someone willing to listen, he spends several hours stating his opinions so that most people visiting the castle can hear him. The castle is isolated, but in a beautiful part of the mountains with quite a view. It is surrounded by pine and aspen.
Eccentric or not, he appears to be a genius in
A family of geese walking at the lake.
building. He calls the castle a “work of art for the people”. It is absolutely incredible to see. It is constructed out of local stone and wood. Although the building itself is not finished yet, he has startded working on a moat and is digging a trench around the castle and lining it with rock. The building is several stories high with two towers. The steps to the various floors are steep, narrow, sometimes strenuous to climb—and sometimes scary. One can climb to the top of two towers, but most don't. I didn't! One tower is like a wire ball. Once up there I guess you can see 360 degrees, including down! The main hall is huge with a glass roof like a hot house and beautiful stained glass windows. He does rent it out for weddings and dinners, but you have to bring your own tables and chairs. There are no furnishings, but fires have been built in some of the many fireplaces. The builder, Jim Bishop, actually lives in a small cabin on the grounds. I don't know if he plans to move into the castle when (if) he finishes it. He builds with the volunteer donations from
Sign at Castle Entrance
Click on the photo to enlarge to read. Note the sentence just about his name.
visitors and other backers. It is a wonderful, unique place to visit!
July 1 to July 4—Big weekend. My great-nephew Wes got married on July 2. Friday I flew from Colorado Springs to Dallas for the weekend and the wedding. Danette picked me up at the airport and we went straight to Ranger Stadium for the rehearsal dinner. The Rangers are the professional baseball team for the Dallas area. Tarena and Ward had planned a super party by renting one of the clubroom areas. They arranged Mexican food to be catered. (The food was delicious and there was a BIG bowl of guacamole!) We could watch the ballgame from inside the clubroom either looking through glass windows at the real thing or on a big screen TV. We could also go outside and sit in the stadium seats reserved to our clubroom. It was an incredible way to see my first professional baseball game! I have to say I spent most of the time inside in the air-conditioning since the temps were in triple digits, even after the sun went down. Because it was the weekend of the Fourth, they had fireworks. The Rangers won, which made it even
There is no entry fee to see this unique building, but he does take donations. Note the steep outside steps on the corner!
The wedding was the next day (Saturday, July 2) in the evening. They got married in a lovely little chapel with a beautiful garden area outside. With the heat, though, we didn't spend much time in the garden. It was a beautiful wedding and Falon, the bride, was the third most beautiful bride I have ever seen. (After my granddaughter and granddaughter-in-law.) No, I have to correct that—I have to put my daughter Susan in there, so I guess that makes Falon the fourth in line. (I didn't get to see Jacque get married.) It's the first wedding I've been to in a while that I wasn't in charge of something. Nevertheless, I did get to fix the groom's boutonniere which was broken while pinning it on.
The reception was also wonderful. There was a catered dinner of Italian food, champagne and wine. They had a DJ that played a lot of oldies which I liked. They did an anniversary dance where couples were eliminated by the number of years they were married. Joyce and Dan won as they celebrated 60 years of togetherness in May. I really did miss Arnie at this time. He was such
This huge hall is also the main floor of the castle.
a great dancer and I loved dancing with him.
Sunday, everybody wound down from all the doings and just visited. Even the newly weds showed up. Wes had not told Falon where they were going for their honeymoon the next day. It turned out to be Jamaica! I have such a wonderful family and am very glad I flew back for the wedding. Monday, it was back to Pueblo and my kids.
The weather in Pueblo has been very hot and I couldn't do much more yard work. I had measured out for half a basketball court and had moved a lot of dirt to level things. The boys helped some until we had to quit due to the heat. Jim and I did paint the house and got that done, however. Most of the hot days I stayed in the RV writing, reading and painting.
I got to go over to Rachel and Julian's and take pictures. She wanted several to choose from for an announcement. Naturally, I was happy to oblige. I also painted a simple mural of music notes on the nursery wall.
July 14—I drove over to Ordway and La Junta to
I had to take this because I love dragons!
do some sightseeing and to visit an art shop that took consignments. These two towns are located in the desert area of Colorado and don't have much in the way of scenery. Nevertheless, I did run into some interesting things. One was an alpaca farm. (At least I think that's what these animals are. I'm not sure of the difference between llamas and alpacas.) Anyway, they made for some very interesting pictures. I also saw a white donkey. I don't think I have ever seen one before. It turned out that the consignment shop arrangements wouldn't work for me, but they did have some lovely things. I enjoyed looking around.
While at the art shop, I learned that La Junta has a wonderful Indian art gallery and museum. They have built a large kiva with a ceiling made entirely of wooden crossbeams. It is a work of art. The interior of the kiva is actually an auditorium in which shows and lectures are held. The walls were decorated with Indian symbols and some very valuable pieces of old Indian pottery.
The kiva is also the home of a boy scout troup that focuses on Indian legends and accompanying
The two towers of the castle could be reached by iron stairs.
dances. It just so happened that the troop was putting on a show that very evening! I was very impressed with the quality of their dancing. Dancers and drummers ranged from about six years old to eighteen. One young man did a better hoop dance than an adult do at a pow-wow. These youngsters also make their own costumes. This group was raising funds for a Canadian tour, so I was generous with my money when they did a “basket dance.” We were not allowed to take photos of the actual dancing, but I did take some afterward. Being able to see this show was another serendipity moment in my travels. I happened to be in the right place at the right time!
There are more photos below