Visit the Unique Town of Marble, Home of Colorado Yule Marble

Coming This July

Introducing The

ASPEN MARBLE DETOUR

9 am to 6 pm Weekdays 

enjoy a Small Group Tour of 

The Crystal River Valley

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Don’t drive your way through paradise.

Sit back, relax, and tour your way around

the Crystal River Valley, in fine style.

ASPEN TO MARBLE RETURN

 Convenient, Comfortable, and Anything But Direct

$99    Valid for 7 Days!

Ticket Includes one Aspen pick-up and drop-0ff.

Plus multiple rides up and down the gorgeous Crystal River Valley.

Allowing for overnight stays at the numerous excellent accommodation options presented along the way.

BOOKING ARRANGEMENTS COMING SOON

 …here at UniqueMarbleCompany.Com

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Please Click on a Photo to Enlarge

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Morning

Pick Ups commence in Aspen at 9:00, arriving at Wholefoods Basalt by 9:50,

drops by Avalanche Ranch at 10:40, visits Redstone at 11:00,

and the Town of Marble by 12 Noon.

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Lunch

Three Whole Hours in THE UNIQUE TOWN OF MARBLE

Incredible Outdoor Activities Including; Fat Tire Biking, Jeep Touring,

Fly Fishing, Trail Hiking, Historic Tours, and Horseback Riding.

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Afternoon

The Return Journey begins at 3:00, stops in at Redstone at 3:30,

visits Avalanche Ranch at 4:00, pops in at The KMJ Gallery at 5:30,

and is back in Aspen by 6:00 PM

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ENJOY THE ASPEN MARBLE DETOUR FOR YOURSELF

Just $99 per person. Valid for 7 days !!!

Ticket Includes One Aspen Pick Up and Multiple Rides up and down the Crystal River Valley.

With pick-ups and drop-offs at points along the way, visitors to Aspen, will soon have the option of a single day tour – in which they see and experience the lot in one fell swoop. Or choose to extend their visit over several days, staying a night or two here and there before moving on to their next accommodation.

Either way, day tour or week’s vacation, by the end of their Detour, the Detourists will feel as though they know the magnificent Crystal River Valley from one end to the other, perhaps even vowing to return one fine day.

And with three hours at lunchtime to partake of Marble’s many varied activities, or just go for a long leisurely walk on a mountain footpath or deep in the woods, with the flexibility built into the Aspen Marble Detour, everyone will have the opportunity to enjoy and partake (or not) of whichever of the tour’s many varied and exciting outdoor activities, guided optional extras etc., that appeal the most.

panoramaAt this point however, as to the subject of lunch, it is fair to say that The Slow Groovin’ BBQ has not gained a loyal and wide-spread following amongst tourists and locals alike for no reason. People travel far and wide to dine there, and so it is fair to say that if classic American barbecue is on your menu then you are no doubt in for a treat!

However, for those who assembled their packed lunch earlier when we stopped in at Wholefoods, a number of short local hikes offer vast panoramic Colorado Rocky Mountain views, from where an altogether memorable picnic is practically assured.

Other options include taking the jeep tour to the legendary Crystal Mill and setting your picnic there. Or how about simply relaxing for a few hours besides a crystal clear, rushing Crystal River?

Please Click on a Map or a Photo to Enlarge

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It’s 9:00 AM, and the swift hotel pick-ups across the compact downtown Aspen hotel district allow for a prompt and start to the day, to the point that in mere minutes we are out of town and on our way.

Even now at this early point in the tour we find ourselves presented with two starkly different routes. One follows the course of Highway 82, and the other nips into Old Snowmass territory with its stunning views and bumpy roads. Whichever path we take however they will both deliver us at the Basalt Wholefoods by 9:50. We can always detour our return journey via the other route later in the afternoon.

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Ahh, Wholefoods. TEN AM, and right when you need it, here in one spot – all the lovely things you found yourself craving, all the things you suddenly realize that you need; even a packed lunch, should you so wish. Here of course you will be able to grab your coffee, tea, or cold drink, and perhaps a little bite to eat. Ten to fifteen minutes after our arrival we’re off to the Avalanche Ranch – something of a whirlwind Wholefoods stop for sure, but in that time, if you organised it to be so, you can have most of your order all ready and waiting when you walk through the door.

panoramaGently skirting the town of Carbondale we soon emerge upon Highway 133 and immediately are plunged into the drama of the scene; with the massive Mount Sopris looming larger and larger into view as we approach the gaping jaws of the Crystal River Valley. And within minutes we are pulling into the extraordinary Avalanche Ranch. With its cavalcade of farm animals, iconic farm equipment, cowboy culture, cool hot springs pools, private cabins, stocked fishing pond and all, it serves as the perfect point from which to take in and savor the landscape, connect with friendly and welcoming local people who live and work in the valley. It also serves as the perfect point from which to savor, and perhaps acclimatize to, the memorable high elevation Colorado Rocky Mountain excursion on which we are about to embark.

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Although we will be returning to Avalanche Ranch later in the day in order to allow time perhaps for half an hour or so of hot springs soaking, we are soon off to our rendezvous with the quite extraordinary hamlet of Redstone.

With its history, galleries and gift shops this compact unincorporated village makes for the perfect late morning extended visit. There is even, believe it or not, a ‘castle’, to visit. Originally named Cleveholm by John Cleveland Osgood his huge former hunting lodge mansion is now operated as a luxury hotel.

The huge Redstone Inn, once a boarding house for Osgood’s coke oven workers, serves food all day and affords access to an extensive garden. The coke ovens, along with their extensive and impressive restoration work – we shall visit at one point or another – possibly as we leave town back across the bridge, retracing the coke oven worker’s enviously extra-short commute. Or possibly as we sweep back down the valley later in the afternoon.

