On the Road to Colorado
6/4/07 through present

Camped among the Collegiate Peaks, Mt. Princeton, Mt. Harvard, Mt. Yale all 14ers!

Cow Elk in the Wet Mountain Valley.

We left the farm in Missouri traveling I-80 west through Nebraska. Stopped overnight at Cabela's in Kearney, NE. and listened to the many, many, many trains go by that night. Would not recommend this overnight to you. Made Denver and stayed at Bear Creek Lake Campground for 3 nights. Had extreme wind and wind gusts up to 100 mile per hour one rocky night here. Checked in with both kiddos and had dinner with David's Sister Diane, Brother in law Kevin, and Brother Mike. We visited with JoEllen's Sister Patty and husband Gilbert as well before moving to Granite, CO. in the Arkansas River Valley to look for gold in Cache Creek. 14,000 foot peaks surround us, the elevation at camp is 9291 feet, the air is thin.   This is some of the gold found at the Cache Creek BLM Prospecting Area.

Bill and Stella on their new property with JoEllen, Angela, and Kevin Gillett.

Bill and Stella join us at Canon City for an adventure looking for property to purchase. We travel the state looking in Canon City, Coaldale, Westcliffe, Salida, Buena Vista, South Park, Divide, Lake George, Gardner, Walsenberg, Colorado City, Rye and Kremmling. After looking for several weeks, we returned to DeWeese Reservoir, near Westcliffe, and both of us purchase property about 16 road miles from town.


Bill and Stella have more than 7 acres with a well. There are several nice spots to build a house and garage here with fantastic views. Bill is planning a garage for immediate needs, along with a septic system and a driveway onto their mountain ranch.



David and JoEllen on their new property with Angela, and Kevin Gillett.

Our new property is 6.88 acres of half meadow, half hillside covered in timber. Large Ponderosa pines dominate the forest, with pinyon and juniper as well. Wildflowers and prarie grasses make up the meadow portion of our land. Electric power will not be available, so we will rely on solar and wind power. A well, driveway, garage, and fencing are planned to be completed this summer. Many deer have been observed on the ranch, this little one still has spots!

Cache Creek Gold - Granite, Colorado
6/19/07 through 6/24/07

Working at the gold mine left to right: Lynda, Evert, David, Chris, Jade, Brandy, Kaitlyn.
Bill running the sluice box.

The Great MisAdventure returns to Cache Creek BLM prospecting area, just west of Granite, Colorado. David found gold here previously, Bill wanted to go gold mining! JoEllen's sister Lynda, and her new husband Evert Christensen, and her oldest son Chris May and family join us in searching for the yellow metal. Once again, this site is showning color which quickly makes its way into Bill's pocket! A great time was had by all.


Lynda trying her luck with a gold pan.
Every operation needs supervision, and Evert was willing!

A mining camp grew up along Cache Creek in 1860, about two miles from its mouth, when gold was discovered in its bed. By 1863 over 300 men were placering along the stream, using sluices or Long Toms to wash the gold from the gravel. Cache Creek was then declared an election precinct and the first post office in Lake County was located in one of its cabins.


Jade taking lunch break.
Kaitlyn playing in the dirt.

Placer mining proved most profitable and was carried on continuously from 1860 to 1889, when ground sluicing by individuals gave way to hydraulic mining. That, too, was discontinued in 1911 when hydraulic mining was outlawed in the State. Cache Creek was the last mining district to undergo this distructive method of mining in Colorado. Today the BLM has set aside a large area for public prospecting and enjoyment.

Westcliffe, Silver Cliff and Custer County, Colorado
6/29/07 through 10/2/07

Twister in the Wet Mountain Valley, June 29.
Hail around the camp!

Weather has been weird, this is a picture taken on the morning of July 4th with the newly fallen snow on the peaks. We have seen lots of rain (it is the Wet Mountains after all) hail, and even a tornado here in the valley. A gust of wind, called a straight line wind, removed the awning from the 5th wheel.

Bishop's Castle

Perhaps the most famous attraction in Custer County, this structure has been a work in progress since 1969. Castle builder Jim Bishop claims it is the largest structure built by a single individual in the U.S. Made of native stone, the castle features intricate wrought-iron bridges and walkways that cling to its towers. Bishop Castle is decorated with stained-glass windows along its front wall; a metallic dragon's neck and head jut from the apex of the castle's great hall. The dragon, made from recycled stainless steel hospital trays, shoots fire from its gaping maw with the aid of a burner from a hot air balloon. The castle's fireplace vents through the dragon's nose, expelling smoke from the beast's nostrils.

David at the top, 160 feet above ground!

