Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Responsible Vandalism

Took a little half paved/half gravel route today with the express intent of having lunch in the ruins of this old cabin foundation in Ledges Park. Simple plan, ride out, eat, soak in some chill time, purge stress, ride home. Packed water. Packed stove. Packed spork. Packed a beer. Packed all the stuff I would need, except noodles! Damn it! Oh well, I did discover that some industrious person/people are taking the time to rebuild the fireplace of an old log structure in the park. Location of said cabin foundation is just inside one of the gates of the park. The thing must have been sweet in its day with a native stone base, and a herringbone brick floor. Sandstone steps leading up to it, and even a drop pit outhouse about 15 yards away (although slightly uphill, and you know what direction crap flows.) One can only speculate what the structure looked like on the exterior, but maybe the parties involved have reference to this and will re-do that too?

The base of the fireplace. That is a breather hole in the bottom, I think. It goes in and then turns up at 90 degrees.
The form below looks like it is for the main fire box, and will probably either be bricked around and then burned out, or slid out and a skim of mortar packed in around the bricks? I think it is the negative space that will be the fire box.
The last pics are of the floor space with part of the brick floor still not excavated, and of some flowers that were holding on to the side of a sandstone "slot canyon" near the cabin. The boys and I have spent many hours on our adventure days scrambling up and down that little canyon, and always daydreamed about what the cabins looked like in their primes (there is another one to the South of this one) so maybe now there will be an answer to that mystery.
*Blogger is being difficult and not letting me put pictures and captions where I want them:(


Matthew Moggridge said...

Hi, Greg. How goes it? We're having loads of rain over here; it's been pouring down for a couple months or more.

Just to let you know I'll be in Atlanta, Georgia on 14th August, but I'm guessing it's a long way from Boone, Iowa.


Travel Gravel said...

No rain here Matt, just a hot streak! Temps in the 100F + range for days at a time. Not the best weather for RAGBRAI for sure, so I'm begging off it this year. Figures, my brother is just getting into biking, all fired up for riding, and I refuse to do a day of RAGBRAI for the heat, Oh well. You'll know hot when you get to HOTLANTA! They have their heat, but it's a dry heat, not like our Iowa heat and humidity. Have fun riding!

Jon said...

Have you asked the Park Rangers if there are any photos of the cabin, when it was still standing? I always wonder what the house (or cabin) looked like, when I see a chimney standing by itself...

Matthew Moggridge said...

Hi, Greg. Yeah, Atlanta was hot, but nice, although I got bothered by some homies when I jumped off the Marda. "You got any money, man?". I told them no, I hadn't had time to reach a bank, and that seemed to do the trick. I'm amazed at how many cycles we've managed to get in WITHOUT getting a soaking. It's been very poor weatherwise. I tell what was good. I was in Montreal, Canada, and I hired one of their 'Bixi' bikes and drove around town – great fun! Hope all is well. If I get to Iowa, I'll call you.

Travel Gravel said...

Had a similar experience in Chicago with a guy who noticed my son's Iowa shirt, said he grew up in Des Moines, real nice approach, then asked for money to get a meal. Told him we did everything by card and had no cash. It was a lie though, but you can't just open your wallet right there...I can't believe I haven't posted a ride in so long, NEED AN INSPIRING RIDE!!!!