The unexpected castle loop

We found a great ride yesterday, despite some pretty strong winds. Most of the roads were marked “scenic” on our Colorado map. Our Colorado friend says those designations were all about who had good reps in the state legislature, but this time, they were pretty accurate. One of the coolest parts about the loop was that the “scenic-ness” came in lots of forms – neat little towns, wide mountain lined valleys, wildlife, winding tree-lined mountain passes, and even a gorgeous kayak lake! (Dad – check out the campgrounds near Lake Isabel on recreation.gov. It looks perfect for kayaking.) Here’s a little video highlight I put together:

First, we headed back down highway 50 to the little town of Cotopaxi. Strangely, this is the first time we’ve done this part of the highway on the motorcycle. We’ve almost always been on longer treks or off-road adventures in the Mini Cooper when we’ve headed this way. We bought a new camera to help capture our adventures. The Nikon S9700 worked out pretty well as a movie and still camera while riding. We hope you agree! After spending WAY too much for gas, we headed South on county road 1A over to Colorado 69. The county road winds over some mountains and 69 opens up into some amazing vistas.

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We stopped for lunch in Westcliffe at a great little city park with some pretty flowers. It was a nice break from the wind, but we definitely bundles up a bit more when we headed back out!

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We took the “Frontier Pathways Scenic and Historic Byway” also known as highway 96 East to highway 165 and then headed South. This road was by far one of our favorites for the day. Great sweeping curves, smooth asphalt, and the most bizarre hand-built castle! Bishop’s castle is entirely built by John Bishop and not to any code. As a welder, Bob was pretty freaked out walking on the shoddy welds holding much of the railings and pathways together.

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Coming down the mountain, we ran across Lake Isabel, which could NOT have been prettier.

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We ended in Colorado City and headed up I25 to Pueblo to get back to the other end of highway 96. More giant vistas and more wind. We decided to head north on highway 67 through Florence and were treated to a tree tunnel with giant trees!

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We love tree tunnels! A bit of winding through little towns and we eventually ended up in Cañon City and highway 50 about 30 miles from home. The clouds were out after the usual afternoon rain, so good pictures were a bit tougher to find.

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2 thoughts on “The unexpected castle loop

  1. Wow what pictures…this US is so big no one could ever see it all! Maybe you should be putting a book together of places to visit on bikes – you are seeing country that others would like to see but maybe don’t know how to get started. Seriously, you could do it! Love Mary

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