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.
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
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.
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
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.
travel brochure touted it as an "impeccable grand mansion quietly
nested in the wilderness", but the side dish found that to be rather
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.
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.
He was definitely
in the right place, but couldn't understand why there was no one to
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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