Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Way We Were

It is always with both trepidation and enthusiasm that we check our email upon return from a long Road Trip. Enthusiasm because we're ear to read fun emails from our Dear Friends. Trepidation because we know there's generally always going to be news of something sad.

And so it was Friday that we opened Ye Ol' InBox and learned Marble Canyon Lodge burned to the ground this week. We have so many special memories of that venerable, legendary, historic building. If ever there was a Grand Central Station at the Crossroads of the Southwest, Marble Canyon Lodge surely fit the bill.

Getting the news on the 30th anniversary of the put-in of our 100,000 cfs Grand Canyon trip deepened the sadness in our Heart. (We even borrowed a small outboard motor from the Lodge owner for our 1983 trip.)

We remember so many faces glowing with pre-trip excitement in the cozy dimness of the Marble Canyon Lodge dining room.

Dear Friend Susan Kliewer managed the place for many years in the 1970's and has regaled us with incredibly touching stories during each of our annual visits to Vermilion Cliffs. In fact, we made a deal with Susan to video her at the Lodge next April tell her signature stories. Well, that isn't going to happen.

If a building could possibly talk, the tales of Marble Canyon Lodge would fill volumes and render riveting reading. It's quite probably that anyone who has even been anything in the Southwest from the mid-1920's to the 21st Century has set foot in Marble Canyon Lodge.

Yes, there will be a new Lodge rise from the ashes of the old. Dear Friend Tom B. drove by the site a couple of days ago and said a backhoe and a front loader were already clearing debris. The business is too valuable to let much time pass before a new structure gets the cash flowing again. However, whatever building becomes the new normal at Marble Canyon, it will never be the real Marble Canyon Lodge. The real Marble Canyon Lodge is now just a fond and cherished memory. For the news report on the fire, here's the story from "The Arizona Daily Sun."

Thanks to Margaret Jenner and Wayne Ranney for letting us know about this passing of the Lodge. (Cue our archived version of "The Way We Were" here:

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