Then a guide joined us, showing us a large stone upon which George Washington had carved his initials and L.F.-the latter standing for Lord Fairfax of England for whom Washington surveyed the ground (Washington following surveying in the years from 1747-1751.) On July 5th, 1774, George III, King of England, conveyed the land, 157 acres, and the bridge to Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson built a two room log cabin near the bridge for visitors and parts of this old cabin still remain.
The bridge itself is on the head of a limestone hill. It is supposed that at one time it was a natural dam. As the limestone gave way and was hollowed out by whirlpools the bridge was formed. Now there is a huge electric amplifier near the top of the bridge which throws music to all sides. No cathedral has better acoustics than those under the bridge. The entire canyon seems to sing with the choirs and the pipe organ music almost stills your heart. I don’t know when I was ever under a spell such as when I listened to that wonderful music.
On up the river is a saltpetre cave wherein mining operations were carried on during the wars of 1812 to 1865. Then we came to Lost River. We slipped our heads under a large cave-like rock and could hear turbulent waters rushing somewhere. It seems that many have lost their lives trying to unravel the mysteries of this stream, the source and destination of which are unknown. Farther on up the stream we saw the Lace Falls and I must say they are well named. Don’t ever plan to visit Natural Bridge in an hour or so. It is the kind of a place where you could spend days.
Leaving the Natural Bridge the next day I rode into Washington where I stopped to say hello to “Red” House. Thence I rode on toward the big city-New York. After riding through the Holland Tunnel I stopped to enquire my way.
A small crowd gathered around, among others being a number of small boys. One lad pulled my jacket and said, “Can’t this motorcycle jump 215 feet high?” He had been reading a bumper sign that had been placed on one of the fenders by advertisers of the Natural Bridge.
Riding along under the elevated in the rain was something of an experience for a Texan but I never had picked any particular place in which to die and figured New York would be as good as any. I enjoyed a visit with the Stern Brothers and then set a course for Springfield, Mass.-the home of my Indian. I arrived at the factory just before closing time and gave them a little surprise when I rode up with my Texas license.
Mr. Wright saw that I located comfortable quarters near the factory and for a week I enjoyed a swirl of activity, visiting around the plant and dining. Then came the crowning joy as I rode a new Scout out of Fritzie Baer’s shop. Don’t go to Springfield unless you plan on meeting that Fritzie Baer and his Roamers. You will soon learn why they are always topping the Club Activity list. They really do things. I saw the T.T. races in Agawam, Mass., put on by the Roamers and I came away feeling that no one can stage an affair like that club. Another high spot was a visit to the beautiful New England home of Mr. and Mrs. Hosley. A story could be written about that territory alone.
Finally my new green motor was checked and it came time to wave goodbye to the “Wigwam” and to all whose hospitality I had enjoyed. My plans called for a stop in Hartford, Conn., which I made and while there visited Freddie Marsh. Then I went back through New York. In the Bronx I received full instructions from a police officer as to how to reach a hotel. It turned out that he had directed me to one in Harlem, and being from the South I could not exactly appreciate the selection. The incident did not stop me from enjoying my stay in New York where I had a grand time seeing such things as the Statue of Liberty, visiting the top of the Empire State Building (102 stories high), taking in the Speedway Races at Union, N. J. -the meet was a fine one with thousands of spectators-and last but not least visiting the club rooms of the Gotham Motorcycle Club. I wish you could see the style those New Yorkers put on.