Cool Places in America~ Bishop Castle Rye Colorado.

Its your favorite child travel adviser, Tyler,  once again bringing you the best in last minute vacations. Your road trip planner for the weekend getaway to the coolest and strangest places in America. How do I know about them all? My parents are contract workers in the software industry and keep moving the family every 6 months….

My parents had taken us back to Colorado a second time. This time we went to Pueblo and not Durango. The people were friendlier in Pueblo. I even went looking for the place that prints that catalog on how to get free stuff from the government, but the coolest thing I found was the castle.

South of Pueblo is the city of Rye. This is where the Bishop Castle is built. Jim Bishop bought the land when he was 15 for $450. Then in 1969 began construction of the castle. It started out a s a one room stone cottage for him and his new wife when he was 25. Neighbors told him what he was building looked like a castle, so he just went along with the idea…  To this day he is still building new additions to the castle on the weekends. He even has a fire breathing dragon attached to it. The fire powered from an old hot air balloon burner. The castle is free to visit, but you can donate for its continued construction and a local charity that supports heart operations on newborn children.

Here are the directions:

The easiest way to get to Bishop Castle is from I-25. Take exit #74 at Colorado City and head towards the mountains. (right off the exit ramp from the north and left off the exit ramp from the south) This puts you on Colorado state highway 165 and it’s 24 miles without a turn to the Castle. You will see signs for the castle as you come upon it, and there’s usually many cars out front.

~Tyler

To find out more about Tyler visit Salem House Press and buy Tyler’s latest book “Tyler Moves to Gibsonton Florida” on Amazon.com. Keep checking back often for great cheap vacation ideas that might end up surprising you and becoming the best vacation you ever had! Red proved to be always full of surprises…

Cool Places in America~ Prada Store

 

My parents were once again traveling from one job location to another, across the country. If you know me by know; you know this is nothing new. My parents are software engineers and have been moving me back and forth the country since I was a toddler. Strange as it may be, the sound of tires rumbling in the wheel well below the backseat always lulls me to sleep. Anyway, once we were driving through Texas and my mother had my father slam on the brakes. They had just been paid from the last job; some of it was burning a hole in my mother’s pocket when she seen this Prada shop. She ran out and tried the door; it was locked.

The strange thing I noticed right away was, we were driving for miles without a sign of any neighborhood or lone house, but this Prada store appears… It felt like some portal to hell out of some Terry Gilliam movie. I wanted to yell at my mother not to touch the door because ‘It is evil.’ Just like in the movie she would of touched it anyway and have said, “…but it is Prada!”

This small building sits all alone on US 90 in the middle of the desert under the immense Texas sky. After we got to the next town, an hour away, we found out it’s an art installation created by Michael Emlgreen and Ingar Dragset called Prada Marfa.It cost the team $80,000 to install it.

It’s the only Prada ‘store’ in Texas! I guess they don’t sell ten gallon hats, Stetson, or giant serving platter belt buckles…

The intention of the project is letting it go to ruin; letting nature reclaim it in whatever way she damned wanted to. Prada (who gave approval to use their logo and even donated the shoes and handbags that went inside the store) went along with it to poke fun at themselves on the fleeting nature of fashion. When I visit the Mad Scientist of the Pines, he always brings me to Docspond in Whiting, NJ.

 

Docspond is part of an old nudist colony named Nature’s Rest that burned down in the late 1960’s. The nudist colony was built by two masseuses from the Brooklyn who bought the property from their friend Joseph Parisi. Parisi was a member of Murder Inc., NYC mafia, controlled the garbage union after a few murders, and was an anarchist. The nudists and Parisi owned the old Manchester Iron Forge property which they bought and converted it into a aggregate business in which they would dispose of the bodies within for the NYC mafia. One road leading into the property was aptly named Bone Hill Road.

 

Now Docspond and the adjacent property where the hotel once stood is abandoned and nature has reclaimed it. The buildings and nature have this dance going on with vandals butting in from time to time into the dance. The Scientist explained to me that is what he loved about the place, how man and nature agreed to shape the property through time. So after I got over the fact it was a girl’s store; I learned to like the installation in Texas.

~Tyler

To find out more about Tyler visit Salem House Press and buy Tyler’s latest book “Tyler Moves to Gibsonton Florida” on Amazon.com. Keep checking back often for great cheap vacation ideas that might end up surprising you and becoming the best vacation you ever had! Red proved to be always full of surprises…