What great weather, we have turned off the ac at night, much to the relief of obie and Reggie. Today we drove to Hawks Nest State Park and took the tram from the lodge down to the bank of the New River. Then we took the jet boat tour of the river. We looked up at the bridge that is 876 feet above the river. The bridge has the second longest open steel arch in the world. We saw whitewater rafters and the boat pushed one of them back to their beachhead. A biplane was doing sightseeing aerobatics above us. We were introduced to the smell of mayflies - similar to a bad sewer smell. Hopefully they will be gone when we are up in Huron, Ohio. The lodge has a nice observation deck overlooking the river.
The new river bridge is 3030 feet long and the second highest bridge east of the Mississippi. In October locals celebrate bridge day by parachuting from it.
We then went to the national park visitors center for another view of the bridge and river as well as a short film about the history of the area. They have an informative display about the coal mining that took place along the river once the train was built, many towns came and went as the mining companies worked this area. We then took the Fayetteville Station Road tour with an explanatory cd as we drove the road. What a great drive to the bottom of the gorge -the road way used before the bridge was built. We viewed the new river bridge from ground level and passed the sites of two towns on either side of the reconstructed Fayetteville Station bridge as we crossed the river at the bottom of the gorge. 100 years ago there were as many as 13 towns along the river here, 1 per mile.