RV - Natural Bridge

Trip Start Jul 01, 2013
1
86
149
Trip End Dec 07, 2013


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Flag of United States  , Virginia
Monday, September 23, 2013

We arrived at Natural Bridge National Park by 9am. Here in the Appalachian Mountains the air is quite brisk in the early morning but it soon warms up. We walked down the 150 steps to the entrance of the Natural Bridge archway and admired one of natures creations. The Natural Bridge is classified as one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Carved by a river from 36,000 tons of limestone, the arch is over 65 metres high, 12 metres thick and spans 28 metres between the massive walls.

When George Washington was a young surveyor, he scaled 7metres up the left wall of the bridge and carved his initials in the rock when he surveyed the area in 1750. His initials can be still seen today.

We continued along the Cedar Creek trail to the recreated Monacan Indian Village and spoke to a woman weaving baskets and a man who was attending the fire. They gave us an outline of what life would have been like for the Sedentary Indian tribes who once inhabited this area. Their village enclosure would have been largely built and tended by the woman of the tribe, while the men went hunting. Interestingly, the tribes are lead by women and their sons left and married outside the tribe walking long distances to new tribal areas in search of a wife. 

We walked to the end of  the Cedar Creek trail to Lace falls. The Locust trees were starting to shed their leaves signalling the start of fall. Other attractions we viewed were the butterfly garden and Wax Museum. Within the museum is a wax collection of all the American Presidents, stories of the early settlement of the area and a production of the Last Supper. This museum manufactures historical wax figures for museums across the country so we were able to observe them at work.

After lunch we took a tour of the caverns at the bridge. On this guided tour we quickly descended into the depths of the cavern. It was lovely to see the lit 'rooms' and sheer rock faces created by the earth's movement. Some of the 'rooms' are now closed off to the public following the earthquake in 2011 (the same that shook the Washington Monument). Investigations revealed that some of the closed walkway was only 10cm thick. 

A treat this evening was returning to the Natural Bridge for a spectacular symphonic light show. Each evening the bridge is lit by a rainbow of colours while classical music and narration retells the Genesis creation story.
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