While exploring the Salmon, Idaho area, we had to prepare ourselves and our RV for possible immediate evacuation due to a wildland fire inching closer to our campground. Should we stay or should we leave? But there’s more to this story. It’s not so much about the fire evacuation possibility but the firefighters that battle the wildfires. And, the Cramer Fire Fighters Memorial that taught us so much.
We’ve encountered some pretty interesting people during our RV travels. They all share their stories of where they are from and their livelihoods. And then, we meet other nomads, like ourselves, who have their own stories but of their travels and cool things they’ve seen or done. But when we met a cool group of foreign motorcycle nomads on Urals with sidecars loaded to the gills with gear, we were eager to meet and learn about their own journey because it is like no other.
Sometimes, when we’re couped up in a 350 square foot RV, one of us may need a little solo saddle time on the Harley to clear our heads and do a little soul searching. One weekday in February 2016 dictated one of those days. I went on this one by myself.
What do you get when we add together a beautiful day, a motorcycle ride, and a seafood festival as your destination? Well, we got two smiling faces and full bellies! That describes our motorcycle day trip from Castroville to Matagorda, Texas! What a great memory!
Back in 2016, while we were parked at the Air Force Academy, Dan was called out for a family emergency in Pennsylvania. Our campground neighbors made certain I didn’t have to be alone the whole time. It was then that I met another motorcycle riding couple, Vicki and Rex in the sight behind ours.
During a morning coffee conversation, Vicki asked if I knew of any good roads or day-rides (they had a trike). I had told them about a cool trip to Bishop Castle, a hand-built medieval castle in Wetmore, Colorado that our son took us to see years prior. I told her the route to get there was outstanding, especially riding motorcycles.
Austin heard me talking about it and googled it on his phone as I described it. We all then made plans to ride out the following day with Austin riding on the back of her trike as her navigator.
The next morning, we coffee-d up, ate breakfast and rode out. The ride out was gorgeous as was the day! Surprisingly, not much traffic for being a weekend. Getting there was simple.
We rode out the gate of the Air Force Academy south on I-25 to CO 115 to Florence, onto CO 67, turning right on Hwy 96 in Wetmore. We saw signs directing us to the castle; turning left onto CO 165. It was about a 90 minute ride out to Bishop Castle.
Once we got there, the site was a little busy but nothing to be worried about when it came to capturing some good photos.
Admission was free, although donations were greatly appreciated. There was also a gift shop that helped finance Mr. Bishop’s ongoing build. It’s open most of the time.
About Bishop Castle…
There is nothing architecturally ‘perfect’ about the castle. Its completely constructed by the hands of Mr. Bishop. I’m willing to bet there were no official blueprints. If you’re into the whole Harry Potter thing, this is the place for you! The stonework, iron work and blacksmithing was done all onsite; there is even a room where all of his tools and shop are on the ground level.
Every year since 1969, Bishop has single-handedly gathered and set over 1000 tons of rock to create this stone and iron fortress in the middle of nowhere. Bishop called it “a monument to hardworking people” and “America’s biggest, one-man, physical project. I always wanted a castle. Every man wants a castle,” Bishop said.
Other places we visited while in Colorado…
Memorial Day weekend in 2015, we RV’d to Washington D.C. to take part in Rolling Thunder. This was our 4th Rolling Thunder “Run for the Wall”. While we were in D.C., we also visited the grave of a Fallen Hero friend, CSM Michael Buxbaum, and our Coast Guard Iraq KIA Nathan Bruckenthal in Arlington National Cemetery and the Pentagon 9/11 Memorial.