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Rocky Mountain Gonzo: Dr. Hunter S. Thompson’s Boulder and Aspen Stories

Dr. Hunter S. Thompson is known as a renowned genius writer who brought us Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas, Hells Angels, Fear And Loathing On The Campaign Trail, Rum Diary,  and so many more. His ties to Boulder cover decades and are deep.  The father of Gonzo Journalism,  Thompson lived in Boulder for some time, particularly in the early 1960s. He rented a house in the town of Woody Creek, near Aspen, but frequently spent time in Boulder. His time in Colorado was formative, heavily influencing his writing.

In the 1960s, Thompson received a fellowship to attend the prestigious writing program at the University of Colorado Boulder. I love it that the Gonzo Journalist himself was a Buff, shaped in part by UC.

The Gonzo Doctor’s  decision to move to Woody Creek, 8 miles North-West of Glenwood Springs, is Gonzo thinking at its best!

Hunter Being Played By Johnny Depp In Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas

Hunter wrote Hells Angels in 1966. The Angels hated it. The motorcycle maniacs were so outraged by the book that they savagely beat him. Then they dragged him behind a motorcycle. Hunter knew it was time to get out of town.

Why embed himself with the famously outrageous and dangerous Hell’s Angels, the most feared of the biker gangs? It is best explained by his epitaph: “It Never Got Too Weird For Me”

Hunter’s logic in choosing Woody Creek for his escape from the Angels was simple and pure Gonzo thinking.  “Because Hell’s Angels can’t live at altitude!” The true measure of his insane sanity is the success of his strategy!  The Angels stayed away.

The moral is: Write one of the world’s great books and then move to Boulder and Aspen. Hunter lived out the rest of his famously productive life at Owl Farm in Woody Creek.

Lenny Lensworth Frieling

Shared Knowledge Is Power!

Leonard Frieling Senior Attorney Emeritus
  • Senior Counsel Emeritus to the Boulder Law firm Dolan + Zimmerman LLP : (720)-610-0951
  • Former Judge
  • First Chair and Originator of the Colorado Bar Association’s Cannabis Law Committee, a National first.
  • Previous Chair, Boulder Criminal Defense Bar (8 years)
  • Twice chair Executive Counsel, Colorado Bar Association Criminal Law Section
  • NORML Distinguished Counsel Circle
  • Life Member, NORML Legal Committee
  • Life Member, Colorado Criminal Defense Bar
  • Board Member Emeritus, Colorado NORML
  • Chair, Colorado NORML, 7 years including during the successful effort to legalize recreational pot in Colorado
  • Media work, including episodes of Fox’s Power of Attorney, well in excess of many hundreds media interviews, appearances, articles, and podcasts, including co-hosting Time For Hemp for two years.
  • Board member, Author, and Editor for Criminal Law Articles for the Colorado Lawyer, primary publication of the Colorado Bar Assoc. 7 Years, in addition to having 2 Colorado Lawyer cover photos, and numerous articles for the Colorado Lawyer monthly publication.
  • LEAP Speaker, multi-published author, University lectures Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, Denver University Law School, Univ. of New Mexico, Las Vegas NM, and many other schools at all levels.

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