We live 5 miles from Mt. Lake Hotel (of Dirty Dancing fame).  When we were looking at the property and making all of the construction decisions, the lake was full.  We stayed there for several nights with our eldest son and family and our youngest son.  It is a delightful place to stay.  Over the past 7 years, we have watched the lake go completely dry on two occassions and have read that this phenomena has occurred in the past when geologic changes have cause the drain holes in the bottom to leak water more quickly that the springs and rainfall were filling it.
     Though it is not the attraction that brings in visitors in this state, it is interesting to watch.  Since it went dry 3 summers ago, it has only refilled to about 20%, draining toward the dry end of summer and refilling partially in the winter.  We began to wonder if we would see it refill in our lifetime.  Last summer, when it was nearly dry, geologists began a study of why it was overdraining, where the water was going and if it would self correct.  Then the Conservancy that owns the property announced that the General Manager who had been there for dozens of years was retiring and a new, very young General Manager had been hired.
     Articles began to appear about the changes that were being made to bring back the guests, tearing down some old buildings, renovating others, adding new recreational opportunities, teaming with a local river outfitter for kayaking, rafting, or fishing trips on the New River.  Though I hated to see some of the buildings go, these were understandable changes.
     The change that bothers me, however, is that they have hired a company that has come in with heavy equipment to completely drain the lake, recontour the bottom, using boulders, then rocks, then gravel and soil to plug the drain holes in the bottom of the lake in hope of it refilling completely in the next two years.  We drove up to see this today and have a gnawing concern about how this might affect the water table and the wells of us that live a couple thousand feet below the lake in elevation.  Pehaps we should allow mother nature to take care of herself.

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