Monday, October 3, 2011

Noland Trail

I ran the Noland Trail about a week after Hurricane Irene (yes, I know that was last month and I'm just now getting to blog about it!) and it never occurred to me that the trail could be dangerous or hard to get to. Duh, total blond moment. Trees that are hundreds of years old can sometimes fall on a running trail. Not my brightest moment.

Big trees down

Never fear, the diligent workers were chainsawing trees that had fallen on the trail and I think I might have scared one of them when I came running by. I guess loud chainsaws ruin your hearing. I ran the trail a couple of times in college (it's right next to CNU) and I remember not liking it very much. Well guess what, I still don't like it. I forgot that its an actual trail and I had to keep my head down otherwise I'd trip over tree roots or the little (sometimes REALLY FREAKING BIG) steps someone's laid down to get you up the hill successfully. Needless to say Noland kicked my butt. And it hurt. And it was hot. And humid. And sticky. Ok, now I may be making excuses.

The trail is really super pretty and I would love to walk it sometime. However you need to be with someone fun, 5 miles of walking is really slow. And painful. And did I mention REALLY SLOW?

I never really gave much thought about looking up the history of the trail or the Mariner's Museum where the trail is located. So in all of its glory, here is the history thanks to Wikipedia (seriously, what did we do before Wikipedia? Dust off an encyclopedia? Nah, I just went about my business a little less knowledgeable).
The museum was founded in 1932 by Archer Milton Huntington, son of Collis P. Huntington, a railroad builder who brought the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway to Warwick County, Virginia, and who founded the City of Newport News, its coal export facilities, and Newport News Shipbuilding in the late 19th century.

Archer and his wife, the sculptor Anna Hyatt Huntington, acquired 800 acres (3.2 km²) of land that would come to hold 61,000 square feet (5,700 m²) of exhibition galleries, a research library, a 167 acre (676,000 m²) lake, a five mile (8 km) shoreline trail with fourteen bridges, and over 35,000 maritime artifacts from around the globe. After acquisition took place, the first two years were devoted to creating and improving a natural park and constructing a dam to create Lake Maury, named after the nineteenth-century Virginia oceanographer Commodore Matthew Fontaine Maury.

The Museum’s collection totals approximately 35,000 artifacts and is the home to the U.S.S. Monitor Center. In 1973, the wreck of the ironclad U.S.S. Monitor, made famous in the Battle of Hampton Roads in 1862 during the American Civil War was located on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean about 16 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. The wreck site was designated as the United States' first national marine sanctuary. Monitor Sanctuary is the only one of the thirteen national marine sanctuaries created to protect a cultural resource, rather than a natural resource. The Monitor National Marine Sanctuary is now under the supervision of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Many artifacts from Monitor, including her innovative turret, propeller, anchor, engine and some personal effects of the crew, have been brought to the museum.

One of the entrance signs

Interesting sculpture

The wife of the creator of the Mariner's Museum created this sculpture

And here is one of the four lions on the Lion's Bridge....photo op of 8785347957430 Phi Mu photos!

No comments:

Post a Comment