Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Evidence of Earlier Life in Big Bend Ranch State Park

Down this trail in a remote park of the park, there's
evidence of wagon travel in this amazing landscape
Volcanic mudflow-type material in the foreground
In the remote Guale Mesa portion of Big Bend Ranch State Park, there's an incredible landscape that offers many clues to the history of the park and the surrounding area.  The area near Guale Mesa #2 campsite is marked by a rough-textured rock surface that was once a volcanic-create mudflow-type material. The forms and shapes seem otherworldly and are immense fun to climb around and explore.  And the views, so near the Rio Grande and Mexico?  Spectacular!

As is the case in many parts of our region...if you look closely at ancient landscapes they can also hold clues to our more recent human history. 

The trail near the campsite is steep and heads DOWN...and what do we see?  Wagon ruts in the rock.

And this:
See the dark stripe in the center of the white patch?

Our guide, TWPD's Blaine Hall speculates wagons may have "slid" down the trail with someone riding the brake, and the teams following behind.  Metal wheels or metal covered wooden wheels made the ruts, still visible today.  The trail is too rough and too steep to consider traveling UP that routel, so teams probably used another route to get back to higher elevations.

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1 comment:

Kris said...

What a wonderful thing to see! In the west desert of Utah, across the salt flats, there are still wagon tracks visible from the days of the Donner Party. Amazing!

I'm really enjoying your blog!