Our Trip Across America-Part 12

26 Dec

   A Slice of Life                       

 Bill Lites



We headed East out of Westcliffe on SR-96 and then South on SR-165 so we could stop and take a tour of one the most interesting local attractions in the area.  It’s called Bishop Castle.  Located on the edge of the San Isabel National Forest, it is a truly amazing structure.  What started out to be a one-room stone cottage in 1969, over the years, has turned into a life’s project, for Jim Bishop, who has built the entire “Castle” by hand.  As it stands now, the “Castle” has three full stories of interior rooms, complete with a Grand Ballroom, soaring towers and bridges with vistas of a hundred miles, and a Fire-Breathing Dragon, all making the Bishop Castle a most unforgettable experience!



We picked up I-25 North out of the mountains, stopping in Pueblo to visit DiVoran’s grade school friend Joan and her family.  She and DiVoran had a wonderful time remembering “The Good Old Days” they spent growing up together in Westcliffe.  It wasn’t long after leaving Pueblo, heading East on US-50 that we had our 2nd flat tire on the camper.   I guess all those sharp rocks we encountered going up and down Hermit Lake Road weakened that old tire.  We were able to find a replacement tire in Lamar, CO and were soon back on the road toward Dodge City, Kansas.




Of course, we had to stop for a spell in what was the famous frontier town to have a Sarsaparilla at the Long Branch Saloon, and take a stroll out to see Boot Hill, where some of the West’s most famous outlaws were laid to rest.



From there, it was on East through parts of Kansas and Missouri, where we encountered some of the vast mid-American heartland, with its huge farms of miles and miles of lush wheat and corn crops.




At some point we crossed that grand old  Mississippi River, with all its commerce and history.  Boy that sure is a lot of water!  It was about this time in the trip that we had our 3rd camper tire flat.  What a pain!  I said to myself, Come on now, there are only three tires on this camper, and now we have had all three go flat.  I hope this will be the last of them!



If the picture above looks familiar, it’s because I was becoming an expert at changing those camper tires.  After replacing that 3rd tire, we now had three brand new tires on the camper, and we never had another tire problem with that camper as long as we had it.


We continued our travels Southeast, making stops in Tennessee and George, and we were awed by the sights of some of the most beautiful parts of the Appalachian Mountains we passed through.


As we got closer to home, we stopped in Atlanta, Georgia and Tallahassee, Florida.  Part of the joy of this trip was to experience the different parts of the country, its history, and the way people have lived down through the years.  The southern plantations were of special interest and beauty, as they were surrounded  by so much history and grandeur.



What a great adventure we had visiting our good friends and relatives and seeing all those wonderful sights across our beautiful country.  But now we were heading for the barn, and there was no way to stop us.  After the six weeks on the road, we were all ready to get home, see our Florida friends and sleep in our own beds again.  Boy did that feel good!



By the way, remember the freeze-dried brine shrimp we bought in Salt Lake City, Utah?  Well, sure enough, when we got home, we put them in water, and they came back to life.  That was Amazing!   Who knows, maybe this is where the Science Fiction folks got some of their ideas.

Well, that just about wraps up “Our Trip Across America.”  I hope you have enjoyed it as much as we did.


—-The End —-





3 Responses to “Our Trip Across America-Part 12”

  1. Onisha Ellis December 27, 2012 at 3:58 pm #

    Bill and DiVoran’s trip inspired my husband and I to do a similar trip years later. Then come to find out, one of our neighors was inspired by our trips to make travel with their children a priority. It’s amazing how one simple act can change lives.


  2. ludyja December 26, 2012 at 7:51 am #

    What a great story! I’ve enjoyed reading the entire “series.” Sounds like a great time for your entire family, and bonding time for you all. Thanks for such interesting reading.


    • DiVoran Lites December 26, 2012 at 10:28 am #

      I might even say I enjoyed the retrospect of the trip even more than I enjoyed the trip, but would that be quite true? Anyhow, great writing and picture selection. You definitely have a career as a memorist.


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