$6 mil­lion cabin once housed Hunter S. Thomp­son’s con­vert­ible

The Denver Post - - LIFE & CULTURE - By Ethan Mill­man

John Oates’ Woody Creek ranch just out­side Aspen started as a small, run­down cabin, the rem­nants of a house that burned down years be­fore.

The home saw plenty of ren­o­va­tions since Oates’ ini­tial pur­chase. Now a five-bed­room, 4½-bath­room ranch com­plete with a guest home and barn, the home went on the mar­ket in June and is still up for sale for $6 mil­lion.

In a re­cent in­ter­view with Ryan Warner on Colorado Pub­lic Ra­dio, Oates re­called that shortly af­ter pur­chas­ing this ranch, he had trou­ble get­ting then-neigh­bor Hunter S. Thomp­son’s red Pon­tiac Grand Ville con­vert­ible out of his house.

“In­side the cabin was this red con­vert­ible. I hap­pened to ask the real

es­tate agent who owned the con­vert­ible, and he said ‘Your neigh­bor Hunter Thomp­son,’ ” Oates said. “Why is he keep­ing his car in a piece of prop­erty he doesn’t own? The real es­tate agent looked at me and said ‘It’s Woody Creek, you’ll fig­ure this out. It’s a dif­fer­ent kind of place.’ ”

Thomp­son’s car was still parked in­side the cabin when car­pen­ters ar­rived to start ren­o­vat­ing.

Af­ter nu­mer­ous unan­swered notes — and with the keys still in the car — Oates drove the car back to Thomp­son’s home and left it on the lawn. The two celebri­ties be­came friends, but never spoke of the car, Oates said.

The tale is de­tailed in Oates’ au­to­bi­og­ra­phy, “Change of the Sea­sons: A Mem­oir.”

With a son liv­ing in Washington and his fa­ther in Penn­syl­va­nia, Oates said he has found it more con­ve­nient to live in Nash­ville. Though he is sell­ing his Woody Creek prop­erty, one of his two homes in Colorado, he doesn’t plan to leave the state for­ever, but he wanted to scale back.

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