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The highlights of the visit to Natural Bridge…

September 28, 2012, 10:39 PM

So on this, the night before I pull the wraps off of the new “Modern Blue” design and hang up the “Blue Squares” design for good, I realized that I never showed you the pictures that I took in Natural Bridge last week.  While I was down visiting the family, we all went down to Natural Bridge on the 20th and saw this geological formation.  We realized that in twenty years in the area, we had never seen the Natural Bridge from which Rockbridge County takes its name (and by the way, the town and the rock formation are both properly named “Natural Bridge” – confused yet?).  Mom, Sis, and I saw the wax museum there in 1993, but never the bridge itself.  So we did.  And here are the highlights:

Mom stops for a smile on the stairs down to the Natural Bridge.
Mom stops for a smile on the stairs down to the Natural Bridge.

The Natural Bridge itself.  This is the first view we got of the formation.
The Natural Bridge itself.  This is the first view we got of the formation.

Another view of the bridge.  To give you a sense of scale here, the person in the orange shirt is Chris, and he's just a shade over six feet tall.  Thus this is a really large formation, but you really don't get the feel for how large it really is when you're close to it.
Another view of the bridge.  To give you a sense of scale here, the person in the orange shirt is Chris, and he’s just a shade over six feet tall.  Thus this is a really large formation, but you really don’t get the feel for how large it really is when you’re close to it.

The underside of the bridge.
The underside of the bridge.

Back in the 1700s when surveying the area, then-future president George Washington left his initials on the rock.  The white box highlights Washington's initials.
Back in the 1700s when surveying the area, then-future president George Washington left his initials on the rock.  The white box highlights Washington’s initials.

The top of the bridge as seen from the far side.  Route 11 runs across the top of the bridge.
The top of the bridge as seen from the far side.  Route 11 runs across the top of the bridge.

View from the far side of the bridge.
View from the far side of the bridge.

Far side of the bridge.  For all of you photographers out there, here's a tip: the benches aren't secured to the ground.  As tempting as the photo-op is, don't stand on them.
Far side of the bridge.  For all of you photographers out there, here’s a tip: the benches aren’t secured to the ground.  As tempting as the photo-op is, don’t stand on them.

Mom holds up a handmade axe as Sis acts scared.  Despite appearances, that axe blade is actually pretty sharp!
Mom holds up a handmade axe as Sis acts scared.  Despite appearances, that axe blade is actually pretty sharp!

Corn.
Corn.

Chris and Sis stare at the camera for a moment.  This actually slightly reminded me of the time when Chris stared into the camera in 2005.
Chris and Sis stare at the camera for a moment.  This actually slightly reminded me of the time when Chris stared into the camera in 2005.

In this picture of Dad, the expression sort of says, get on with it already.
In this picture of Dad, the expression sort of says, get on with it already.

Chris is in the process of approving of the Lost River at Natural Bridge.
Chris is in the process of approving of the Lost River at Natural Bridge.

As we were walking towards Lace Falls, we encountered a snake sitting on the retaining wall, sunning itself.  This snake was harmless (note the round pupils), and so all of us got photos of it sitting out there.
As we were walking towards Lace Falls, we encountered a snake sitting on the retaining wall, sunning itself.  This snake was harmless (note the round pupils), and so all of us got photos of it sitting out there.

Lace Falls.

Lace Falls.
Lace Falls.

Back in the main building after returning from outside, I noticed this vintage urinal in the men's room.  I knew this was an older building, but sometimes you don't realize exactly how old it is until you see the plumbing fixtures.  How old would a urinal of this design be?  Anyone know?
Back in the main building after returning from outside, I noticed this vintage urinal in the men’s room.  I knew this was an older building, but sometimes you don’t realize exactly how old it is until you see the plumbing fixtures.  How old would a urinal of this design be?  Anyone know?

I smile for a pose with the giant stuffed bear in the gift shop.  Posing here reminded me of the time I posed with a similar bear at the CN Tower in Toronto back in 1999.  It is worth noting that compared to the older photo, I have less of a few things.  I have less hair on top now, and I'm around 30-40 pounds smaller.
I smile for a pose with the giant stuffed bear in the gift shop.  Posing here reminded me of the time I posed with a similar bear at the CN Tower in Toronto back in 1999.  It is worth noting that compared to the older photo, I have less of a few things.  I have less hair on top now, and I’m around 30-40 pounds smaller.

 Mom poses with the bear.  First she made a "terrified" pose, and then she did a straight pose with it like I did.   Mom poses with the bear.  First she made a "terrified" pose, and then she did a straight pose with it like I did.
Mom poses with the bear.  First she made a “terrified” pose, and then she did a straight pose with it like I did.

Sis does similarly, first posing with the height measure (the gist of it is to show how tall you were when you visited Natural Bridge), and then acting scared with the bear.  Sis does similarly, first posing with the height measure (the gist of it is to show how tall you were when you visited Natural Bridge), and then acting scared with the bear.
Sis does similarly, first posing with the height measure (the gist of it is to show how tall you were when you visited Natural Bridge), and then acting scared with the bear.

Chris was supposed to look like he was fighting this giant bear, but unfortunately, it didn't turn out the way that he had expected.  Instead, it looks like Chris is giving the bear a big hug.  Not a bad thing, but not what we were going for.
Chris was supposed to look like he was fighting this giant bear, but unfortunately, it didn’t turn out the way that he had expected.  Instead, it looks like Chris is giving the bear a big hug.  Not a bad thing, but not what we were going for.

And then apparently Dad had enough sense not to take silly pictures with the bear.

Then after we finished at Natural Bridge, we stopped at Foamhenge, which was on our way, and which I had previously visited by myself in 2006.  Mom, Chris, and I went up the hill to get a close up look, while Dad and Sis waited for us in the car.  Foamhenge looked more or less the same as it did in 2006t, but looked a little bit more weathered, as it had been out in the open for six years since the last time I had visited.

This wizard was new since my first visit.  He tied in with two new signs about the construction of the real Stonehenge that weren't there during my first visit.  The one sign presented "Theory 1", which was the most plausible explanation for the construction of Stonehenge relating to transportation of the stones using logs, etc.  Then "Theory 2" was about the wizard, which involved magical levitation and transportation of the stones, and the magical properties of each stone.  The reader was then asked to decide which one they believed.  Personally, I think that the wizard is unnecessary, and detracts from the original work.
This wizard was new since my first visit.  He tied in with two new signs about the construction of the real Stonehenge that weren’t there during my first visit.  The one sign presented “Theory 1”, which was the most plausible explanation for the construction of Stonehenge relating to transportation of the stones using logs, etc.  Then “Theory 2” was about the wizard, which involved magical levitation and transportation of the stones, and the magical properties of each stone.  The reader was then asked to decide which one they believed.  Personally, I think that the wizard is unnecessary, and detracts from the original work.

Foamhenge, as viewed from down the hill.
Foamhenge, as viewed from down the hill.

So there you have it, I suppose.  Natural Bridge!  That was a really fun time with the family.  Thanks to all of my various friends on Facebook for suggesting it.

Categories: Family, Nature

  • And wouldn’t you know it – that snake photo gave me bad dreams the next night.

  • Debra Winchell

    Thank you for the photos of the Natural Bridge, especially the graffitti.  I’ve recently learned that Washington’s companion was a relative on my mother’s side of the family, Hanchrist Carlock, and he’s supposed to have carved his initials too.