Natural Bridge

Although it’s only 12 miles from where I live, I had never gone to see Virginia’s famous Natural Bridge. But a couple of weeks ago, impelled by mild weather and a need to escape for awhile from the post-election craziness, I decided it was time.

One reason I resisted a visit was that until a few months ago, Natural Bridge was a privately-owned “attraction” with a high admission fee. Thankfully it is now part of the Virginia state park system, as it always should have been, and the admission fee is substantially reduced.

Like many geologic wonders, photos don’t do it justice. You have to see it up close to appreciate its grandeur. (You can get some idea of its size by noticing the people underneath.)

In 1774 Thomas Jefferson purchased land including Natural Bridge from King George III of England for 20 shillings. Two years later Jefferson was excoriating the king in the Declaration of Independence.

Jefferson, a frequent visitor to the bridge, described it as “the most sublime of Nature’s works.” Of course he hadn’t seen all of Nature’s works, but it is pretty sublime.