Colorado Road Trip

The tater takes time for a photo op at the highest Suspension Bridge on the planet

With the downturn of the Economy of 2007/2008, Spud's travel budget was severely strained. Normally a frugal traveller with a penchant for exploring faraway lands, finances would dictate that he look for places closer to home to visit.

As Spud opened his Atlas to decide where he would venture next, he was surprised to realize that he had never been to the neighbouring state of Colorado. That sealed it; his next adventure would be a road trip to the Rocky Mountain state.

Scanning his state map at a truck stop, an interesting site caught his eye: the Royal Gorge; home to the world's highest suspension bridge. That would be the first stop on his agenda.

The Royal Gorge Bridge rests between the gorge walls some 1053 feet above the Arkansas river in Southern Colorado. Built in 1929 at the beginning of the Great Depression, the bridge is widely revered as an engineering marvel capable of supporting almost 2 million pounds of weight. Good thing as the tato hogged down a few funnel cakes while he was there.

Returning to the map, the tuber spotted the town of Glenwood Springs. This town lingered in the side dish's memory as being the final resting spot of one of the icons of the Old West and certainly necessitated a visit.

The town of Glenwood Springs is best known for its most famous resident: the infamous gunfighting gambler, Doc Holliday

When Spud had visited Tombstone, Arizona years before, he learned that Doc Holliday was one of the good friends of famed lawman Wyatt Earp & was involved in the greatest gunfight in history: the shootout at the OK Corral.

Holliday had contracted tuberculosis from his Mother at an early age and although he was a trained dentist, he soon found that coughing up phlegm all over his patients didn't bode well for building a business. A career change was in order, so he decided to switch professions to that of a gambler. Since Holliday's health was in rapid decline, he also developed a short temper which led to his many gun battles.

Spud reads the ambiguous location marker for Doc Holliday

After his swan song at the OK Corral, Doc made his way north to Glenwood Springs in the hope that its sulphur springs would be therapeutic and remedy his rampant illness. Unfortunately, it was not meant to be and the gunfighter died soon after arriving.

The townsfolk buried their notorious resident in the Linwood cemetery just on the fringes of the town, but the exact location of the plot is unknown. Spud figured the townfolk must have had the foresight to know that Holliday's body parts likely would have been dug up and sold on eBay by now had the real burial location been disclosed.

Instead, a monument to Holliday was all the tato found when he made the pilgrimage to the burial ground.

Next stop on the itinerary was the mountain resort town of Estes Park. Spud had booked a few nights at the region's stately Stanley Hotel, which the tato had heard was the inspiration for the 'Overlook Hotel' in Stephen King's masterwork: The Shining

Inside the grand hotel was nice but for Spud it did not seem to spark any similarities to King's hotel depicted in the novel.

Spud checks out the inspriation to Stephen King's The Shining

The travel brochure touted it as an "impeccable grand mansion quietly nested in the wilderness", but the side dish found that to be rather misleading.

For one, the hotel was far from impeccable, as the carpets in the hallway were stained red and were 'squishy' to walk on.

Secondly, it was anything else but quiet. Kids were making noise at all hours of the day and night; either driving their 'big wheels' erratically up and down the corridors, or endlessly chanting "RED RUM" over and over. The tuber was thankful he didn't have ears.

One night was all he could handle and the tuber decided to check out the next day.

The final stop on the Colorado Road Trip would be the town of South Park.

Spud was a big fan of the TV show of the same name and had always wanted to visit there. Plus, he had heard that one of South Park's clinics, 'Tom's Rhinoplasty', was a highly respected centre for Plastic Surgery. The tuber's fracture that he received in 1990 was giving him headaches and he figured he'd make the journey to see if some repairs could be made. Besides, Spud had always wanted to ask the show's star, Eric Cartman, how he was able to walk without having any apparent legs.

On the map Spud found a tiny dot indicating South Park City and fired up the car to begin his sojourn. Upon arriving a few hours later the tater was surprised to see how small the settlement was.

South Park City turned out to be nothing more than a collection of about 15 buildings; most in disrepair and at least 75 years old on average. The town also appeared to be devoid of any people.

Scanning the storefronts, the tato did not see Tom's Rhinoplasty or any recognizable shops from the television program. The tater soon started to think that he was in the wrong town until he noticed the South Park Chamber of Commerce, where its sign depicted some characters from the show.

There goes the nieghbourhood

He was definitely in the right place, but couldn't understand why there was no one to be found.

As Spud got out of the car, he was greeted by a foul stench that was so overpowering he had to remove his nose to avoid passing out. It could only mean one thing; Mr. Hankey must have come and brought his unique spirit of Christmas to the town. As much as Spud enjoyed the holiday season, he enjoyed the fresh smell of Febreeze more, so it was time to head home.


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