Thursday, February 21, 2013

Riding to McGuirk's Dream, Part 2

Mountain bikers were greeted
by TPWD's Linda Hedges
who interpreted the site
Yesterday, we started our report on our ride to the Contrabando Canyon's rock house ruin, the former home of H.W. McGuirk in the late 1890s.  We were there on a ride at the Chihuahuan Desert Bike Fest, a cooperative effort of TPWD, Big Bend Ranch State Park, Desert Sports, Big Bend Trails Alliance and many other dedicated volunteers.

We took one of the easier rides, an 11+ mile trek to the rock house.  When we arrived, TWPD's Linda Hedges told us all about the ruin, and guided us through an illuminating look at the site. 

Continuing our information from TPWD:

"The roof was constructed with wood timber framing (vigas of cottonwood) as rafters gathered on site, an ddesigned with a shallow pitech to shed water towards the canyon below.  Both the original section and the addition of small fireplaces for cooking, with very nicely constructed chimneys indicating that the work was undertaken by experienced craftsmen.

The rock house ruin's many rooms
shown here
Remnants of a corral in the foreground
Immediately adjacent to the residence is a series of small, ribbon-like stone fence enclosures, no more than 3 feet high, that were likely used to protect small livestock.

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