This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. Please see our full disclosure for further information.
How does a woman with no legs get to Castle in the Clouds?
On the back of a motorcycle of course. If you read my earlier post, Lessons Learned from my Motorcycle Experience you’d remember I’m a real newbie when it comes to motorcycles. We have three of them taking up residence in our garage. One belongs to Megan, one to Mike Jr and the third belongs to my brother-in-law, Gerald but we use it whenever we want to. Gerald owns a Harley Davidson and the advantage to that big bike is that it has really big foot rests that a legless woman feels comfortable resting her fake feet on.
My two Mike’s (Sr and Jr) had the day off so we were looking for something for free or cheap to do. Something we’d always wanted to see was a local attraction called Castle in the Clouds. This museum offers free admission for active duty military and their families. Michael Jr recently discharged from the United States Air Force and then re-enlisted in the Air National Guard. Mike Sr is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps. Therefore we took advantage of their free military admission.
Castle in the Clouds was the mountaintop estate of Tom and Olive Plant. They were local residents who built their wealth by building the largest shoe factory in the world at that time. They named their estate Lucknow which was built in the early 1900s at the top of the local Ossipee Mountain Range. Known as Castle in the Clouds since their opening to the public in 1959 it’s an example of Arts and Crafts architecture in New England. This particular style really confused me. To the best of my understanding, it used natural, local materials such as stone, brick, and wood. Its rooms were open and airy and you felt like the outside view was included as part of the interior. The furniture and decorations were early 20th century. The best part about the castle was the view.
Motorcycles were the vehicle of choice to get there and I rode behind Mike Sr on the Harley. With the larger footrests, I actually felt completely comfortable snuggling up to my hubby. It was a beautiful day for a bike ride. After we parked, we got our tickets at the gift shop and then took a trolley up the hill to the castle. After a 10 minute history of the castle and it’s owners we had free range of their home. There were 16 rooms including butler’s areas and guest rooms. I enjoyed looking at each of the rooms, the furniture, but mostly the view. It was not at all difficult for me to move around in the house from a disabled perspective. With a little help, we climbed to the second floor to see the rest of the home.
My favorite rooms were the master and guest bedroom. They were in the shape of an octagon and had round windows to look out at the trees and lakes below. I also got a kick out of the bathrooms. In those days apparently, showers were not recommended unless it was for medical reasons. Also, it was very expensive to have showers but money was no object for the Plants. These bathrooms used needle showers which shot fine sprays of water at the kidney area, ribcage, liver or spine which felt like needles. Supposedly it was good for the health of the midsection. Personally, I would prefer a regular shower any day which doesn’t inflict pain upon my person. To each his own I guess. I mentioned earlier that money was no object so this castle hosted many amenities that were not typical of that era. Interestingly enough it had central vacuuming, a self-cleaning oven, and intercom just to name a few. Outside, they had beautiful gardens and did I mention the amazing views.
Another feature of the estate is their horse barn. I’m looking forward to going back and going on one of their trail rides. First I have to figure out how to get on the horse, of course. I’m open to ideas if you have any.
When the tour was over, we got back on our bikes and headed home. It was a wonderful and beautiful day spent with my boys in a castle on top of a mountain. It always amazes me at the talented artistry God shows us in nature. From the rocks and bricks and wood all created by God to the talent, given to them by God the 1000 craftsmen it took to build that home to the trees and flowers and lakes on the property. We should never forget to tell our wonderful Lord and Savior, “How great thou art”.