RV - Natural Tunnel

Trip Start Jul 01, 2013
Trip End Dec 07, 2013

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Where I stayed
Bloutville KOA

Flag of United States  , Virginia
Wednesday, September 25, 2013

With rain over night we had a wet and foggy start to the morning. We travelled west to the Natural Tunnel State Park to view this naturally formed cave that has attracted admirers for centuries. Natural Tunnel is more than 260 metres long and as tall as a 10-story building. With a railroad constructed through in 1893, it continues as an active railroad tunnel sending six to eight coal trains daily through the tunnel toward coastal ports. Similar to Natural Bridge, Natural Tunnel was carved through a limestone ridge over thousands of years. William Jennings Bryan called it the "Eighth Wonder of the World.  

The park offers hiking, observation platforms and a chairlift from the visitors centre to near the tunnel entrance. Today we walked down the hiking trail and took photos of the tunnel and surrounding scenery. 

Afterwards, we headed to the nearby township of Kingsport, Tennessee. Using our GPS affectionately called ‘Virginia’ after her origin, we asked her to find downtown Kingsport. Her directions led us to Abraham Lincoln Elementary School which must have been the geographic centre of town. We got some rather stunned looks from home owners sitting on their front porches at lunch time as a motorhome navigated the school car park and laneway out of the school. 

The town is relatively small compared to locations we have visited. Despite this it has an amazing road system connecting it to the major highways and large hotels such as the Marriot and Hampton Inn near the town. Some of the shops were empty and we wondered if, like rural Australia, regional towns in the United State have been feeling financial pressures. 

We headed back to our Koa camp ground for a coffee and snack before dinner. Tomorrow we hope to set off early to head back toward the coast. Our destination tomorrow is Charlotte, the capital of North Carolina. 
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