The beginning of the square tower on the south side of the main keep saw the first massive use of ironwork in the construction. Up until then Jim had incorperated his ironwork as window frames, stairs, and the purely ornamental. Now his use of iron and steel became structural, with a core frame for the tower starting from it's foundations. The rock work formed around this base and created such strength that Jim had no fear contemplating the heights that the tower might one day climb to. Wooden forms soon gave way to ornamental iron forms in the arches of the second floor, some of the most incredible examples of precision geometry found in the castle. And the most magnificent feature of all, the inner roof support trusses and the main central arch which are so detailed yet so massively functional that they boggle the mind that this is the work of one pair of hands. Everywhere one looks something will boggle the mind, such as the fact that the hand railing going up the S.W. corner, named Roy's Tower, with all of it's bizarre twists and turns, was hammered cold into it's highly custom shape.


Sign at the entrance.
Is there any doubt that Jim Bishop is a Libertarian? Signs like these are found throughout the property.












Mr. Bishop's anti-government rants, some scrawled on large pieces of wood he displays near the castle, stem from local government's attempts to contain the castle through zoning laws. His uneasy relationship with the government is also the reason you won't find the castle mentioned in Colorado travel brochures.

Our new home in Colorado
7/23/07 through 10/2/07

The MisAdventure Ranch, Silver Cliff Heights, Colorado

Bear wandering at twilight and no tripod.

We closed on 6.88 acres of Colorado mountain on July 23, 2007. Welcome to the MisAdventure Ranch located about 16 miles from Westcliffe, Colorado. Evert and Lynda Christensen, JoEllen's sister and husband, joined us in camping on this beautiful piece of real estate and are helping around the place as we place fencing, culverts and driveway. Daughter Angela and Kevin Gillett joined us and assisted with the fencing as well. Bids on the concrete for the garage have come in much higher than expected, so no garage this year for us. We have rented a storage unit in Silver Cliff for our belongings, and are in the process of moving out of the Denver unit.

A little hail.

Weather has been a bother this summer! We fixed the awning that the wind took off the camper while camped at Lake DeWeese just to have a hail storm destroy it again on August 15 here at the ranch. Additional hail damage includes a destroyed air conditioner, shattered bathroom vent, numerous running and tail lights, and over $3500 damage to the Mighty 350, our trusty truck.

One hour after the storm.

Hail up to 2 inches in diameter fell for over an hour, building up to about 6 inches in depth on the ground, along with over 2 inches of rain.

More than 6 inches on the ground.

Bill and Evert's trucks have sustained about the same damage as the Mighty 350 and both of their trailers have similar damage as well from the awful hail storm. We do not like hail! We can only hope that weather calms down, as this will be our summer home for quite a while.

Fog on the ranch after the hail.
Valley of the MisAdventure Ranch shrouded in fog.

For the most part the ranch is very quiet, as the road leading to it is not traveled by many vehicles. Sunsets and sunrises are beautiful, wildlife is abundant, and wildflowers dot the meadow where we are camped. Deer visit us daily, chipmunks scurry about, and bears have been seen very close to camp.

Bill and Stella's place.
Picture taken from the ridge between us.


Bill and Stella are busy at their new property located directly west over the ridge from us. Bill has cut a new driveway onto their place, and is about to pour concrete for the only garage we hope to get up this year. Their ranch has been visited several times at night by a hungry bear, destroying bird feeders and knocking over the BBQ grill, Bill even fired a shot over the bear before sunrise one morning dressed only in his skivvies.

Lynda and Evert have closed on their land close by, and Bill has been working on their driveway as well. We have contracted to a well digger for both our properties and, God willing, will have water on our ranches next season.



Bill and Stella's new to them 5th wheel to replace the hail damaged unit.
Here on the ranch this summer, JoEllen and I have finished the fence and gate, installed 2 culverts for the driveway, and spread several dump truck loads of dirt and roadbase with the help of Bill and his trusty Allis-Chalmers tractor. We took the hummingbird feeders down September 1st in the hopes that the fragile little birds travel south before the frost and cold arrive very soon. Deer visit us daily, and a suprise visitor was a 4 foot Prairie Rattlesnake. We did not expect to find rattlers at 8300 foot elevation, but once again, nature delites us with a viewing of a deadly viper.


~More MisAdventure Links~

~The Mis- Adventures of David and JoEllen Home Page~

~ Table of Contents Page~

~The Great Ongoing Adventure~

~Spring 2008~

~The Great 2007/08 Quartzsite Adventure~

~Fall 2007~Summer 2007~Spring 2007~

~The Great 2006/07 Quartzsite Adventure~

~September 2006~October 2006 ~

~The Great Northwest Adventure~

~The Great Caribbean Cruise Adventure~

~ Contact Us!~

~ First Year Statistics~

~ Second Year Statistics~

~JoEllen's BeFRuiTFuLKReaTioNS.com Website~

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