ALONG THE BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY

THE NATURAL BRIDGE OF VIRGINIA

MAY 11, 2014

PAGE 2 OF 2

This is Cedar Creek, that flows under the bridge. They've built a nice walkway along one side.

The arch is 20 stories tall (215 feet) with a 90 foot span.

The bridge is sacred to the Monacan tribe and they call it "The Bridge of God"

Monacan legend has it that in the time before white men came to America, the tribe was being pursued by Powhatans (even though I don't

at all look it, I have Powhatan blood, one line directly back to Powhatan himself and 2 lines to his brother so I guess we're the bad guys in

this story) and the bridge suddenly appeared just in time to let them escape across the abyss.

Young George Washington surveyed this area in 1750 for Lord Fairfax.

Cedar Creek passing under the arch

The story has it that George climbed 23 feet up the left side of the arch and carved his initials, which are still there and are now marked

by the small rectangle in almost the exact center of this picture.

Looking back the way we came.

Later, Thomas Jefferson bought the bridge and 157 surrounding acres from King George III for 20 shillings.

Thomas dearly loved the place, calling it, "The most sublime of nature's works."

Thomas built a 2-room log cabin nearby, which he used as a retreat and was always bringing guests out to see the bridge. Some of the

people who stayed there included John Marshall, James Monroe, Henry Clay, Sam Houston, and Martin Van Buren.  Herman Melville

mentions the bridge in Moby Dick: "But soon the forepart of him slowly rose from the water; for an instant his whole marbleized body

formed a big arch, like Virginia's Natural Bridge."

AND THE REST OF THESE WERE TAKEN OUT MY CAR WINDOW IN WEST VIRGINIA ON THE WAY HOME

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