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.

All at once? That would have been a rookie travel mistake.

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.*

*Read more: British By Marriage, or What It’s Like Having an English Expat Husband

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.

Mount Sopris. Looks like a 14er, acts like a 12er.

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.

Missed opportunity

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.

Val Kilmer’s Doc Holliday – proof positive you can be sickly, pasty white, and sweaty, yet still be kinda sexy at the same time. Source: imdb.com

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:

49 thoughts

  1. Looks like a wonderful time spent outdoors! I’ve heard of this place, although I’ve not been to this part of the state. You honestly should’ve bribed your husband to capture you with those wings– kitschy or not, they’re worth a snap! Also had no idea that Doc Holliday had been in the area, but in any case, looks like you had a wonderful holiday in Holliday land! 😉

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    1. Haha – yes, it was fun. Glenwood Springs is located in a nice part of Colorado. It’s not surrounded by stony peaks like other parts of the state, but it has the beautiful canyon and you can tell that you’re on your way to red rocky/deserty Utah.

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  2. I love your campsite and how it’s so close to the river; it’s the perfect opportunity for recharging those batteries in the heart of the nature of the countryside, far from the seaside throng. As I love western movies that take place in towns with gunslingers, outlaws, gamblers, and saloon gambling and as I love Val Kilmer, I should get my hands on Justice Is Coming! Thanks for sharing and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx

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    1. I’m exactly the same – don’t like westerns but liked Tombstone. In fact, after we visited the Doc Holliday museum and gravesite, we watched Tombstone again (streamed it on the trip). Also, if you’ve never seen True Grit (the newer one with Hailee Steinfeld), that’s a good one. A western for western haters. 🙂

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  3. Oh I love Glenwood Springs! Apparently though I’ve missed some of these cool spots around the town in my times there because I had no idea there was such a wealth of Tombstone related places to see. I really love the playing card rose- that is both very clever and very fitting. And in the many times watching Tombstone, I always thought being someone’s huckleberry was such an odd phrase. It makes so much more sense now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We hadn’t realized the connection, either, nor had we realized that Doc Holliday (and I think Wyatt Earp) spent time in Leadville, our fave CO city!
      Yeah, huckleberry was a strange thing to say, but I was looking up old western phrases and there were lots of odd ones, it turns out. Maybe western folk/cowboys still say them and I’m just outta the loop! 🙂

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  4. I enjoyed reading this. We were in Tombstone this spring, and are in Denver for the summer. Glenwood Springs has been on my radar for awhile. I had not heard of the “hot springs loop” but we have been to the pool in Salida. Have you visited Hanging Lake?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I have heard of Hanging Lake from another blogger’s post, but didn’t realize we’d be so close to it. Once I realized it was right on our doorstep I looked into it, but not only do you need a permit, it wasn’t yet open for the season. When we cycled the Glenwood Recreation Path we saw signs for Hanging Lake.

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  5. This was a very enjoyable read. We visited Tombstone a few years back. Aside from a trip to Aspen, we haven’t spent a lot of time in Colorado, but it looks like we should.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The bike trail along Glenwood Canyon is spectacular, isn’t it? You’ve found a lovely camping spot on the river. I’ve walked and biked parts of that trail. It’s fun to take the train through there. Sorry to hear the tourists aren’t coming back to the town; I think that’s happening most places now. At least the hot springs won’t be crowded.

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  7. Looks amazing, and boooo to the husband for not taking the wings shot 😂 mine wouldn’t either mind you. Also I was born in, and have lived in England all my life and have never once heard the phrase over egging the pudding. Sooooo I think that may also be him making it up 😂😂😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Husbands!
      I just Googled this:

      to spoil something by trying too hard to improve it.

      OVER-EGG THE PUDDING – Cambridge Dictionaryhttps://dictionary.cambridge.org › dictionary › english › o

      So it looks like you have a new phrase to start using! 😉

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  8. You’re gonna need to invest in a selfie stick or tripod because one cannot just walk by beautiful angel wings like that and not post them all over the Insta!!!! 😂

    And I haven’t watched Tombstone in eons, but now you’ve got it on my mind. Gonna have to add it to the queue!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re so lucky to live by so much awesomeness! (Do I say that to you every time you comment? I probably do, don’t I?) Did you go to any of the hot springs while you were there? My next post about the trip will be on those.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I just (re)read (it turns out) them both and they brought back wonderful, and wonderfuliy recent, memories! Comments are closed on both, so I’ll say it here: I can’t believe I missed Coloradough donuts!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Woha, simply mind blowing scenes!

    Looks like an ideal place to explore, looking at all of these stunning sceneries.

    This brings back memories on an expedition I took part in the beautiful island nation of Sri Lanka in South Asia.

    I set out on a journey to explore the longest river of Sri Lanka; River Mahaweli with a group of kayakers paddling for 3 long days.

    And trust me when I say this, it was ‘heaven on earth” from lush greenaries to all the flora and fauna simply captivated me. Read the full story here, https://sachsattic.wordpress.com/2022/07/24/exploring-the-river-mahaweli-on-a-kayak/

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