Tuesday, April 11, 2017

2017 CROSS-COUNTRY ROAD TRIP - SUNDAY, APRIL 9TH, 2017

Sunday, April 9th, 2017

It was 9.38 a.m. when we started from home and the odometer showed 48175.   



At 2.00 p.m. we found The Natural Bridge and it is located in a town of the same name, Natural Bridge.  Below you can see where it is, which is still in Virginia.



It was once owned by Thomas Jefferson and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  It is 215 feet tall and is a limestone gorge carved out by Cedar Creek, which still exists far below.



We walked around the visitor center where we bought our tickets.  There were lots of souvenirs, but our favorite was Mr. Bear.  Sadly I couldn't bring him along.  He just wouldn't fit and he wasn't for sale anyhow.  Just as well, we would have had to cut a hole in the ceiling to accommodate him.



Below, if you enlarge the photo, you can read about the early settlers.  It makes for a very interesting read.


You can click on any of these photos to see more clearly.


We have had this place on our bucket list for a very long time, and neither of us knew what to expect.  However, it exceeded our expectations. 



We took the shuttle bus down and from the bus it was an easy walk to the bridge.  Stalwarts can walk all the way down from the visitor center, but that involves 137 steps.  You have a lovely walk to the bridge and beyond, and then retrace your steps and walk 137 steps back up to the center and to the parking lot.  I am not the spring chicken I used to be and my knees and ankles and other parts are iffy.  The shuttle won out, especially when I read that the steps are steep, uneven and often wet and slippery.  The driver was very friendly and smiled easily.  In fact, all the staff we encountered were very nice.  



We passed under the bridge and walked further along the path, looked up at the swallows flying around, took our time to look at every part of this amazing wonder. It is very hard to wrap your head around the fact that this creek actually caused this amazing spectacle.  



There was the occasional graffiti and I preferred looking at the natural patterns on the walls.





It was very pleasant walking along the creek, and we sat down to watch the fish.  I overheard one of the Park Rangers say that they refilled the creek with them occasionally.  



There were also several varieties of wildflowers growing out of the cliff walls and in any spare bit of dirt.  



Columbines





Jack-in-the-Pulpit



Dutchmen's Breeches




And this one I am not sure about.  Any guesses?


(If we had walked even further we would have encountered a life-size replica of an American Indian village and a waterfall, but we figured we could make a trip out here again now that we know how very interesting it is.)  In no time at all it was time to get back on the shuttle.  



One last photo of a lady trying to take a photo of her dog.  He was more interested in what was going in the other direction.

We stayed the night in Stuart, Virginia, at a neat little hotel but I will concentrate on places we visited first and then maybe do a post later on any interesting hotels we enjoyed.


If you go to this link you can read more interesting information about The Natural Bridge.

54 comments:

  1. The Natural Bridge looks incredible. So very beautiful. Thank you.

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    1. You are very welcome LC and thank you too :)

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  2. Amazing scenery, Denise. Put beside the sheer height of rock makes everything else look miniature. Of course, that includes husbands but maybe not bears! Don't you just hate people who have to scribble everywhere, they call it graffiti but that's not what I call it. Looking forward to more pictures.

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    1. Not a fan of the defacing national treasures at all Valerie. Thanks for leaving a comment and there will be other posts eventually :)

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    1. Thank you Francisco, a hug and a good week to you also :)

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  4. The wonders of nature! That is an amazing bridge with stunning views. I also like the wildflowers, not sure about the yellow one but it seems to be in need of water (?).

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    1. Thank you Marlene, and perhaps the flower is a little dry.

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  5. Hi, Denise.
    First of all, I congratulate you on the happiness that radiates from your photos.
    What a wonderful place, what beautiful photos you made! The flowers are wonderful. For me, just for the flowers, already justified the trip. The Dutchmen's Breeches has a very funny name, and they are so beautiful.
    Thank you very much for sharing with us.

    Manuel

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    1. Hi Cuco, thank you very much for your kind words. I am very happy you enjoyed my post.

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  6. Hello, great photos of the natural bridge. I love all the wildflowers. I am trying to figure out your route, are your going out west. Have a happy day!

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    1. Hi Eileen, thank you and yes we are going out west until we reach the Pacific :)

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  7. You should have given the lady the picture you took of the dog. Beautiful place and awesome photos.

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    1. I wish I could have done that Red and thank you :)

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  8. Glad you made it there and can check it off your Bucket list. It really looks like a worthwhile stop to explore. Happy week to you.

