Saturday, July 22, 2006

Road Trip, ctd. - Day 4

Saturday, July 15, 2006
Day 4 Mesa to Glenwood Springs via Collbran & Rifle 168 miles

On Saturday we drove to Glenwood Springs via Collbran and Rifle (where Teddy Roosevelt went to hunt bears in 1901). We also made brief forays into Parachute and DeBeque. Parachute is a booming retirement community, but it held no particular charm for me, and DeBeque had no appeal whatsoever. We had lunch in Rifle, where I got a photo of a great sign:

Glenwood Springs and the Hotel Colorado

The Ute Indians knew about the geothermal sulfur hot springs at Glenwood for centuries before the springs were “discovered”by a group of explorers led by Captain Richard Sopris (of Mt. Sopris fame) in 1860. To the Utes, the springs were a sacred healing place. The Utes called the springs “Yampa”, or Big Medicine.

Many famous people have visited the springs over the years, seeking cures for various ailments. Doc Holliday and Buffalo Billy Cody both visited the springs when they were terminally ill, too late to reap any benefits, and both died at Glenwood Springs; Doc Holliday in 1887; Buffalo Bill in 1917. Teddy Roosevelt was a frequent visitor to the springs and the Hotel Colorado (which was sometimes referred to as “the little White House”). The Unsinkable Molly Brown was also a frequent visitor. In WWII, the hotel was used as a U.S. Naval Convalescent Hospital, the only time in history that the pool was closed to the public.

I'm very fond of the springs myself. In the winter of 1991-92, my kids and I lived in Aspen. On Saturdays, the five of us used to pile into my Honda Accord, and I’d drive down to Glenwood, where we all enjoyed sitting in the 90 degree water and looking up at the snow-covered mountains all around us.


Tammy said...

That is the famous hot springs I've heard about...beautiful spot!

Marika said...

what a fantastic trip you've had...had to come home, I bet.