Foamhenge - Natural Bridge Virginia / by Elizabeth Woodward

Kodak Porta 400 Film
Natural Bridge, Virginia
December 2012

This was probably the best surprise of the trip.  We originally went to Natural Bridge to see it's namesake, a rock bridge carved out of a cliff by glaciers.  However, when we got there it was quickly apparent that we could not afford to see the natural wonder.  They were charging $18 a person.  $36 for the two of us.  Seriously?  To put it in perspective, that's what we paid for a hotel room right on the ocean in Myrtle Beach. The New Englander in me felt sick.  The only natural phenomenon 'round these parts that requires payment is Mt. Washington, and that's only because the Auto Road is manmade and it's upkeep is insane.

In truth, we could have spared the money to see it, but we refused on principle.  Instead, as we drove back to the highway we found Foamhenge.  Nestled on a  quiet hilltop, as we rounded a corner and saw it for the first time both our mouths dropped open.  Luke and I looked at each other and said "Fuck yeah" in unison.  The drive up to the top was treacherous.  My silver Corolla was caked with red mud by the end of it, but a girl from NH and a guy from WI sure do know how to handle a car in the mud and we didn't get stuck once.

Foamhenge was created by artist Mark Cline of Enchanted Castle Studios.  He unveiled it on April Fools Day in 2004.  It's an exact replica of Stonehenge, painstakingly carved out of styrofoam.  We just loved it.  There's no other way to say it.  Here's a massive sculpture that an artist made by hand, and it's completely free to see.  All he asked was that you not deface the sculpture.  Yet a mile down the road is a natural phenomenon that you have to pay to experience.  Christ almighty.

And the best part?

We hoped to meet Mr. Cline, but no one was home at his studio.  Mark, if you're reading this, 1) I salute you, sir 2) email me!!!  3) you should make a foam replica of the bridge and not charge people to see it.