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    1. Thank you Ellen and a happy week to you also :)

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  9. talking about the bear gave me a visual of him sticking out of the top of your car. lol
    I like the natural rock, I think it's sad that there's graffiti. the wild flowers make it even more beautiful. very interesting reads.
    it's always good to see a cute puppy dog. :)
    hugs,
    Marie

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    1. Oh how I wish Marie :) The graffiti made me sad too. And isn't it always good to see a cute puppy dog? Makes my day :) Hugs, Denise

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  10. One of my husband's favorite places in his native Virginia. Amazingly, we never got out there together! I haven't seen it! We always thought we would retire to the area (make a triangle out of Natural Bridge out toward Blacksburg then across east and back NE to Natural Bridge and you will see where we thought we would be....somewhere in those amazing foothills. We of course adore Virginia history...American history! But, alas, life throws you some interesting curve-balls doesn't it!? :-) We are here in Oregon now because of our daughter & family. But that's ok....we are so enjoying it here. We are at least out in the country and close to rivers and mountains! Tucson was never where I wanted to stay. Anyway, we have to come back some time in the foreseeable future, and I told Russell there's definitely some stuff I want to do when we come back....make a real sight-seeing trip out of it. Looks like Natural Bridge should be on the list!

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    1. Hi Marie, it certainly would be a beautiful area to retire to. You are right about those curve balls. We never know what is around the corner, so important to enjoy each day as it comes. If our son and daughter-in-law moved I know without a doubt we would too. So glad you are enjoying your new home and surroundings. It sounds and looks really special. It would be really great if you came back to see the Natural Bridge together. We would meet up with you for sure :)

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  11. The arch and its surroundings really are beautiful!

    It's been quite a while since I last saw a jack in the pulpit.

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    1. Thank you William, it has been a while since I saw one too.

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  12. Thank you for this fascinating post!

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    1. Hi Cloudia, You are very, very welcome :)

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  13. Beautiful and amazing photos of this splendid trip, Denise! Thank you so much for sharing this fun and fascinating journey!

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    1. Thank you Linda, I am very happy to take you along :)

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  14. -smile- I'd never be able to walk, as much as you did.

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    1. LC, sometimes I wonder myself how I did what I did :)

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  15. We live so close, that we have been here many times. But have not seen these awesome flowers!!!1 Your pictures of them are wonderful, and so many that I have never seen! I especially love the Dutchmen's Breeches!

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    1. Hi Ginny, I think I just lucked out on those wildflowers. They were so pretty.

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  16. Your trip looks good so far. You are so lucky you can drive anywhere on the mainland, whereas we in Hawaii have to board a plane.

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    1. Hi Gigi, I know but what a place you live in :)

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  17. Thanks for a really interesting post and the link to read further. It looks a fabulous place. Doubt if we will ever see it in real life so I will enjoy the virtual trip with you. Stay well Diane

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    1. So happy you enjoyed it Diane, I feel the same way when I visit you. Always grateful to you for sharing that beautiful area you live in, and other places. You stay well also :)

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  18. that bridge is AMAZING and I can see that just from your photos. I don't think I could do the steps either. you are off to a great start.. LOVE the Lady and her dog.. to cute. to bad she can't see your photo of her dog. the columbine is gorgeous

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    1. Hi Sandra, I wish I could give the lady this photo but didn't think it would turn out as well as it did. I took it with a cell phone and cropped it right up to what you saw. I was surprised how clear it was.

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  19. Hi Denise and another really interesting post on a spectacular place to visit, that natural bridge is really something. Some lovely wild flowers. Don't blame you taking the shuttle, I would have done the same with that number of wet steps. All the best, John

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    1. Hi John, thank you and I appreciate you understanding :) All the best to you too, Denise

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  20. What a neat place to visit/see....

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  21. I have been to Natural Bridge twice and have seen something new each visit. Those steps are murder! You made the right decision to ride the shuttle bus!

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    1. Hi Linda, thank you for letting me know those steps were as bad as I thought they would be :)

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  22. I would have loved to be along on this trip with you. I'd love to see that huge natural arch. I think I would have taken the bus options, too!:) I've never seen most of your wildflowers. Jack-in-the-Pulpit is quite spectacular! And I appreciate you sense of humour which always shines through. The lady with the dog - that is hilarious!

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    1. I wish you could have come Pauline, and thank you so much for these sweet comments.

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  23. Well Denise, it was 'Gregg or the Bear', you had to choose. :)

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    1. You do make me chuckle Roy :). Thank you!

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  24. I truly detest graffiti in the worst way - but I am often given to wondering if future archaeologists unearthing ancient civilizations will view them in the same way we now contemplate pictographs; that is if we don't blow ourselves to smithereens in the meantime.

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    1. You have made very good points David.

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  25. The Natural Bridge looks incredible, very big but very beautiful too.

    All the best Jan

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    1. Yes it was, I had heard about it but couldn't truly appreciate it until I saw it.

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