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I grew up in Colorado at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, then lived in Denmark and traveled throughout Europe before coming back to Colorado. I have two adult sons, whom I cherish. I started my writing career as a columnist and investigative reporter and eventually became the first woman editor of two different papers. Along the way, my team and I won numerous state and several national awards, including the National Journalism Award for Public Service. In 2011, I was awarded the Keeper of the Flame Lifetime Achievement Award for Journalism. Now I write historical romance and contemporary romantic suspense.

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Seductive Musings

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Ghosts and weirdness in Glenwood



Sorry that I've been a blog slacker. Too much going on!

I spent a three-day weekend with my mother in Glenwood Springs, a town that sits at the end of Glenwood Canyon next to the White River. It's a beautiful little place, mostly a tourist spot. We chose it because it's halfway between our houses, creating a three-hour drive one way for each of us.

We'd been talking about doing this for probably five years now, but something always comes up. I'm always busy writing, and there never seems to be a weekend where nothing's going on to set aside. Finally, I decided we had to do this, so we did. Three days in Glenwood, just me and my mom.



We decided to stay at Hotel Colorado. My mom has stayed there before with my sister, and the two recalled having a very strange time. For example, when they called for a roll-away bed, a guy with a bleeding gash on his forehead brought in a bed that, when opened, was befouled by a pool of what could only have been semen. EW! The guy had a bandage wrapped hastily around the gash in his forehead, which was bleeding down his face. WEIRD! And, yes, they brought a second, clean bed.

I wanted to think that was an isolated incident of weirdness. Hotel Colorado first opened its doors to wealthy guests in 1893. Built to be a western getaway for the rich and adventurous, it was built before there was a town, really. Teddy Roosevelt stayed there several times. Made a habit of it, in fact. Al Capone stayed there. Doc Holiday died there. And so on...

It's a real piece of history. I just couldn't see staying at some roadside motel when Hotel Colorado was available. But the weekend was full of weirdness.

Among the weird incidents we experienced:

The staff insisted that our room, the Ambassador Suite, Room 558, was haunted by the ghost of a little girl who'd fallen out the window and died on the ground five stories below. They told us that guests routinely hear her bouncing her ball and sometimes they see her and can even speak with her. When one of the two phones in the room refused to work, they blamed the ghost — and made no move to repair it.

Our second day there we got massages from a guy who told us that the hotel was built on an old Ute ceremonial ground and that "there's a portal to the spirit world on the other side of this wall."

Hmmm.

The hotel's guide about room service and other hotel services was inaccurate. No, you can't order from the full menu in the bar. No, you can't get room service in the middle of the afternoon even though the information in your room says you can. Sure, we have espresso — but we run and get it from the coffee shop next door, so you might as well do that, too.

Every time we passed a group of hotel housekeepers, one of them said to the other, "Donde esta MarĂ­a?" Where is Maria? Over what was basically a three-day period, that got to feel really weird. Sort of Groundhog Day-ish.

Food ranged from great to mediocre to EW! Service was rendered with a smile, but often to tell us no. Circumstances changed by the minute. The people seated before us for breakfast were offered the option of ordering off the breakfast menu. We, who were the very next, were told, "We're not accepting any more orders from the menu. You have to use the buffet."

The light on our ceiling fan burnt out. A maintenance man outside our room, who insisted the hotel was not haunted replaced it. And then the bathroom light burnt out. The front desk blamed the ghost, and the bathroom light was never changed.

And so on. Getting my drift?

I slept in a roll-away bed next to the window the little girl fell out of both nights — and I wrote sitting next to it by day — and I neither sensed nor saw a ghost. The weirdest thing I saw was the hotel's staff, who were clearly working their butts off and yet unable to meet the needs of the guests.

However, all of the staff antics — which included farting in a very small elevator while we were in it and then laughing endlessly over it — made for some laughs. My mom and I got a couple of days just to talk and be with one another which was absolutely freaking priceless.

Life is short. Enjoy the people you love — while you can.

13 comments:

Just FYI, our room was beneath the bell tower to the right. We were on the Penthouse floor, labled PH on the elevator. My mom dubbed it "Pam's House."

Debbie H said...

That is so cool and you are right, priceless. It sounds like there needs to be a major overhaul from top to bottom.

It looks beautiful, though. I'm glad you had a chance to write, and spend time with your mom. Glad you're back, blogging too! Missed you!

Bo said...

How completely bizarre!Just a couple of those goings-on would have been weird,but all of it...wow.It sounds like G-Hog day,The Shining,and The Others,all rolled into one,LOL.

At least you got to be with your Mom and have fun.I think about how much time my Mom and I might have left together & I panic a little.

Debbie H said...

Bo, you are right to panic. Time goes by so fast. I lost my mom suddenly last Nov just before Thanksgiving and now I regret not spending more time with her. Do it every chance you get, it's to precious.

Ronlyn said...

How strange!!! I'm glad you were able to keep your sense of humor about it all. I'm afraid I probalby would have become irritated. :P So glad you had a wonderful weekend away with your mom!
(((hugs)))

Libby Loo said...

