John Wayne embodied it in his movies.
Jim Bishop embodies it in his amazing castle.
American individualism is alive and well in the Wet Mountains in southern Colorado.
There are some among us who feel overwhelmed by the increasing population and wonder why our leaders don’t talk about it. There are some who claim that the individual isn’t as important as he once was. There are even some who don’t believe that one man can make a difference.
I have a challenge for you.
Take Highway 96 west from Pueblo, Colorado.*
Pass the tiny village of Wetmore at the foot of the Wet Mountains and travel up the incredible Hardscrabble Canyon with the massive cliffs and the sharp hairpin curves. Watch for the mountain sheep that live in the canyon and sometimes graze near the highway.
Once through the Canyon, turn left onto Highway 165 at MacKenzie Junction and follow another beautiful drive for roughly twelve miles. When you begin to see cars parked along the road on both sides look to your right.
No, you haven’t been suddenly transported to Medieval Norway. You’re looking at Bishop’s Castle, complete with a welcoming dragon, spiral stairways and viewing platforms out of decorative wrought iron. The massive rocks make you wonder how one man managed to place them.
Bishop’s Castle, was started in 1969 and was built by hand by one man, Jim Bishop. If you’re lucky, you may see Jim, maneuvering his small tractor or mixing cement—a true individualist building something remarkable.
For additional information about this site, search for “Bishops Castle” on Yahoo or Google. Bishop’s Castle has its own website.
* You can also get to the castle by turning off f I-25 at Colorado City, and passing Lake Isabel and the tiny community of San Isabel.