We woke up early so we could hike over to the the tunnel from our campsite. We cooked a warm breakfast and packed up everything that didn’t have dew on it. We walked over to the trailhead which was close by and hiked into this wonderful forest that was in its peak fall colors.
The yellow and orange leaves glittered in the breeze, and the the bright morning sun lit all the leaves up. We reached a cliff that was like a giant bowl carved out of the mountain. It was a cliff that went down about a thousand feet, and below the river flowed out of the tunnels mouth.
At the edge of the cliff there is a fence that went all the way around, but my mom is not a big fan of heights, so we took the other path around. We went over the tunnel on the trail and down to the visitor center to get some more info on the Natural Tunnel and the train. We talked to a ranger about the trains’ effects on the tunnel and the area, and the possibility that someday the train may be removed. She said that the train is a symbol of the people in the area’s heritage, so even if there was no need to ship coal anymore, they would probably still keep it. Honestly I was rather upset that the train came through, because I think absolutely ruins and takes away from the natural beauty of the tunnel. Lots of people were more focused on the train than the amazing natural monument itself. There were also some views from the book inside the tunnel, but since the train went through, we were not allowed in unless we had a guide. We walked down to the tunnel to explore some more on the outside. The leaves were a vibrant yellow, and glittered in the morning sun. As they fell from the trees it seemed like it was raining stars. They were so bright against the dark grey stone walls of the cave.
As we walked up to the mouth of the cave Grayson and I were trying to catch some of the falling leaves. As we were looking at the cave and its features, two rocks fell from the cliff walls and landed right next to us! They said that the cave had always been growing larger, even today, but it was really amazing to see that it only fell apart in little stones you could hold in your hand.
We walked across a bridge further away from the cave and came to this really neat old cabin.
Grayson and I played around a little bit inside and then we hiked back to the campsite through the wonderful fall colors. We packed up the rest of camp that was now dried out. We ate some leftovers for lunch and drove to Eggleston Springs, VA. On the car ride over we caught up on some school work. When we arrived at the campground we had the whole place to ourselves, so we used the picnic shelter for cover. It was a drizzly wet evening. We cooked burgers over the fire for dinner and went to bed early, very tired.
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