January 17, 2013

Mary's Rock Tunnel


Skyline Drive passes through Mary's Rock Tunnel just south of the U.S. 211 interchange. A parking lot offers a place to take a picture of the tunnel and an expansive view to the east.

A sign tells the story of the tunnel's construction in 1932. It took workers three months to drill and blast their way through 600 feet of solid granite (granodiorite).

I remember when the walls of the tunnel were not yet coated with concrete. You could see the rough granite and water was constantly dripping through the rock, even in dry weather. In the winter it formed dramatic icicles. (It still does at the entrances.) This was when I was a child; the tunnel was lined with concrete in 1958.

The poster on the left side of the sign presents a message about what services are available in Shenandoah National Park during the winter. (Summary: just about everything is closed except picnic areas.)

7 comments:

Camille said...

That is really cool, I want to drive through it! Is it scary?

Daisy said...

That's interesting that it is lined in concrete. I wouldn't have thought of that. Great picture!

Betsy Brock said...

Beautiful! I'd really love to see the big icicles! :)

FP said...

Fascinating and beautiful place you live. Every time am happy your stories and photographs.
With best greetings from Lithuania

Jonas

Tanya said...

beautiful!

George said...

We've stopped here a couple of times, but I never got any pictures as neat as the ones you got in the post below. It would have been interesting to go through the tunnel before the concrete was added.

Linda said...

Camille, it doe not seem scary to me, but that may be because I remember it before the concrete was added. I was a child and I did find it scary then with the water dripping on the car in huge drops.