I love ghost stories! I might be a bit wussy when it comes to sleeping in a haunted room, but I'd so go check it out anyway. Did you take digital pictures of it, just in case? :)

So glad you and your mom got to spend that quality time together!

XOXOXO

Rosie said...

Gosh, the hotel looks beautiful. You'd never guess they needed so much customer service improvement. But it's nice that you got to spend time with you mom. That's so important! I have to admit, the farting in the elevator even made me laugh. LOL.

The history about the place is very cool too. I wonder how much of those ghost stories is true??

Sheila said...

P. Sounds like you had a great but strange trip! It's great you got to spend so much time with your mom. I would have loved to taken a trip like that with my grandma. Hope you are having a great week!

Debbie H, my mom and I really felt like the staff didn't match the setting. There were were surrounded by antique furniture in a Victorian building, and the staff couldn't carry that charm or level of classiness. Complete overhaul is right!

Bo, Debbie is right. Cherish your time. There's nothing so important as the people we love, and from my vantage point at 43, time moves far too fast. But you have a baby in your tummy, so don't think sad thoughts!

Ronlyn, thanks! How are you feeling these days? Big and round? You must be getting close... And I have to say there were times when I did feel a bit irritated, but everything was just so weird. What can you do? I didn't even tell you about our half of a gondola ride...

Libby, wouldn't it be fun to arrange for a Colorado RBL getaway to the Stanley Hotel for Halloween? We could tell ghost stories, stay in a haunted room and scare ourselves to death! That's where the Shining was set, in case the rest of you don't know. It's about 45 min. from Libs and me.

Rosie, the place is utterly beautiful. I kept joking with my mom about stealing furniture. Beautiful Victorian antiques! I would say, "Hey, do you think that will fit in my car?" I drive a little Nissan. I don't know how many of the stories are true. One woman said she saw the ghost of a bride running down the hallway and that the ghost passed through her. Ew! But the other stories — Teddy R., Al Capone, Diamond Jack someone or other, Doc Holiday — are all true.

Sheila, I hope you get that chance to take a trip with your grandma. All of my grandparents are gone now. And thanks! It was wonderful to be with her and to have her all to myself. :-)

Ronlyn said...

LOL...yes dear, big and round about describes it. Although I was told today that you can't even tell I'm pregnant from the back, which was nice to hear as I feel like my hips are spreading so much they'll soon require their own zip code. :P I'm about 33 weeks now I think, so almost done. I delivered Sam at 38 weeks, so it's a bit daunting to think that this could be the home stretch. Especially since the baby's room is full of boxes and I'm not sure where the tiny clothes are and I don't have a basinette or crib mattress yet. LOL...nothing like waiting until the last possible moments.

The thing that would irritate me most about your stay was the "we run to the coffee shop next door so you might as well too." I'm a bear without my coffee! What poops.

kat said...

Hey Sweetie! You sound swamped. But glad you had some time with mom. =) You deserve the very best. I am sorry though, to hear that the service was a bunch of weirdness. Were you sure that you weren't in Flagstaff? The whole town is haunted!!!

BTW: We are on our way to CO on Thursday night. Having a lodge and visiting as many in our hoop as possible. Hope to see you just for even a hug and a smile.

Many blessings,
Better room service,
Hot esspresso,
love with biggest of hugs,
Mitakuye Oyasin,
kat

Ronlyn, that did irk me a lot. What kind of resort hotel doesn't make it's own frigging espresso? But combined, it became funny. It felt like we were in a Seinfeld episode or something, "No latte for you!"

KAT! I would love to see you and Ray and the rest of the hoop. You're welcome to stay here, of course. I have a couch and a twin bed.

Unfortunately, I must, must, must write this weekend, so probably no inipi for me (despite the fact that I really ought to be there for more reasons than I care to describe in public). I had wanted to come to the rez this weekend, and that's what I would have done had I finished this &$%@ book. Maybe you can have supper here one night and we can have a prayer circle????

Please drive safely, and leave all those Flagstaff chindi behind, grrrl. Smudge 'em right off and hit the highway.

Love and blessings,
Chocolate,
SEE YOU FREAKING SOON!,
Mitkaye Oyasin,
P.

Mike in Parker said...

Interesting blog entry.. we just spent the night in room 558 of the Hotel Colorado (12/27) and definitely sensed indications of "haunting". I did a Google search once we got home and found your blog.

We were suspicious from the beginning that the room was not completely equipped (missing shampoo, curtains, info binder, and even the clock radio). We also noticed that there was an open bible near the door - all as if the staff was scared of entering the room. I might add.. the hotel was completely booked according to the internet, but we called the front desk and they offered this room at a substantial discount. :)

We never discussed anything with the staff since we were just passing through for one night, but I did sense a "presence" sitting in a chair by a window in the living area at one point. Maybe this is the window you're talking about where the little girl fell.. do you recall which window it was?

We weren't too phased by it all and had a grand time with our kids, who slept like babies on a sofa bed in the same room.

If you read this, feel free to respond here or reach me directly at: pink @ who . net (remove the spaces)

Thanks!

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