Gleaming white stone

A part of Colorado that I had never seen before (nor had M.) was the Crystal River valley up from Carbondale through Redstone and Marble.

What you see on the right is not a fragment of the temple of Zeus from some mountainous part of Greece, nor a fragment of the architectural vision of Albert Speer, but a wall from one of the marble mills in the town of the same name. Marble, Colorado, boomed in the early 20th century, furnishing building material for numerous buildings, including the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Now sculpture students work among the ruins.

You know you are nearing Marble when you turn off Colorado 133 at the sign and begin seeing Dumpster-size chunks of white rock, some marked by drill holes, just scattered in the aspens and willows along the road. The Old West-style Marble General Store has white marble steps rather than creaking planks.

We were unable to visit the quarry itself–the access road was closed by landslides–part of the snowy winter that has now has the Crystal River running high, murky, and unfishable. But no one complains about too much water here.