Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Another Roadside Attraction

Natural Bridge was in its heyday in the late 50's/early 60's before interstate highways diverted the flow of traffic away from small town two-lane byways and onto mind numbing stretches of four-lane highway with exits jammed full of fast food joints and cookie cutter gas stations.
Natural Bridge is a privately owned park is located just off highway 278 between Double Springs and Hamilton, Alabama. The Natural Bridge is a double span of sandstone and iron ore that lays like a giant foot bridge across a natural amphitheatre. The small park has huge Oak, Hickory, a type of fur and a type of hemlock that according to the handout says dates back to the ice age.
There were some very nice picnic areas with BBQ grills. There was a small gift shop with handmade items made by local craftsmen. I enjoyed the hiking path that meandered among the rock and trees. We saw all kinds of ferns. The handout says there are 27 different varieties.
The old gentleman who owns the place looked happy to see us. He stood and talked for a long while. I knew I would like him right off because when we went in to pay the small admission I was going to stay outside with Ol' Buddy. The owner said "hey, come on in...he's welcome too. What's his name?"
The thing that was remarkable to me was the silence. Standing under the bridge, looking up you can see patterns in the rock which have been created over thousands of millennia. The trickle of water seeping out of the stone was melodic. My blood pressure dropped 20 points just standing there.
Jilda and I both love roadside attractions and we make it a point to take side trips at every opportunity. I'm really glad we found time to visit this roadside attraction.

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