Mountain Lake (on Salt Pond Mountain) in Giles County, Virginia, was familiar territory once upon a time. I took five-week-long studies at the UVa Biological Station there in the summers of 1977 and 1978.
I have been back a few times since, doing author tables maybe twice. The last time I was there, I think there was still a lake. Last week’s visit was sad: there is now no lake at all.
Memories abolished by cataclysm, “progress” or decay are bitter sweet.
I remember diving off the large boulder nearest to what used to be the center of the lake. This part of the lake was called the Garden of the Gods. The water was unbelievably cold–even in July.
This, by the way, is (or was) one of only TWO naturally occurring lakes in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The other is Lake Drummond, in Dismal Swamp. At least that is what I have stated as being accurate and think it to be true (vs alternative) fact.
A trail follows the perimeter of the lake. I’ve walked it many times, finding amazing bird life, which, like human visitors, came for the water.
If you know of the Lodge (off image far right) it might be because it was the site of filming for some of Dirty Dancing.
I’ve told the geological story of the lake before, I know, but I can’t locate it just now. You can read some of the history of the lake and the lodge here.