We got word during the past week that our friend, Colt, was going to be in again for the weekend and wished to go see the Natural Bridge near Dolph. After friends and family joined the trek Sunday afternoon, we ended up with a group of 12.
We took the group, first, to the top of the arch and explained to them about the Natural Bridge's use in the past as an actual bridge. Those who owned the land long ago would each year pack dirt into the cracks and crevices across the top of the stone arch so that they could drive a wagon from field to field...a task that could take hours or days by going around the deep bluff-lined hollow of Calico Creek.
We then went down to see the arch in all its glory. The kids crawled through the tunnel in base of the bridge and happily jumped back and forth along the creek. Having experienced the beauty of the structure, we hiked downstream to the feature I had noticed the last time we visited the site...a cave. I did not get to climb the hill to investigate the place before and when we all did this time, we found a small domed-room with a round opening in its outside wall. It was amazingly similar to a Fred Flintstone-style house!
We oohed and ahhed about the cave for a few minutes before hiking on "downstream" (in quotes because Calico Creek flows underground just below the cave)to investigate more of the hollow we had not yet seen.
Calico Creek Hollow (I'll call it that for lack of knowing any other name) is a stunning place. The clear, spring-fed creek runs through a channel cut deep into limestone rock with rock-bluffs rising high on both sides. Below where the creek flows under a cedar tree to disappear underground, the bottom upens up into a flat on the south side of the creek.
Just below this flat, the landowner's fence stretches across the dry creek-bed. That's as far as we got. We will return to investigate farther downstream to Goat Hollow and Cantrell Den when we get permission from the owner of the Goat Hollow portion of the creek.
This was our first outing of any size. It wasn't organized because of how it came together. We're hoping, however, to have more organized periodic outings in the future. We're hoping some of you would like to join us.