The Independent’s Andrew Buncombe on a quiet, dignified memorial for the late Hunter S. Thompson.

“You can’t miss Hunter’s place,” laughed one of the locals as he waved directions. “There’s a huge cannon in the back garden.”

He was right. From across the floor of the valley you could see this huge, imposing structure, 150ft or so high, wrapped in blue plastic cladding. To be honest, from a distance it looked more like a long, thin penis than a cannon. But on top, what looked like a swollen head waiting and ready to explode, was actually a huge, fibre-glass clenched fist packed with a mixture of explosives and human ashes.

This, apparently, was what Hunter S Thompson wanted, and this was what Hunter S Thompson was to get. As far back as 1978, the inventor of so-called Gonzo journalism, had said that after his death he wanted his mortal remains blasted into the sky.

it was not entirely clear what the residents in Woody Creek made of the blast-off for Thompson. But most tellingly, it was also unclear whether he would have welcomed all the fuss. One wonders what the man would have written had he been sent by Rolling Stone to cover such a send- off for a dead writer whose most compelling work had been completed more than 30 years earlier.