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I don’t really know the history of the stone wall with it’s waterfall cascading down just outside of Charlton Heights West Virginia but it’s one of favorite places to stop and catch a moment of peace. The old stone wall looks like something that could have been left behind by forgotten civilization. In my imagination I can clearly see an Indiana Jones type adventure cautiously entering the nearby cave. ( visible on right of the panoramic)
I have to admit that more than once I’ve been tempted to gear up and see if there’s a deeper level of the cave with any ancient artifacts hidden away right under our noses. However, having grown up around miners I’m well aware of the dangers of a roof collapse or that it’s possible to simply step out of the breathable air deep underground and become an artifact myself. In my wild imagination I can see an Adena architect leading his tribe as they construct the wall. Or, perhaps the cave was a mine where chert and flint were brought up out of the Earth’s depths. Perhaps later on people used the cave for shelter. Pocahontas herself traveled this area and it’s possible that she camped in this cave with it’s nearby water source. Maybe it’s better not to know. The old saying goes that “the unknown is always more grand than the truth.” Maybe it’s better in some cases to have the wonder and mystery to inspire our dreams than it is to be anchored by the mundane. An unsolved mystery can inspire multiple stories with a variety of roots and outcomes and that might be the real reason why I have not looked inside the cave or climbed up to peek over the wall. Maybe I want the mystery to endure.
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