Roots-Reconnecting with Our Past travel blog

Bill at Natural Bridge

Robert E Lee gravesite

VMI

Laynes Country Store


9/24/2014. Wednesday. Step On It!

We were at the Natural Bridge at 9am sharp. The girl at the ticket counter, after lightening my load by $36, told us to go through the entrance way and take the 139 steps down to path leading to the Natural Bridge. So, off we went down not only the139 steps but also down 2 asphalt walkways she didn't happen to mention. At the bottom of the stairs a kindly old volunteer said if we needed a ride back up to the parking lot, he would take us on the shuttle bus he had parked there next to him.

The Natural Bridge looked, well, very natural, being carved out of limestone and all. It is reputed that the initials "GW" carved into the side of the bridge was done by George Washington when he was working on a survey crew. The Bridge was once the opening to a massive cavern that stretched over a mile but over time water eventually eroded the structure and top and sides collapsed leaving only the mouth of the cavern, or as we know it today, a Natural Bridge. It is indeed massive.

That old bastard volunteer told Anita there was a waterfall a mile from the bridge. Naturally, we just had to go see another damn waterfall! Luckily for me the walkway was all asphalt and the hike was an easy one, so I tagged along and tried to tolerate being surrounded by nature. After we saw the piddly little falls and took a multitude of photos, we hiked all the way back to the where the little old volunteer was. I was so looking forward for a shuttle bus ride back to the top of Mt Everest that when I saw that the little old bastard was gone and no shuttle bus was in sight, a slight quiver ran through my old, tired body. As I began my arduous journey back up the 139 steps AND asphalt ramps, I thought to my self that boy was I fortunate to have seen a rock formation that looked like a bridge, Natural or not, AND a very minor waterfall with the added bonus of hiking 2 miles and stair- stepping 278 steps AND struggling up not one BUT 2 asphalt inclined ramps!

The Navigator says my 3 most favorite words: LET'S HAVE LUNCH. Before she could look at her itinerary of sights, I had the Rav4 screaming toward Lexington for lunch. Guess what our first stop in Lexington was.........wait for it........wait for it....

THE VISITORS CENTER. We needed to stop there just in case we didn't enough on our itinerary. Out comes the Navigator with.......wait for it........wait for it..........

A WALKING TOUR MAP of Lexington!

We walked (actually I limped) over to Main St and ate at the Main St Bistro. Our hamburgers and fries were excellent. Next we walked/limped over to Washington and Lee University to see Robert E Lee's Chapel where he and his family are interred. After the Civil War, Lee became president of Washington University and when he died they changed the name to Washington and Lee. Lee made a lot of changes in the field of education namely encouraging a liberal arts education instead of the popular classic education of learning Latin and Greek. I never knew Lee was

so involved with education.

We walked/limped back to the car and all I heard was how many steps we had on the Fit Bit! I am going to destroy that damn thing! We drove through the VMI campus ( Virginia Military Institute) which is right next to Washington and Lee University. VMI looked like a castle and the campus was very utilitarian and stark. We saw a lot of cadets milling around and some cadets were in fatigues. Nice looking young people. Lexington is a pretty nice little town but I wouldn't want to live there....too many snobby professors.

On the way back to the KOA we made a stop at a Country Store and purchased a few goodies. The man even gave Anita 10 lemons free!

I can't wait for the drive through the Safari Zoo tomorrow where the animals do the walking and I do the riding!



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