Monday, October 3, 2011

Natural Tunnel State Park, Va.

So William Jennings Bryant said The Natural Tunnel was the “Eighth Wonder of the World”, but you know how he exaggerates….”cross of gold”  yada, yada, yada.  It  Is a bewildering geological feature -- even the visitor’s center has exhibits on two different explanations.  We walked  (sorry no chair lift today) down into this huge stone cirque into which flows a creek out of a huge tunnel.  How huge?  A full size railroad runs thru it on an elevated rail bed; ten coal trains a day, they claim.  We heard a whistle and sprinted into position for the obligatory blog picture, but none materialized.

The drive over from Cumberland Gap was predictably gorgeous, paralleling the long escarpment with the morning sun lighting up the White Rock cliffs.  Lots of prosperous Cattle farms along Highway 58 with that lovely backdrop.
 2011_1003NATURAL_TUNNEL0001At Jonesville, surprise,  you have climbed to the head of Powell valley and now go up and over two steep folds — go over in second gear and 40 mph.  Beautiful Views from the tops of the ridges as we let the Yukon  breathe.
The Cove View campground in the park is practically empty.  We are essentially marking time here until we go to Jonesborough Tennessee for the Storytelling on Wednesday, so we took time to wash Lotti inside and out and catch up on laundry.
Barrels of new railroad spikes ready to lay the new continuous rail through the Natural Tunnel.  I’d like to stay around to watch that.

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