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In Podcast #24 two of the Trekkers (Frank & Dave) take you to St. Mary’s Falls in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Find out how a little thing like water can make BIG changes in rocks and mountains through weathering and erosion; see exactly why the Blue Ridge mountains are said to be the source of many rivers; learn how log bridges are made naturally by soil erosion, enjoy one of the major industries of the Blue Ridge Mountains--recreation, and finally, see how gravity causes water to flow downhill...and even has an effect on the Trekkers as we go cliff jumping.  Come on, let's go trekkin'!

Vesuvius, Virginia, the closest town to St. Mary’s Falls, gets its name from Mount Vesuvius, the volcano in Italy that destroyed the Roman town of Pompeii.   The town in Virginia actually began with the Vesuvius Iron Furnace in 1828.  It was named after the famous volcano because of the heat which was required to turn raw iron ore into iron.  The iron ore was mined from the Mary Creek Mine that Frank mentioned in our podcast.   After it was heated in the furnace and turned into cast iron pigs, it was transported to Richmond by horse and wagon.  Some of it probably ended up at Tredegar Iron Works, which we visited in Podcast #2!

Blue Ridge

SOL Correlation:

VS.2 The student will demonstrate knowledge of the geography and early inhabitants of Virginia by

  1. b)locating and describing Virginia’s Coastal Plain (Tidewater), Piedmont, Blue Ridge Mountains, Valley and Ridge, and Appalachian Plateau;

  2. c)locating and identifying water features important to the early history of Virginia (Atlantic Ocean, Chesapeake Bay, James River, York River, Potomac River, and Rappanhannock River);

2.5 The student will develop map skills by

  1. b)locating selected rivers (James River, Mississippi River, Rio Grande), mountain ranges (Appalachian Mountains and Rocky Mountains), and lakes (Great Lakes) in the United States

2.7 The student will investigate and understand that weather and seasonal changes affect plants, animals, and their surroundings.  Key concepts include

b) weathering and erosion of the land surface.

4.8 The student will investigate and understand important Virginia natural resources.  Key concepts include

  1. a)watershed and water resources;

5.7 The student will investigate and understand how the Earth’s surface is constantly changing. Key concepts include

e) weathering and erosion; and