Natural Bridge Mini-Hike

Greetings All! I took advantage of a rare couple of hours I found as I rolled up Interstate 81 from NC to Pittsburgh in mid May. I was in transition from the Van Truckload division at my employer to the Tanker division, and had turned in my current company tractor (fondly named “Trinity III”) to my home operating center in Charlotte, NC. Driving a rental and on my way to a few weeks of tanker training, I stopped off in Natural Bridge, VA. Here’s one of the last pix of Trinity hauling a dry van… She was a 2021 Freightliner Cascadia, and we’d been through a few not yet’s in our short journey together from Late January through early May… but that’ll be another post. haha.

My tanker training was all set to begin on May 17! It had been a while since I was on a hike of any kind…in fact my last walk / hike was at the Army Heritage Center in Carlisle PA, back in the fall of 2020. So, armed with cell phone and happy intentions, I braved the stairway down the hill to the bridge. https://gohikevirginia.com/hiking-natural-bridge-state-park-va/

Once descending the 137 steps, it’s just ‘around-the-bend’ to the town’s namesake spectacle. I’d been here a few years ago. In fact, this State Park was the inspiration for me to get my professional drone license! Proper Name: Airman’s Certificate for Remote Pilot with sUAS endorsement. See an earlier blog story: Obtaining My Airman’s Certificate. It allows a remote pilot to shoot cinema and photo under the DOT FAA’s part 107 rules in the CFR. (Code of Federal Regulations). This particular State Park (as all are autonomous in certain aspects) made provisions for certificated drone pilots who made an application and submitted a flight plan for park approval. That was a few years back, so I’m not sure of current policies.

Being a beautiful morning, there were a generous handful of visitors. Good spirits and happy energy abounded, and a solo walker reciprocated my offer to take a full length pic of him with the bridge view over his shoulder. I often ask folks when I visit places like this if they’d like me to grab a shot of them on their camera or phone, and most accept with enthusiasm.
There are more rewards to this hike past the natural bridge, including a waterfall at the end of the pathway. I’ve yet to see the waterfall, but I enjoyed just strolling a little; I knew I’d need to get back up those 137 steps since the shuttle they used to have going back up was not operating this day.

Slowly pacing myself, and chiding with passersby, I meandered up the 137 steps, and this fun photo op caught my eye… Did they swipe steps from here for the hill climb? Hahaha…. great ending snap to a nice hike.

Many of you may be aware of the state slogan “Virginia is for Lovers” which I always sort of laughed at after I had found out several years back that it was against the law to have sex outside of marriage in VA… Lol! Yep it was a law on the books… creepy weird, right? Who in their right mind ever dreamed up such an invasion to self-privacy style law? It has since been updated, but only recently! https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/articles/2020-03-05/virginia-repeals-law-banning-sex-before-marriage.

You may also know about the LOVEworks projects all throughout the state. https://www.virginia.org/LOVE You’ve even seen several in my archives of blogposts from many VA points of interest features I’ve done. Well here is the LOVEworks tribute at Natural Bridge State Park.

Well, hope you enjoyed a quick visit here! It’s worth a visit at exit 175 on Interstate 81. The entire area there is rich with history and unique sights, along with a lovely Inn.

Cheers All! See ya soon!

Love and smiles as I churn out more Big Rig Miles!

-JJ

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