There is definitely much to love about the US State of Virginia. I am fortunate to be spending a chunk of my summer here in VA. My husband also took some vacation time in June which coincided with our 31st Wedding Anniversary.
We decided to spend our day with a scenic drive, heading out from Leesburg, to find one of the longest covered bridges in Virginia. Meems Bottom Bridge - located in the Shenandoah Valley at Mount Jackson, in between Strasburg and Harrisonburg.
There are now only eight covered bridges remaining in Virginia, they have always fascinated me for some reason. I think they somehow evoke a sense of romanticism - sometimes these bridges were in fact known as "kissing bridges" - so maybe that is why.
I also wondered why they were "covered". This of course was to protect the wooden trusses from the elements, therefore prolonging the lifespan of the bridge. Also handy for the "kissers" if they want to stay dry! ;)
One of the best-known covered bridges is the 204-foot single-span Burr arch truss known as Meem's Bottom Covered Bridge in Mount Jackson. The Meem's Bottom Bridge was constructed in 1892-93 from materials cut and quarried nearby for the massive arch supports and stone abutments, which extended 10 feet below the riverbed. It was deeded to the Highway Department in the 1930's in return for assuming its maintenance.
This long span over the North Fork of the river carried traffic for more than 80 years before being burned by vandals on Halloween 1976. After salvaging the original timbers, the bridge was reconstructed and eventually undergirded with steel beams and concrete piers. The bridge was reopened to traffic in 1979 and is still in operation to date.
Courtesy of www.virginia.org
After lunch we drove to the Thornton Gap entrance to the Skyline Drive, (part of the wonderful Shenandoah National Park), which is very close to Luray. Heading North along the Skyline Drive, back towards Front Royal, we stopped at the many scenic overlooks to take in the view along the way. It was a hot and humid day, so unfortunately a lot of haze around obscuring the view. Still, it was well worth the $15 to enter the park.
Shenandoah National Park - website
The Mimslyn Inn, Luray, VA - website
The Eiffel Tower Restaurant, Leesburg, VA - website