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  • Writer's pictureDavid and Jennifer Cook

Doc Holliday

Updated: Sep 2, 2023

Occasionally as we are traveling around and visiting new locations I notice that David gets even more excited than normal. I mean he gets excited every time we are on the road, but there are times where I can tell that a certain location is going to be "extra" special. This past weekend we had to make a trip to Denver and, as fate would have it, we would be traveling past Glenwood Springs. If you are like me you probably never heard of this city. It is not nearly as famous as many of the other towns and cities in the Rocky Mountains. However, this place is a Mecca of sorts for history enthusiasts and old west aficionados because the infamous Doc Holiday is buried here. John Henry Holiday (aka "Doc" Holliday) spent the last few months of his life in Glenwood Springs, eventually succumbed to "consumption" and is buried in Linwood Cemetery.

We made our way east on I-70 and I will admit that the mountains were stunning as we slowly went higher and higher in elevation. Eventually the charming town of Glenwood Springs opened up in a small valley. As someone who loves to explore quaint little towns this place was right up my alley. However, today was for my husband, so we made our way through town to the cemetery. It is interesting to me that many small mountain towns place their cemeteries high in the hills above town. It makes sense; land was at a premium, so the dead had to be buried in places that were not valued at the time, but hauling your loved ones up a mountainside for burial must have been brutal.

We made it to the beginning of the trail we had to hike to reach the cemetery. David failed to mention we had a half mile hike in front of us. I thought a half mile hike would not be bad. However, David also failed to mention it would be straight uphill the entire way. When I say uphill I mean at a 28 degree incline the whole an elevation around 7,000 feet. That was probably the hardest short hike I have ever been on.

This is the sign at the beginning of the trail. I will spare you reading the entire sign. The cemetery was established in 1886 and contains the graves of Doc Holiday, Harvey Logan (aka Kid Curry, and pioneers of Glenwood Springs. The sign also said that this is a rough hike in bear country. It is a good thing I really love my husband.

I did not think to take too many pictures of the trail, but I did snap this one to show the angle of the path we took to the cemetery. The dirt path is at the very bottom of the picture. Plus that white thing well below us is the roof of a building. We really could have used a climbing rope. How anyone carried a body up this path to be buried is beyond me!

Thankfully there were plenty of places to stop and rest along the way. I strongly suggest bringing a bottle of water along while you pause to catch your breath and take in the views. The picture below was about half way up the mountain to the cemetery and gave us a delightful view of Glenwood Springs and the surrounding valley.

Eventually we reached the cemetery, and found the general area they believe Doc Holiday is buried. They are not 100% sure because all the records burned up in a fire in the town years after Doc was buried. Of course the wooden crosses eventually crumbled to dust, so it is easy to see how a town could lose the precise location of people buried in the cemetery.

Needless to say this is a beautiful location now for a cemetery. This might have not been valuable land back in the 1800's, but it is very valuable today.

Frodo even made it up the mountainside with us. However, he was so tired that David had to carry him in his arms all the way down. This pup is pampered!

I will close this blog post by saying that this day was special indeed. It might not have included an epic National Park, or an iconic city. However, it meant everything to David and that means more to me than anything else. Seeing the smile on his face and the skip in his step makes my heart leap with joy.

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