Where in the World Wednesday: Glenwood Springs, CO

This week we loaded up the car with just B and myself, grabbed some much needed breakfast, coffee and headed east, yes, along I-70. We were headed to Glenwood Springs, CO, just a mere 90 minute drive from the house and a whole lot cooler. We were in search of the new Doc Holliday museum which had just opened up. I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical as the “museum” is located in the basement of Bullards; located in what remains of the Hotel Glenwood and is also a clothing/furniture store along with the story of  Doc Holliday dying there from Tuberculocis or Consumption. B is a huge Tombstone fan, the Earp brothers, Doc and such. He’s watched the movie at least 100 times, he has visited the actual town of Tombstone and is versed on what happened back then. So, he was so excited when Glenwood Springs announced the opening of this new “museum”.
If you remember a few Where in the World Wednesday’s ago, I introduced you to the Colorado summer sport of road construction. It was announced the day we were headed into Glenwood Springs, the main bridge would be torn down and to expect delays of 60 – 90 minutes getting through the detours. At least we knew what we were up against. It was a beautiful day, traffic was light and I got to nap on the way. You put me in a car and within 30 minutes I can be asleep. True to Colorado form, the road construction detours where very well displayed on the Interstate, once off the Interstate though, it was rough knowing where to go, where you couldn’t go and it seemed like all side roads were closed. CDOT had people positioned at almost every street closing and main intersection directing traffic: we still got lost. (We have just learned the bridge collapsed prematurely onto the railroad tracks and no one was injured) Once we found our way into and the street we were looking for, we were able to score a pretty good parking spot under a shade tree. Dark clouds looming overhead. It’s not going to rain, is it?
Glenwood Springs formerly known as “Defiance” was established in 1883 and was like most western camps of the time; tents, saloons, brothels and included gamblers, gunfighters and prostitutes. However, Defiance was also growing with cabins and hotels. Located on the railroad it was becoming easier to increase revenue. President Teddy Roosevelt became one of the city’s most famous residents when he spent an entire summer living out of the Hotel Colorado. Doc Holliday was said to have spent his final months of life in Glenwood Springs and is also to believed to be buried in the town’s original Pioneer Cemetery where Kid Curry is said to also be buried. Then there is the notorious Ted Bundy; a serial killer who had been incarcerated at the jail in Glenwood Springs, that is until he escaped December 30, 1977 and spent 17 hours on the lamb. 
Hotel Glenwood is where Doc Holliday is said to have died in 1887 and is the site of the new “museum”. The hotel opened in 1884, the investors of the hotel were anticipating new businesses to come from the railroad which was expected to arrive in Glenwood Springs in 1887. Over the years, The Hotel Glenwood became a lavish three-story resort located at 8th and Grand; it also was known to attract famous guests like H.A.W. Tabor and his wife Baby Doe and, of course, John “Doc” Holliday. Unfortunately, Hotel Glenwood was completely destroyed by a fire in 1945, leaving only a single exposed beam. Which is now on display at the “museum”. 

Exposed BeamHotel Glenwood Photo

The cost of the “museum” is $7 per person and is good all day long, although, I’m not sure why you would need to go back. Like I stated before, it’s in the basement of the store and is just 20′ x 20′. Yes, it’s small. We purchased our tickets from the clerk in the clothing part and headed downstairs where the museum is located. We when entered the basement, it was 1/4 full of Colorado/Glenwood Springs tourist clothing, two empty bed frames and a whole lot of open space. The three clerks who were downstairs were far more interested in figuring out their schedule than greeting us (the only other people in the store), checking our tickets and showing us where the museum was, even though we “shopped” the clothing for about five minutes (which felt more like 30 minutes). When we attempted to go into the museum, we were abruptly told we could not go in there. We showed her our tickets and thanked her for ignoring us and we were off. I have to say the $15.20 we paid for this experience was extremely overpriced.

We ended up having a great time. We had lunch outside at the Hotel Colorado and then took a small tour inside. OK, we poked around the bottom level (next week’s Where in the World Wednesday). We only found a few rain drops and we did lots of walking. My calves were not exactly happy about that either. One thing about these WITWW posts, I am getting out, getting some Vitamin D, some exercise and some great time with B.

But if I had to choose a single destination where I’d be held captive for the rest of my time in New York, I’d choose the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Tim Gunn