Mobile Writing Retreat - Day 5

Today, I woke with the intent of building on the momentum of yesterdays’ productivity, but I wanted to get in some fun and exercise first. So, I went for a run along the river…

 Running along this was a great way to start the day

Running along this was a great way to start the day

That extended into a hike…

 Looking back down the path on my way up to the cemetery 

Looking back down the path on my way up to the cemetery 

to the Linwood Cemetery, where I paid my respects to the legendary John Henry Holliday, better known as “Doc.” For those of you unaware of this great native Georgian, you are banned from the blog until watching Tombstone to gain an appreciation of this hard-drinking, gun-slinging philosopher, best known for leaving dentistry to team up with Wyatt Earp to mete out justice.  

 Doc's marker - they don't actually know the exact location of his grave

Doc's marker - they don't actually know the exact location of his grave

The hike was short, but steep, and I was glad to have Doc’s grave as an excuse to stand still and take a breather before beginning my descent. I worked my way down, along the river, and back up to the hotel on the other side, barely beating the addition of the heat to the grade and elevation’s assault on my pace. After just a few miles, I understood why this environment, paired with a legendary coach, positioned the University of Colorado as one of the greatest cross-country teams ever (I highly recommend Running with the Buffaloes for more on them).

I settled in at the Sacred Grounds coffee shop (second in name only to Deja Brew elsewhere in town) to generate another 596 new words and send a manuscript off to some co-authors (finally, a feeling of legitimate accomplishment on the trip!). Then, I meandered a few blocks for lunch. Apparently, remote professionals aren’t as common here, as my “Can I work here for a bit” inquiry was met with a confused “You want a job?!” from the bartender. After sorting that out and fueling myself with a sandwich and probably my 10th different craft IPA for the journey (I think there is a brewery in every town in America now), I wrote up a review for a journal and submitted it for another notch in the productivity belt. For this, I rewarded myself with some exploration around town and a nap before spending the evening chatting with visitors at the hotel bar. It was here that I heard, for the first time in my life, the question, “Have you seen any ghosts yet?”

 The building in the distance with the two towers is the Hotel Colorado

The building in the distance with the two towers is the Hotel Colorado

Apparently, the Hotel Colorado is a hot bed for paranormal activity. It’s an impressive building, having opened in 1893 with much fanfare and $850,000 price tag (the equivalent of $22,641,768 today – but I’ll note that I doubt it could be built for anywhere close to that). In subsequent years, it earned the nickname White House of the West by hosting Presidents Hoover, Taft, and Roosevelt (of the Teddy variety). In fact, legend has it that the name for the favorite among children’s stuffed toys originated here with the gift of a hand-sewn bear from the staff to the president. Later, the hotel would play host to a famous mobster, as well as the Mayo brothers (of the clinic fame) during their investigation of the healing properties of the hot springs (NOTE: the springs also drew Doc Holliday to Glenwood, as he hoped it would help with his battle against TB).

 Hot Springs Pool - slightly different vibe than what Doc and the Mayos were seeking. 

Hot Springs Pool - slightly different vibe than what Doc and the Mayos were seeking. 

Less touted, and without a newspaper clipping adorning the walls like the above, is the hotel’s claim to the site of the deadly end of a lover’s quarrel. The room where the murders took place has been converted into storage, apparently forcing the ghosts to roam the halls. Interestingly, the after(night)life crowd has grown over the years, with reports of apparitions playing ball, smoking cigars, riding the elevator, and generally annoying patrons between the hours of 2:00 and 4:00 am. Among the most-reported areas for ghostly encounters? My end of the third floor. Armed with that knowledge, I retired to my room for some sleep (I hoped).