While sitting on the shores of Crane Lake at Suffolk’s Lone Star Lakes, it is hard to believe the ocean’s salty water once covered the area. The story is almost unbelievable.
Thirty-five million years ago, a two-mile-wide asteroid plummeted to the earth. Its impact caused a series of tsunamis that carried the ocean’s water to inland areas that were once dry land. After glacier and erosion activity over the years, the area returned to its previously dry state.
The marine animal life residue formed a substance called marl, a perfect ingredient for making cement. In the early 20th century, a company began digging this substance, thereby creating what is now known as the Lone Star Lakes. Our favorite fishing spot, Crane Lake, is said to be named because the company left a crane in the bottom of the pit, now filled with water.
Today you can find fossils throughout the park, including giant Jefferson scallop shells, Virginia’s state fossil. I cannot begin to explain the feeling of holding a three to eight million-year-old shell that has never been touched by human hands.
These lakes in Suffolk were all fresh water until Crane Lake was breeched by the James River. This gives visitors a chance to fish both fresh and salt water in one beautiful park.
Saturday we spent the full day fishing, exploring and marveling at the wonder of this area. We watched a bald eagle fly overhead and enjoyed gazing at flocks of cormorants and geese. We fished. We hiked. We wondered at the beauty of the outdoors.
Never estimate the healing power of the outdoors. NEVER.