Marble Canyon is in every sense the most isolated place I’ve ever stayed. Essentially, all we have is a place to eat, a place to sleep, and each other. There’s no phone signal, there’s no wifi. We are completely alone. I’m actually enjoying this peace and quiet, it makes a refreshing change from the intense week we’ve had so far. Marble Canyon is the most remote place we will be visiting during our travels, and we’ve been told we may even double the population whilst we visit; which seemed certainly true whilst dining in the local restaurant, when we accounted for nearly half of the customers. The sky here is incredibly clear, with no light pollution. The stars look so bright at night, brighter than I’ve seen them anywhere else in all my life. This lack of pollution from other humans makes it so much clearer that we are isolated from the world out here.
(Picture courtesy of Marija Serafinas - The view from our room at Marble Canyon, showing the majority of what was available there, such as the gas station, the convenience store and a post office.)
However, Marble Canyon is not for the faint hearted. Laying between the beautiful backdrop of mountains on one side, and canyons and the Colorado River on the other, I feel as if I couldn’t live here. It’s too far away from the rest of the world, from all the basics you’d need to survive, and the only way you’d be able to reach any amenities is to drive. For many, Marble Canyon seems to be a stopover. Everywhere we’ve gone there are people with RVs who want to experience life on the open road, travel and nature. I can’t help but see the irony within this, as although lifestyles have adapted due to technological advancements, people are wanting to get back to nature and a simpler way of life. Maybe they are finding that life was better before it became too technological.
(The roads around Marble Canyon were so incredibly quiet, that it was possible to lay in the middle of the road for a while without the risk of being run over!)
This simpler way of life was summarised by our visit to Lonely Dell Ranch today, a ranch owned by many different settlers and owners since the 1800’s. Situated at Lees Ferry by the Pariah River, on the only flat part of the river making it accessible for transport. The ranch symbolises how settlers made a living out in the west, growing fruits such as peaches and apples. It feels like such a bizarre and old-fashioned way of life, similar to how we saw the Mormon community lived at Pipe Springs.
(Left: The sign post into Lonely Dell Ranch, showing the dramatic landscape around it.
Right: One of the small houses on the ranch, where people who worked here would have lived.)