Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Greetings from Home

Our original plan for Monday was to go to Grandfather Mountain and see the views from the mile-high swinging bridge, but it was drizzly and foggy when we woke up in Tennessee, so we concluded that it might not be a good day for that activity and headed into Virginia toward Natural Bridge instead. Like the Wisconsin Dells, this is a place of enormous and unique beauty, surrounded by some of the tackiest tourist traps known to Americans.

The bridge is over 200 feet tall, has George Washington's initials carved into it, and is surrounded by waterfalls, caves used for Civil War munitions, a replica of an Indian village, and beautiful wildlife. The town features a zoo with white tigers, a wax museum with an animated Last Supper show, a dinosaur attraction whose signs seem to imply that the South could have won the Civil War if only they'd had a dino cavalry, a toy museum with a huge collection of Star Trek and Star Wars action figures, and best of all, a full-size styrofoam replica of Stonehenge.

Daniel and Adam at Natural Bridge's main attraction, painted by Frederic Edwin Church and once owned by Thomas Jefferson.

The Monacan Indian Nation helped to create the Native American village of 300 years ago just down the creek from the bridge.

We saw damselflies, caterpillars, and this spectacular spiderweb...

...plus this snake in the creek.

George Washington supposedly carved these initials into the rock of the creek, an act that would be considered vandalism today...

...an act commemorated at the wax museum, which also has biblical scenes and a Civil War display in which Lee, Davis and Jackson are the heroes.

But my favorite attraction by far is Foamhenge. Having seen the real thing, plus the Maryhill Stonehenge on the west coast, though not yet Carhenge, it was necessary to see this replica too.

According to this exhibit, Stonehenge may have been created when the sorcerer Merlin levitated the bluestones from Ireland to, and I quote, "Salisbury Plane." I don't believe that the beer is an intrinsic part of the exhibit, however.

Tuesday I have at least six laundries to do. Sigh.

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