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by John Lamb
Colorado Springs, Colorado
September 16, 2003
The memorial is along the Trail Creek bike path. It is rather difficult to find with a car. If heading north on Main Street in Ketchum, turn right on the Sun Valley Road / Trail Creek Road headed towards the lodge. Stay on this road past the lodge. It is about a mile after the lodge on the right. A half-moon parking lot marks where to get off the main road. The memorial is not visible from the road or the bike path. A walk of about a hundred feet reveals the memorial.
From journal Hemingway's Sun Valley
On the morning of July 2, 1961, Ernest Hemingway committed suicide. He had lived in Ketchum for two years, trying to rest after having two bad airplane accidents in Africa. He found himself depressed, with years of injuries catching up to him. He tried electroshock therapy at the Mayo Clinic, but back in Ketchum, he found he was unable to write. This led to his decision to commit suicide with a shotgun.
The grave is simple and plain, which seems to fit an author who was so celebrated for his unordained writing. Spending a quiet moment there and paying tribute to one of America's greatest authors is a worthy way to spend an afternoon. It might even be fitting to do a shot of whiskey in his honor. But don't let a drop fall to the ground. Hemingway wouldn't want to see alcohol wasted.