Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Day #1 for #4
Travel day is finally here. #4 arrived yesterday without a hitch from the east coast so bright and early this morning after dropping The Emmer off at work we headed out. We had to drive a little over 200 miles but because we left early we were at our first campground by about 11:30. This campground, Bogan Flats, is just a few miles from Marble, CO. and sits right beside the Crystal River. Gorgeous does not begin to describe it. We really lucked out and had a campsite that was literally only ten feet from the river. In the picture above you can see #4 contemplating the beauty of the surroundings.
After we unhooked Bivouac we drove into the almost ghost town of Marble. Marble is famous for….DUH….Marble. Yule marble is the purest marble in the world. Much of the marble quarried here is pure white with no dark veins through it. The marble is made up of pure calcium carbonate (fish bones) with no other deposits of any kind in it. Marble from this quarry was used for the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
When I was here last the road to the quarry was closed but this Sunday it was open so up we went. A short drive on a narrow dirt road brought us to the trail that led into the quarry which apparently is being worked again. #4 had not yet acclimated to the altitude so he declined to go with me up the last, very steep part of the trail. It was so steep that there was a rope tied to a tree at one point to assist the hiker get up that section of trial.
The exertion was well worth it however. A small opening in the side of the mountain revealed a number of large chambers below and above that had had marble neatly cut out of it. Up above the level at which I stood you could see old ladders and scaffolding that was used in years past. In the chamber below me was some type of mechanical cutter on a long boom. This cutter is being used today….well not today today because today is Sunday and they don’t work on Sunday but most likely today, tomorrow on Monday it will be in action.
I climbed back down to where #4 was waiting for me. This was a “dump” for marble that was not apparently good enough. It was beyond both #4 and myself why this stuff was not valuable? Sure looked good to us.
I was running low on gas so after we explored the town we headed to Redstone to fill up. Redstone is the home of The Redstone Inn and Redstone Castle. Redstone Castle was the home of John Osgood, a wealthy entrepreneur. Osgood owned a coal mine here which supplied coal to the railroads…which he was also invested in. He build a town with houses for the married workers and a hotel for the bachelor workers. The hotel, The Redstone Inn now caters to tourists from all over the world.
We had just about used up the day but there was still time enough to sit by the river for awhile and to grill some fillet mignons next to the river. Some coffee and conversation and we were ready to hit the sack. Tomorrow’s destination, the Black Canyon of the Gunnison.
Thanks for visiting.