Hunter S. Thompson's widow opens iconic writer's cabin to fans


Fans of the late Hunter S. Thompson--who rose to fame with a new brand of reporting he called "gonzo journalism" almost 50 years ago--could still experience the iconic writer's life with a tour of his home, thanks to his wife, reports CBS News correspondent Lee Cowan.

Thompson's legacy -- as a journalist, novelist, professional trouble-maker and counterculture -- lives on in one unassuming Owl Farm cabin not far from the chic resort town of Aspen, Colorado. Despite nearly 40 years of binge drinking, chain smoking, and mescaline-induced hallucinations, what Thompson wrote here remains iconic. "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" is a cult classic, one of two books turned into a movie starring Thompson's friend, Johnny Depp.


Anita Thompson came here as Hunter's writing assistant and ended up his second wife.

"He would pull that typewriter forward, and start clicking on that typewriter, it was beautiful in the house," she said. "It made him happy, it made everyone happy."


When they married, Thompson promised her a good 10 years -- but she only got two. In 2005, he committed suicide in front of his typewriter in the cabin's kitchen.

"After so many years, I'm still expecting Hunter to be at that chair," Anita Thompson said, still emotional.

Time has remained frozen in the cabin since then. Anita found comfort by leaving everything much as her husband left it -- Nixon masks hanging off a cactus, his reading glasses hitched to a lamp shade -- but some fans couldn't leave her in peace.

"The trespassing is a problem. We deal with it, not like Hunter dealt with it. He dealt with it by shooting out the window or shooting at them," she said laughing.

Instead, she decided to invite a select few to visit Owl Farm, making it a museum of sorts, as long as she approves the guest list.


Lucky visitors get the most intimate look at the icon's life in his "sacred room," where Thompson launched his greatest work, such as "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," and his campaign for "Sheriff." His old credit cards, favorite press badges, a pack or two of dusty Dunhills, and old convertible sit where he last left them. Thompson's fascination with guns and bombs, which he saw as life's great pleasures, is also evidenced by the bullet-riddled beer kegs still lying around.


"I know it's been 10 years, obviously it's not exactly the same, but the feel of it, the spirit of it is the same," Anita Thompson said. "There is a lot of energy here. There's no doubt about it. You feel it when you walk in."