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The two RV Gypsies at
The Natural Bridge
in Natural Bridge, Virginia
(Rockbridge County)
October 16, 2013
(plus a flashback to 2001)
map of Va showing location of Natural BridgeNatural Bridge welcome sign

Natural Bridge in Rockbridge County, Virginia, is a geological formation in which Cedar Creek (a small tributary of the James River) has carved out a gorge in the mountainous limestone terrain, forming a natural arch 215 feet high with a span of 90 feet. It consists of horizontal limestone strata, and is the remains of the roof of a cave or tunnel through which the creek once flowed. Natural Bridge has been designated a Virginia Historic Landmark and a National Historic Landmark.

The Natural Bridge was a sacred site of the Native American Monacan tribe, who believed it to be the site of a major victory over pursuing Powhatans centuries before the arrival of whites in Virginia. Visitors must purchase tickets to view the bridge from below. U.S. Rout 11 (Lee Highway) runs on top of the Bridge, but protective fences make it difficult to see anything besides the roadway.

The Natural Bridge was once owned by Thomas Jefferson. It was deemed the "Bridge of God" by the Monacan Indians who discovered it, and was traversed by Civil War soldiers, and was once surveyed by a young Gorge Washington. The Bridge has a rich, spiritual history dating back hundreds of years. In 1774, King George III deeded Natural Bridge to an awestruck Thomas Jefferson. Always the explorer, Jefferson treasured the Natural Bridge and came here often, establishing a visitor lodge and opening the door to travelers and artists from around the world.

Natural Bridge sign
sign about The Natural Bridge and Cedar Creek Trail
entry to the staircase at The Natural Bridge
some of the 137 steps down to The Natural Bridge

The two RV Gypsies walked down the 137 steps to the Natural Bridge. (There was also a free shuttle bus for people who do not wish to use the stairs.) The two RV Gypsies stopped to check out a large tree that was partially laying on the stairs, yet still living. They also admired the beauty of Cascade Creek and moss covered rocks alongside the staircase.

a tree that was laying partially on the stairs
the stream and moss covered rocks
 
sign with distance to Lace Falls and Lost River
sign - the Drama of Creation
sign about the Natural Bridge

The Natural Bridge had benches along the trail for people to enjoy the evening light presentation; colored lighting effects with high fidelity sound called Drama of Creation. The two RV Gypsies did not stay long enough to see the light presentation. Maybe they will stay long enough the next time they visit. (This was their second visit to here already).

The Natural Bridge
warning sign about falling objects from above
sign about height and weight of The Natural Bridge

The layers of rock under the bridge are flat lying. Looking upstream and downstream, the layers are inclined toward the bridge. The Bridge is at the center of a downward fold, a syncline formed 200-plus million years ago. George Washington's initials are carved into the rock, but they are almost impossible to find, and distinguish.

The arch of the Natural Bridge
The arch of the Natural Bridge

After walking under The Natural Bridge, the two RV Gypsies walked the beautiful and serene Cedar Creek Trail to the Monacan Indian Village and Lace Falls. (They did not photograph the Indian Village.)

steam along the Cedar Creek Trail
steam along the Cedar Creek Trail

A short bridge leading to Saltpeter Cave. The cave was roped off because it was too dangerous to enter the cave.

bridge to a cave
cave opening

View of the river stream from each side of the bridge to Saltpeter Cave.

the river stream the river stream
View of the river stream from the bridge to the cave.

wiggling divider bar
New item signThe Lost River sign and photo of The Lost River as taken from a wooden bridge that goes over the Lost River. The wooden bridge had railings to prevent people from going down by the Lost River. In times past, water was transported through pipes to the kettles used to extract Nitrate from Saltpeter Cave. This sign was not here the last time that the two RV Gypsies came here.

sign about the Lost River
The Lost River

FLASHBACK: Below is a photo of the two RV Gypsies sitting beside the Lost River in the year 2001. At that time there was not a pathway with a wooden bridge and railings preventing people from sitting near the stream of the Lost River. None of the signs on this page existed either. The two RV Gypsies do not remember the formal trail that exists now, and did not know about Lace Falls when they were here in 2001.

the two RV Gypsies at The Lost River in 2001
wiggling divider bar

The trail to Lace Waterfalls at the Natural Bridge

trail to Lace Waterfalls
sign about Lace Waterfalls
Lace Waterfalls at The Natural Bridge
Lace Waterfalls at The Natural Bridge
Lace Waterfalls at The Natural Bridge

The two RV Gypsies at Lace Falls

The two RV Gypsies at Lace Falls

View of the river by Lace Falls

View of the river by Lace Falls
View of the river by Lace Falls

This is not a linear site, so to continue navigating this website, please choose from the 3 options below:

Look below for more great adventures

go back to the previous page Return to the Virginia main menu to see more adventures in VA.

OR
continue on to the next Adventure in Washington stateContinue viewing the two RV Gypsies' adventures in Virginia in the order they occurred - The Indoor Butterfly Garden at the Natural Bridge.
OR

continue on to Oregon If you have already seen all of the sites in Virginia, please continue on to Sycamore Lodge in Jackson Springs, North Carolina and the rest of the return trip to Florida.