Thursday, July 18, 1996
Today was going to be a long day. I had eight hours worth of driving time, and five hours worth of time outside the car planned for today. Colorado is the 8th biggest state in the union at over 107,000 square miles. That’s a bit more that half the size of Spain. The nice part of this drive is nearly all of it would be in the mountains and valley of my home state.
We were loaded up and on the road by 7 AM. It’s a little over three hours from Brighton to Glenwood Springs, so after a scenic drive in beautiful weather, we pulled into town at about 10:30 PM.
We were going to spend 5 hours in Glenwood, and had three things to see and do. Number one our list was to visit Doc Holliday.
Doc Holliday Memorial
Linwood Cemetery is located on the top of a mountain on the eastern part of town. The trailhead that starts the half mile long trail up to the top is located in a residential part of town. There is no parking lot, but there also isn’t much traffic or demand, most of the time. So we parked in front of someone’s house and started our upward trek. Dad had retired a couple of years ago, and had recently been diagnosed with emphysema. It was in the early stages, but we were still a bit concerned about him making the trip up. He rested a few times, but my wife nearly discovered the hard way that one of those rest stops, was also to rescue a full bladder. She backtracked some yards after noticing Dad had fallen behind the pace. But careful shielding and a quickness with the zipper that would have made Bill Clinton proud, resulted in only the hint of what was going on.
The rest of the walk up was uneventful, but offered some great view of the city and Glenwood Canyon.
Dad and Mom reading the backside of Doc's stone
Once we got to the top it wasn’t hard to find Doc Holiday’s grave. That statement comes with a caveat. Finding where his headstone is at was pretty easy. Linwood Cemetery is pretty small and there were a couple of people already up top. It was a fair bet they were up on the mountain for the same reason. But, Holliday’s actual grave is a mystery. When Doc Holliday died of tuberculosis in winter of 1887, the ground was frozen solid. So most accounts say he was buried at the foot of the mountain, with the promise to exhume and bury him up top in the spring. No one is sure if that happened. Again most accounts suggest it didn’t. One account I have read says that his family arranged to have his remains taken back to Georgia (Doc’s home state) for buried with his family.
I found that account unconvincing and forced, so I figure he is buried under someone’s lawn, or at least somewhere in Glenwood.
The backside of Doc's stone
Once we found the grave we took pictures and read the inscriptions. I then wandered around the graveyard, reading the various names and dates. Linwood has another semi-famous resident, Kid Curry. Kid Curry (real name Harvey Logan) was a member of the Wild Bunch, from Butch Cassidy/Sundance Kid fame. If you have seen the movie, his character was played by Ted Cassidy (Lurch from The Addams Family). He and Paul Newman (Butch) had a fight at the beginning. The on screen discussion on the rules of that fight is very funny, and set the tone of the whole movie. Anyway, the real Logan was killed (actually shot himself when cornered) after robbing a train near Parachute, CO. He was buried in Linwood, but I wasn’t going to find that grave either.
His grave was never marked.
Margo vamping with Jessi's hat
While I was doing wandering the others had found an old, rustic looking tree, and a new, vaudeville looking hat. The hat belonged to my youngest daughter, Jessi’s. With boredom leading them to silliness, Mom, Margo, Jolene, and Jessi all took turns vamping with the hat, leaning on the tree, with Doc Holliday’s stone in the background. With camera nearby to preserve at least some of that for posterity, they kept themselves much more entertained than I was a few dozen feet away.
With frivolity documented and cemetery curiosity satisfied we were all more than ready for lunch. So we hiked back down the trail and got in our car. Our next stop was Doc Holliday’s Saloon, in downtown Glenwood.