The castle offers tours to the public but they must be arranged in advance with the hotel.

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By 1899 the economy had improved. Osgood and CFI were able to build first the coke ovens, and then the company town of Redstone. Wikipedia

Architect Theodore Boal designed small wooden cottages for the coke oven workers with running water and electricity, then luxury items rare in most Colorado mining towns.  He adapted various contemporary architectural styles, particularly the Swiss chalet style, to the mountain setting. For himself, Osgood had reserved and fenced off 4,200 acres, to which access was controlled by two gates.  He had Boal design the mansion, which like the Redstone Inn to the north, then a dormitory for unmarried mine workers, used elements of the Tudor Revival style in addition to the Swiss Chalet forms.  Originally intended to be a hunting lodge, as both Osgood and his Swedish-born wife, Alma, were avid outdoor sportspeople, Cleveholm or ‘Redstone Castle’ was completed in 1903 at a cost of $2.5 million.  Wikipedia.

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Upon taking our leave of Redstone we are faced with the opportunity to slip the three miles up McClure Pass in order to take in the sweeping panoramic views afforded from the top, or we can continue to meander our way up the Crystal River Valley, timing our arrival in Marble to coincide with twelve noon. At which point three hours are available to partake in any of the many outdoor activities that are on offer.

Quite aside from a memorable lunch of Slow Groovin’s famous American classic fare, Detourists at this point are faced with a multitude of options: horseback riding, fat tire biking, jeep touring, fly fishing, trail hiking, woodland walking, bird/wildlife watching, or simply reading a book in wilderness.

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Beautiful hikes abound both in and around Marble.

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The Town of Marble was first incorporated in 1899. Marble remains a statutory town of the State of Colorado today. Wikipedia

The town is the location of a historic Yule Marble quarry along the mountains that began operations in the late 19th century, and from which the town draws its name. It has been used for the Tomb of the Unknowns, as well as for parts of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., and civic buildings in San Francisco. It was also used for the construction of the Equitable Building, a historically important early skyscraper in New York City.

The marble of the quarry is considered to be of exceptional quality, praised as one of the purest marbles ever quarried and a rival to classical Italian and Greek marble. It is nearly pure calcite marble with minor inclusions of mica, quartz, and feldspar, and has irregularly shaped calcite grains ranging from 100 to 600 micrometers in diameter.  According to physical tests of the marble, its strength is comparable to marble typically used in building construction.

The quarry has enjoyed a renaissance since its acquisition in 2004 by Polycor, a Canadian-based dimension stone company, and subsequent sale to Italian group R.E.D. Graniti S.p.A.  In spite of significant transportation costs, this high-quality stone is now exported in large quantities to Europe and Asia for transformation and use throughout the world, as well as being sold into the US market.

In the late 20th century and the 21st century, Marble has become a summer tourist destination.  It is also the gateway to the nearby Crystal townsite.  It is the site of the Marble/marble sculpting symposium held every summer since 1988.

Seven sites within Marble have been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  Wikipedia.

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Departing the town of Marble at 3:00 PM we now embark upon our return journey to Aspen. Not only is this an ideal opportunity with which to revisit key points along the way, allowing for gift shop purchases and/or future accommodations arranged, but we also get to visit most of the various sights and attractions that we skipped past on the way out.

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It is upon the final stage of our return journey that we stop into The KMJ Cooney Studio Gallery for Apres ‘Bubbly and a Bite’, and it is during this brief festive interlude that we hope that our wide-ranging display of light, portable Curvilinear marble carvings will tempt you to mark your memorable Crystal River Detour with an equally memorable Hand Carved Colorado Yule Marble Sculpture.

With free shipping included to most cities within the Continental USA we will also discount the full cost of The Detour, and throw in a ten percent discount, for good measure.

And so, please accept this as our invitation to take the tour; explore the stunning landscape that forged our local world famous Yule Marble; then, take home a very special Piece of the Rockies for yourself.

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Although at first glance the wonder that is the Crystal River Valley may appear so very far, far away and remote, the truth is that it could hardly be more accessible. The journey by car between Aspen and Denver generally takes 3 to 4 hours. Both national bus and train services however stop at Glenwood Springs where Highway 82 meets Interstate 70. From here swift, comfortable air conditioned buses whisk passengers to Aspen in around an hour – and during the summer season they run every 30 minutes or so throughout the day.

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Even if you have access to a car the questions is do you want to spend your vacation driving around paradise trying not to get utterly bad tempered and lost? For although its road signage is often perplexing, and the roads in summertime quite are often tailed back for miles, the City of Aspen goes out of their way to provide top notch, frequent, and often totally free public transport of all sorts throughout the day and night. Then there are all of the many bike paths, growing numbers of free bikes etc, and the whole concept of getting out and about in the upper Roaring Fork Valley is something of a breeze.

And so even if you arrive in a car do yourself a favor and find some economical place to park it, stash the key in a safe place, and leave it there. You wont need it, you wont even miss it.

Besides, driving a car in the wild, Wild West is all about long desert highways and lonely two-lane roads, not traffic jams, road rage, and parking tickets.

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Panorama

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Morning

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Lunchtime

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Afternoon

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Coming This July

The Aspen Marble Detour

9 am to 6 pm Weekdays 

enjoy a Small Group Tour of the

Crystal River Valley

. . .

ASPEN TO MARBLE RETURN

 Convenient, Comfortable, and Anything But Direct

$99  Valid for 7 Days!

Ticket Includes one Aspen Pick-Up and Drop-Off

Plus multiple rides up and down the gorgeous Crystal River Valley

Allowing for overnight stays at the numerous excellent accommodation options presented along the way.

BOOKING ARRANGEMENTS COMING SOON

 …here at UniqueMarbleCompany.Com