I don’t remember how many years ago the Colorado Hot Springs Loop came across my radar, but when it did, it pinged loudly—loudly and persistently. Originally, I envisioned that we would do the whole loop in one go, thinking we could get it all done in three weeks.
Slowly, ever so slowly, common sense dawned. Given that we are compelled to hike, cycle, and explore (and yeah, ok, shop) whenever we find ourselves in Colorado, I realized that throwing several hot springs into the mix would be “over-egging the pudding” as the husband’s people like to say.*
Instead, we decided to chunk it, and chunk number one was Glenwood Springs, a stone’s throw from Mount Sopris and a town we’d never been to but had heard good things about.
We stayed in a nice campground just two miles east of Glenwood in a place called No Name, where we desperately tried to find No Name® steaks so we could check one off the ol’ What To Eat Where List. Alas, they don’t appear to carry that brand out there. Next time, I’ll come prepared with my own boxed meat.
Our campsite was right on the Colorado River and at least once daily the swanky Denver-Moab Rocky Mountaineer scenic train—which I’m quite determined to take one day—rolled past.
We spent time exploring the city’s downtown with its random Instagram wings—which the humbuggy husband steadfastly refused to photograph me in front of—and other multihued embellishments.
We wandered into a main street distillery and spent a good long time chatting with the—what?— barman? distillery dude? alcohol afficionado? Whatever you call him, we passed an enjoyable hour talking to the guy who takes cash in exchange for booze. We were the only people there the entire time and were dismayed to learn that our observation of relatively few tourists in town was not a fluke. He said the place had been dead all summer, when things should have started picking up on Memorial Day. We all surmised that the economy in general and gas prices in particular were to blame.
We utilized the beautifully maintained Glenwood Recreation Path, which runs through picturesque Glenwood Canyon, for cycling and running.
And we discovered that the husband’s spring break side trip to Tombstone, Arizona, was a fitting preamble to our summer sojourn. Despite what the movie Tombstone portrays, Doc Holliday didn’t die in a hospital or sanitorium. He died in Glenwood Springs’ eponymous hotel, Hotel Glenwood.
Today that building is a western clothing store that boasts a Doc Holliday museum in the basement.
The tubercular gunslinger, dentist, gambler, and OK Corral veteran is buried in Glenwood’s Linwood Cemetery, though nobody knows exactly where his remains rest. Worth noting is the fact that Linwood Cemetery is quite the uphill hike. I very much regretted wearing sandals. I would not want to be a huckle bearer for anyone being interred here, legendary or otherwise.
A huckle bearer? Yes. Here’s an interesting fact: Doc Holliday didn’t say “I’m your huckleberry” as Val Kilmer led us all to believe. He said, “I’m your huckle bearer,” a huckle bearer being, that’s right, a pallbearer.
Linwood Cemetery is not a mere one-hit wonder, though. It also plays host to the remains of Harvey Logan, better known as Kid Curry, a member of the Wild Bunch of Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid fame. His life story is a stark reminder that familial instability in general and absentee fathers in particular have been a precursor to child delinquency since time immemorial. Derelict dads out there—it’s time to step up to the plate!
As edifying and enjoyable as all these activities were, including side trips to Aspen (the husband cycled there—he’s a lunatic) and Carbondale—
—our primary reason for being in Glenwood wasn’t cycling or cemeteries, camping or canyons.
We were there for the hot springs . . .
The journey, in universum: