Cano’s Castle – One Man, Mary Jane and God

Cano’s Castle – One Man, Mary Jane and God

Just off the highway, in the small run down town of Antonito, Colorado, there is a giant pile of junk that one man has transformed into a temple.  Welcome to Cano’s Castle!

canos castle

Located six miles north of the New Mexico Border, two blocks off highway 285 (Main Street), sits this magnificent piece of architecture and residence.  Since the early 1980’s Cano Espinoza has been collecting other people’s junk and creating a masterpiece for God, that’s right I said God.

cano's castle

Weird, spectacular, out of this world, no matter what you think of this creation there’s one thing for sure:  Love it or hate it, this castle is like no other.  From the King and Queen towers rising what appears to be 40 feet high, to the glass bottle windows and of course the ‘all seeing eye which hangs outside the gate, this is one crazy roadside attraction.  Under constant construction for over 30 years it’s like a more affordable, recycled version of Gaudi’s famous La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain.

canos castlecanos castle

Cano saw us walking around taking photos and came outside to greet us.  He offered up a inkjet printed photograph of what the castle looks like when the flowers are blooming.  We offered up a small donation and he invited us into his home to share a few more photographs and religious relics.  He tells us stories of how he began the temple, how he doesn’t drink or smoke tobacco, and then he says “I only smoke Mary Jane”.  Ahhhh that explains a lot!  Come to find out he built the entire temple while high; Cano says Mary Jane is his artistic inspiration and it brings him closer to God.

canos castle

inside canos castle

On our way out things got a little weird:  Cano started talking about marching on Washington, reclaiming the Espinoza’s wealth and land…then he told us he is living proof that “one can live on bread alone (as he’s holding up a piece of bubbly, rubbery, unleavened wheat bread), just like it says in the bible, I am Living Proof!”, he went on to talk about white leavened bread being the demise of our culture since the medieval times, how women today can’t cook because they are not properly taught how to shop, and most importantly how women should only birth children and be in the kitchen as that is their divine right…..this went on for about 20 minutes as we slowly, and uncomfortably, shuffled back towards the front door.

nikki wynn at canos castle

“Thank you so much for visiting, have a blessed day”, and just like that he was gone.  Nikki and I just stood there outside his front door in awe, did that really just happen?!?

outside canos castle

We walked back to the RV in silence, put away the camera, started the engine, and continued on our route towards Taos.  After all, it’s just another strangely wonderful day in this unsedentary life of ours.

Have you ever experienced an odd, or transcendent, pit stop? Tell us about your favorite roadside attraction in the comments below, and you get bonus points if its a weirder experience than Cano’s Castle!