Tag Archives: Art

Castle for the Road, Anyone?

At Bishop Castle, Your Start to Summer Awaits

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We’d like to thank one of our readers, Kim, for sending us these photos and sharing her story. Kim visited Bishop Castle a couple weeks ago–an interesting way to start the summer. Thank you, Kim. 

You read that right. It’s a castle. In Colorado. About an hour drive southwest of Pueblo. We thought we’d seen it all at Carhenge, but this place definitely gives Carhenge a run for its money. And what is it about Colorado, anyway? We always find weird stuff there, like that one time when we found a dinosaur in Golden. At least he was friendly.

Anyway, back to Bishop Castle…

60 years ago, Jim Bishop had a vision, and that vision was to build, build, build. Then he built some more, then more…and then some more for good measure. He just kept going. Today the sprawling castle that bears his name reaches high into the sky with unmatched views. There’s even a ballroom. We’re also told there’s a dragon on top of the building.

Bishop Castle is a bold and action-packed workout of a tourist attraction, given the spiral staircase and all, so we advise comfortable close-toed shoes. We definitely look forward to seeing this for ourselves someday. 


We always enjoy hearing from our readers and welcome you to send us your travel stories through our Share Your Travels page. Your contributions help make UndiscoveredWanderings possible.

 

Bishop Castle official website

Hot August Nights: Nice Cars

Car Shows Are Always a Treat

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Reno, Nevada is known for a lot of things. The “Biggest Little City in the World sits within a morning’s drive to the West Coast–but Lake Tahoe is a lot closer–and the sun’s out pretty much all year round. As the city reinvents itself for the 21st century, there is one staple to this city that will always be here…

Hot August Nights, an annual auto show, is famous for its display of classic cars and adrenaline junkies. For thirty years, it has been well attended by professional and amateur enthusiasts alike. Usually held around the first week of August each year, Hot August nights have numerous venues in Reno and Virginia City, and it has also expanded to include other points of interest, like racing, swap meets (for car parts), and, more recently, drifting.

Needless to say, it’s a big deal and worth a look not only if you’re in the area, but worth the trip if you’re really into cars!

Official Hot August Nights website

Rock House, Part I

There Once Was a Man Who Lived in a Rock…

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When you’re driving on a remote highway and see “HOLE N’ THE ROCK” painted on a giant monolith, you’re likely to pull over and see what’s up. Aside from a prime example of effective advertising, you’ll soon learn that this offbeat attraction, just a 20 minute drive south of Moab, UT, was once someone’s home. For realzzz.

It took years for dear Mr. and Mrs. Christensen to carve out this 5,000 square foot dwelling. It’s remarkably well preserved from the time that its last full-time occupant, Mrs. Christensen, passed away in the mid-1970s, and it still retains its unique cross between the Flintstones and 1960s retro living. Today’s owners provide guided tours and a gift shop right on the premises, along with a general store and even an outdoor zoo (see Rock House, Part II for the zoo video).

Unfortunately, interior photography is strictly prohibited, so UW has none to show (there is a pic on the official website), but we were allowed to film everything else outside.

The Hole N’ the Rock

World’s Largest Wind Chime

Yes, It Does Exist

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You won’t notice much while driving through southern Illinois, at least not until you see the billboards for the world’s largest…well, there’s a few things to see. Here in the small town of Casey, a reinvention is underway. A former oil town, Casey, Illinois is rebranding itself as the modern capital of the world’s largest wind chime. It’s also home to the world’s largest golf tee, rocking chair, and mailbox, among other things certified by Guinness World Records. Oh yeah, you can actually “ring” the wind chime. See video below:

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Bolin Enterprise Inc.

So who’s behind all this? Meet Bolin Enterprise Inc. (BEI), a company specializing in pipeline cleaning and maintenance. BEI has long called Casey home, and as the town’s economy changed and many jobs went away, BEI invested in projects like the wind chime to attract tourism. This new endeavor clearly works; it did attract UW, after all. Many of Casey’s small businesses are thriving as a result, shining with the adopted slogan “Big Things in a Small Town”.

There are a number of “big things” in Casey, both official and unofficial, and they’re not all in one place, either. Turn a corner and you’ll find a giant birdcage. The World’s Largest Rocking Chair (certified, weighing about 23 tons) is located next to City Hall. The randomness of these monuments makes Casey ever more interesting. One day, UW will return to document more–unfortunately, we only had time to visit the wind chime and rocking chair.

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And of course, we couldn’t leave without meeting the actual builder of all these magnificent things. UW caught up with the master wood and metalworker behind these giant creations in his workshop, conveniently located behind the wind chime. Employed by BEI, this is his “retirement” job (he works with another person, too), and loves every minute of it. He was in the middle of carving what might become the world’s largest gavel when we arrived.

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Big Things in a Small Town
Casey, Illinois website
Bolin Enterprise Inc.

Turning Old Cars into Modern Art

Carhenge: Cars in the Ground, Cars in the Air

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It’s America’s (modern art) answer to England’s Stonehenge. Located in the wilds of western Nebraska, about an hour from Chimney Rock, Carhenge cannot be matched. It’s a must see roadside attraction that is beyond unusual. 

You would think that something so interesting might be near a big city, but it’s actually located off the beaten path, just outside of Alliance, Nebraska. That’s good for UndiscoveredWanderings at least, since we strive to find places that are unconventional and hard to find. And because of that, Carhenge deserves a place on our site.

Visit the official site of Carhenge