"We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28)

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Natural Bridge, VA

Nan and I decided to come out of the mountains for a couple of days and explore the valley we've been looking down upon. The mountains are just as beautiful from this new perspective.
 And our fellow travelers just as colorful...
 The small towns are picturesque as well.
 Nan was anxious to check out the town of Glasgow. Sadly this was the only resident we encountered. The part of town we passed through was for sale.
So on we went to visit the Natural Bridge. I learned some things here.
One thing I learned is that when Natural Attractions are privately owned, they tend to be commercialized, and lose their natural wonder.
 You can't buy a ticket just to see the Natural Bridge. Your mega-ticket  includes the Butterfly Exhibit, Toy Museum, Wax Museum, Indian Village, etc. But if you want to see the other Natural Feature here, the Caverns, well that's extra.
 We skipped the Wax Museum, but this waxen fellow was on display in the humongous gift shop which you pass through coming and going.

 I only took one butterfly picture....I'd rather catch them out in nature.
 The arch is made of limestone, is 215 feet high (55 feet higher than Niagara Falls). You can see the perspective when you look at the people walking beneath it.
 The arch was formed by Cedar Creek which still flows under it.
 There is some interesting history to it. In 1750, a young George Washington surveyed this area. He carved his initials, G.W., on the rock wall. They are still visible.
 His initials are 23 feet up on the wall inside the white rectangle. 
Later Thomas Jefferson owned the Natural Bridge and the land around it. He bought it on July 5, 1774, from King George III of England for 20 shillings (about $2.40).  It has been privately owned since then.
The Rock Dove, seen in the next 2 pics, and Cliff Swallows live under the arch.
Rock Dove
 Monacan Indians lived in villages along the creek in the 1700s. They considered the Natural Bridge a sacred site, and called it "The Bridge of God."
 One such village has been recreated in a living history presentation.
 By the time you finish seeing the arch you're hungry, and you are encouraged to spend another $10 on lunch in the Gift Shop. So we did. Then it was up the road a ways to the caverns. 
 Nan went "batty" in their gift shop.
 Our tour began down a long, dark, wet, man-made entrance with cold, slimy handrails.
 Which we are led to believe is better than the natural entrance seen here which we'd have to crawl through.
 Now we are under the mountains...and we see typical cave formations of stalactites and stalagmites.
 Which are still growing and dripping on us as we pass under.
 We learned this is the deepest cave in Virginia. (Not the largest, but deepest) Nan's knees can probably remember how many steps down and back up we had to climb.

 But we made it, and Nan has been icing her knees.
We camped at a Passport America Park in Greenville. Catching up on laundry, blog posts, and a few projects. Nan has her sewing machine and stitched the velcro on my back door screen for me. The previous fix came "unglued" when it got hot. It's working great now. This is a nice park with a little lake, but seems to have mostly permanent residents. We should have charged admission to the Nan and Liz creative leveling show. We had a lot of spectators.
Next we'll begin the final leg of our journey to the PA get-together....the Skyline Drive.

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