My Trip to See Bishop's Castle
Rural America -- Gruver, TX
The Merc in Kenton, OK
Inside the Merc
My cabin just behind the Merc
Inside the cabin
What now? No more pavement
This unpaved road has great isolation
More isolation
Finally, seventeen miles later
The MTF Group parked at the Castle (John)
Bishop's Castle
Bishop's Castle
BJ inside the Castle
Don, BJ, Jeff, and Jason inside the Castle
Looking down from the Castle
Gooseberry Patch

The MTF did it again. They posted a Lunch Ride and I just had to go. This time it was in Colorado and we were to visit the Bishop Castle. BJ hosted the ride-to-eat. We were to meet in Colorado City and ride as a group to see Bishop's Castle and take in some nice mountain roads before returning to the Gooseberry Restaurant for lunch in Penrose.

My plan was to leave late Friday night or Saturday morning and take a leisure back-country trail to Colorado. Well, I wasn't able to leave until 9:30 Saturday morning, but it still left enough time to take a scenic route. I didn't need to be in Colorado City until 9 Sunday morning. I ran up 287 to Vernon, then turned north through the Wichita Mtns and across I-40 just zig zagging through rural America. I stopped for supper at Boise City, Ok and visited with some locals at the cafe. I continued another 40 miles to Kenton, Ok where I would stay for the night in a small cabin. The town is very isolated and is the only town in Oklahoma on Mountain Time. They are also the highest point in Oklahoma at 4800 feet.

The store (The Merc) owner advised me of the seventeen miles of dirt road that I had ahead of me. Even though I arrived at the Merc (the local general store) by 6 pm, I'm glad I chose to stay there the night. The route ahead of me took longer than I thought, and I wouldn't have wanted to be there during the darkness of night.

I had a good night's rest and started out by 6am this next morning. It took me 3 hours to cover 90 miles. The seventeen miles of dirt road was very slow because of the washboard condition of the road. The paved roads were also posted slow because of the occasional chughole. Regardless, it was a great ride. I would certainly do it again. The greatest aspect was the solitude. I love roads with very little traffic and this road meets that need. It also has great scenery to boot. I was surprised that I didn't see anymore wildlife than I did?

I arrived at Colorado City right on time, and joined the group to Bishop's Castle. Bishop has been working on this Castle for 20 years. It is quite an accomplishment and you can read about it on various webpages. After leaving the castle, we took a great meandering ride through the mountains and back to Penrose for lunch. After lunch, Jeff Miller and I made a dash back home.