We stayed one more day in Montrose, CO so that we could drive our Jeep to visit the less accessible North Rim of the Black Canyon.
The scenery on the way was well worth the time and miles.
As we drove through the countryside in the Crawford area, I spotted Needle Rock in the distance.
Craig pulled over so I could get a better look and take some pictures.
This is zoomed in image of the rock.
The North Rim has fewer viewpoints, and an unpaved road, but it was very well maintained and the canyon views were as spectacular as on the South Rim. All of the viewpoints were close to the road and had sturdy rails or fencing. We have been reading about stupid tourists falling into the Grand Canyon while taking pictures, so we appreciate these saftey measures and did not climb over them!
I definitly had the feeling we were looking below the "surface" of the earth. The flat plain of the mesa we stood on felt like the skin, and looking across the canyon reinforced the knowledge of how tiny we are.
We have been enjoying some wonderful Colorado sunsets.
The sky seems bigger here! I have also been amazed by how green the fields and hillsides are. Of course the brief daily afternoon thunderstorms give everything a nice daily drink, and the build up of the storm clouds is very dramatic.
On Sunday we drove 215 miles East to Haggard's RV Park in West Pueblo, CO. where we are staying for four nights.
I am trying to be sure to leave reviews on CAMPGROUND REVIEWS this year, so if you are interested in knowing more about where we stay, check them out there.
Monday, we drove the Jeep along the very scenic Highways 165 and 96 through the San Isabel National Forest. Our destination was Bishop Castle.
I came across a Google listing for it under "things to do near Pueblo CO".
I could write all sorths of words about it, but the online article at: Bishop Castle is well written and tells the complete story.
The Castle is right at the road's edge. The parking is just along the shoulder. The ground is a bit rough, and the signs warn "enter at your own risk."
Personally, I stuck to exploring only the inside stairs and chambers.
Above is the outside view of one of the large windows. The lower half had a large open doorway and clear glass panels.
The inside view of the same window. It takes a bit of study to recognize the top six rows of smaller windows depicts a separate scene from the panels below them.
The windows in the opposite wall are mostly clear. I assume the plan is that additional stained glass will be added. Speaking of "plans" in the article mentioned above, it was written there were no plans or blueprints used. The creator of this place, Jim Bishop, built it based only on his visualizations that grew as the structure grew!
A fire breathing dragon head extends from the roof line. It was constructed from many donated stainless steel warming plates. On summer weekends it sometimes will breathe fire, thanks to a donated hot air balloon gas burner. I sure would have liked to see that!
We made the loop back to our campground by going through Pueblo, stopping for lunch in town.
Today, Tuesday, is a rest day, and tomorrow we are planning to go to the Royal Gorge.
Check back in a few days to read about it.