Follow the Signs

One of the fun things about traveling without a schedule is to follow trails you wouldn’t otherwise pursue. I had a couple of days before my Rocky Mountain High session started, so I spent some time exploring Colorado. I had two things on my agenda, Hanging Lake and Mt. Evans. Other than that, I could explore freely.

Hope Tree, Glenwood Springs, Colorado

Hope Tree, Glenwood Springs, Colorado

While driving through Glenwood Springs I saw a sign that said “Doc Holliday’s Grave.” I followed the signs to a trailhead in a residential neighborhood and started climbing. The trail was about 1/2 mile long and, of course, uphill. The first thing I came across was this tree with the colorful flags I’ve now called the “Hope Tree.” All of the flags had words such as hope, love, etc written on them. I have no idea what the story behind the tree was, but it was photogenic nonetheless.

After a few minutes to take some bracketed exposures for HDR processing later, I continued up the trail. At the top of the hill was a small cemetery with probably 50-100 graves. The signs continued pointing to Doc Holliday’s grave, and I followed them.

Doc Holliday's 'Grave,' Linwood Cemetery, Glenwood Springs, Colorado

Doc Holliday’s ‘Grave,’ Linwood Cemetery, Glenwood Springs, Colorado

Eventually, I found the site of his ‘grave.’ I put the word grave in quotation marks for a reason. The informative signs indicated that no one was sure if Doc Holliday was buried under the tombstone. The tombstone was erected later, and apparently no one is quite sure where he is buried in the cemetery. Nevertheless, tourists want a grave site, so the town gave him one. I also learned that he died at the age of 36 of tuberculosis. His last words were reportedly, “this is funny,” referring to the irony of a noted gunman and gambler dying in a bed with his boots off. You can read more about the life of Doc Holliday here:



This unplanned excursion gave me some interesting photo opportunities and I learned a little about the history of the Old West. Sometimes you just have to follow the signs.

Equipment Used

Olympus OMD EM-5

Panasonic 12-35 f/2.8

Gitzo 0540 Tripod

Really Right Stuff BH-30

Crumpler Haven in a Patagonia Daypack