Monday, October 5, 2009

A Castle In the Woods

Colorado has been very good to us so far. But not as good to us as our friends Laura and Wes. It has been a blast spending the weekend with them from the moment the Dod rolled up their street.

Oh, and then there's Dharma, the best pups in the world.
After finding a nice spot on the street for the Dod to rest for a few days we headed inside our hosts' wonderful apartment, with a beautiful view, a hot shower and comfortable bed.
After Laura got home from work we headed into town for dinner and drinks. But first we stopped at the Garden of the Gods.

Giant red rocks rise out of the ground here, creating huge natural monuments. And in Colorado Springs this is a city park. Free to enter and enjoy.
We also found another balancing rock that wasn't a complete letdown.
After driving through some historic neighborhoods tucked away on the side of a mountain we stopped for pizza and beers.
After stuffing our faces we hit the town, Old Colorado to be exact, and hopped between a couple of excellent bars: Meadow Muffins and Thunder and Buttons.
The next day we hit the road, only this time we were both passengers along for the ride. We took the road less traveled through the mountains and stopped for a breathtaking photo-op.

We drove through tiny mountain villages and gawked at huge mountain mansions before finally stopping for dinner and, of course, more beers at Tommyknockers Brewery.
But nothing could prepare us for the spectacle we would witness on Sunday.

Bishop's castle.
Jim Bishop acquires 2.5 acres in the middle of the San Isabel national forest when he was 15 years old due to an archaic law. For years the government had challenged his ownership and tried to take the land away, to no avail. Mr. Bishop has since devoted his life to a single project. The building of a giant castle, by hand, with no help. It is like a giant McDonald's Playground for adults.
Little can be said of this giant F-U to the Government that can capture the true scope of this statement. However, Mr. Bishop has much to say, and it is scrawled all over boards set strategically around the property. And he stipulates that visitors must read all signs. And also that no feds or drunk taxpayers are allowed.

That's castle builder Jim Bishop in the top-left corner with the chainsaw.

It truly is life as art, and with no sarcasm in my voice, his devotion and commitment are a true inspiration.
We spent the rest of sunday watching movies and eating a delicious dinner of grilled BBQ chicken and cheesy potatoes.
We've decided to stay an extra day to help celebrate Wes' birthday with a grand sushi dinner. And to do a little laundry, too.
Until next time, safe travels.


  1. I want to live in that castle. It's like a living room fort if nature was your living room.

  2. We truly enjoyed being a part of your adventure! Very sad to see you go but so excited to witness your "Great American Love Story"!! Come back any time!

  3. Greetings from Chicago! Hello Nikki and Chris. Your pictures look great. Too bad you guys encountered the storm in Wyoming but dont worry, Yellow stone aint going nowhere! Hahaha, well Nikki I miss you and think of you all the time. Hope to see you soon (or the holidays) Love Jackie Zavala