The time had arrived for us to pack up our little studio apartment and hit the road. We weren't headed straight home, but rather making our way south to Albuquerque to meet up with Yiayia, Bill, and Nana for a couple of days. They have been vacationing out west the same time we are, so it seemed like a good opportunity to get together.
Before we could get to Albuquerque I had to make a stop at a road side attraction just outside Rye, Colorado called Bishop Castle. A couple of friends had mentioned it to me before and said it was a must-see...so I googled it and knew instantly that we would be making a stop there! Oh my. It looked incredible and I couldn't wait to go. (Read the crazy story about how it came to be at www.bishopcastle.org.)
First things first, we packed up and hit the road. We chose the scenic route to the castle, which took us up to around 9200 feet above sea level along the Frontier Pathways Scenic and Historic Byway. The scenery was incredible, and even if the castle had turned out to not be all that cool the drive was so worth it. Of course this was not a fast drive, as we were traveling on winding mountain roads. Of course I pulled over once for some photos.
We stopped at the port-a-potty first and then made our way into the castle. It's an active construction site and there's no real entrance or "start here" sign, so we picked a doorway and started exploring. There were plenty of other people doing the same. You pretty much explore the castle on your own and at your own risk - and trust me, there's plenty of risk involved.
I finally reached the top and began climbing up into the top of the sphere. The whole thing was shaking with every step I took and swaying quite a bit. Once I got inside, the wind really seemed to pick up. But I HAD MADE IT. The dragon head on the front of the castle is 80' off the ground, according to the website, and I was a pretty good ways above that. The view was AMAZING. The adrenaline rush was awesome, and I was freaking out and completely excited all at the same time. I stayed in the middle of the sphere - there was no way I was walking to one side or the other, almost as if the whole ball was going to roll off its perch if I did. I'm not even sure I could feel my feet at this point and I know my legs were shaking.
I've already told Nick that next time we go back to Colorado, we are stopping here again!!