When I was a prospective JMU student back in 2004, I remember driving by The Natural Bridge and thinking, “that sounds like an enjoyable day trip.”
In 2005, as a JMU freshmen, I expressed this desire to my family. My parents frequently drove my sister and me to Skyline Drive, so they said that The Natural Bridge would be a good trip for us to take in the near future. I knew I would be at JMU for a few years so “the near future” was a good enough answer for me.
Over the course of the next few years, whenever I passed signs for The Natural Bridge, I anticipated this trip. I didn’t know how many times I would have to pass advertisements before I actually got to visit, but I continued to look forward to my impending visit to the Natural Bridge:
…whenever I went to visit my sister at Virginia Tech,
…on the drive back to JMU from Virginia Tech,
…when I took my residence hall students on a trip to the Drive-Thru Safari Park Zoo in Lexington,
…when all my grads went to see a movie at the Drive-In movie theatre in Lexington,
…when I drove to Asheville for Spring break,
…when I drove back to JMU from Asheville,
…when I drove to Atlanta for my conference, and
…when I drove back to JMU from Atlanta.
Somehow, six years passed by and I still hadn’t made it over. I’ve now applied for jobs in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Maryland, Connecticut and Massachusetts, and I realized that my likelihood of visiting this Natural Wonder of the World may become even LESS of a possibility after graduation next week.
I was feeling so sad and desperate that I considered driving to this place all by myself. Fortunately, though, a few of my wonderful WRTCgrads who (if you haven’t heard) mean the WORLD to me, decided the Saturday before finals week was a perfect day for a little WRTC road trip.
I was a little worried that after six years of waiting, the Natural Bridge experience wasn’t going to live up to my expectations… but it was even better than I expected. The gift shop had a shirt that said “The Natural Bridge Rocks” (get it? rocks?) and I think that says it all. The bridge is ENORMOUS and beautiful and full of history and completely worth the trip no matter where you are reading this from:
You can make a whole day out of the Natural Bridge because there is a beautiful long nature hike and places to eat BUT there are TONS of other Natural Bridge attractions beyond the bridge itself including that beautiful nature filled hike, a toy museum, a wax history museum, the Natural Bridge CAVERNS and FOAMHENGE! We experienced them all: