Woody Creek Tavern
  • Woody Creek, CO970-923-4585

Spirit of Hunter S. Thompson lingers at his favorite Colorado bar

On most days someone will wander into this rustic little saloon in a lush valley outside Aspen seeking directions to the house of late journalist Hunter S. Thompson.

"I tell them, 'You know he's dead, don't you?'" said Rachael Bannon, a waitress at the Woody Creek Tavern.

These "Hunter hunters" often wear black, smoke cigarettes in slender holders and have "gonzo" tattooed somewhere.

The regulars will smile politely and send them in the wrong direction.

"They've even offered me money, but I'll never tell," one said.

Ten years after Thompson's suicide at his nearby Owl Farm home, the bar where he got frightfully drunk, abused drugs and incited mayhem has become a shrine to the writer whose irreverent dispatches on everything from huffing ether outside Vegas to presidential politics created the literary genre known as "gonzo journalism."

Disciples and fans come to sit where he sat, drink what he drank and revel in a manic life force that lingers a decade later. Walls are adorned with photos of Thompson: He sits in solitary repose over his typewriter or cavorts with actors Johnny Depp and John Cusack. His melancholy portrait hangs near the kitchen, infused with the grease of countless hamburgers.

But while many breeze in on whimsical pilgrimages to commune with some ethereal gonzo spirit, longtime Thompson compatriots remain fiercely protective of their mercurial friend.

Read the rest of the story by David Kelly in the LA Times
  • Woody Creek Tavern2858 Upper River Road Woody Creek, CO 81656
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