Chattanooga and environs (includes photos)
September 24, 2011 3 Comments
Sunday. The last thing my aunt and I did before going to bed last night is decide to visit Chattanooga, TN today. We had identified a number of interesting things to see, all located at or near Lookout Mountain… including a tandem hang gliding adventure that, sadly, we did not ultimately end up doing.
Just as well, I’m sure. A person needs to have things to look forward to in the future, no?
We have breakfast and jump in the car. It’s my rental, so for better or worse, I’m driving. Sliver lining: my aunt has a presentation due on Monday when she gets back to class, so can use the drive time to jot what she wants to say. I plug in the address of our first stop and gulp.
According to the GPS, it’s more than three hours to Chattanooga.
What I haven’t realized is that the GPS is smarter than I am in terms of time zones. Which is a relief to discover, since this whole Central Time thing has been messing me up anyway.
We go to Ruby Falls, which is in a cavern inside Lookout Mountain. I am going to consider this my foray into caving. Because, hey. It’s a cave. It’s over 1000 ft underground. It’s dark (except for the convenient lighting). And let’s face it, when am I ever going to come into a cave so perfectly made for me? By which I mean that with no exits to the outside other than the elevator shafts that have been cut in, there is no natural (read as: horrific creepy crawly) wildlife present.
After Ruby Falls, we head over to the Incline Railway, which takes us up Lookout Mountain. On the steepest incline of any train in the US. Or so they say.
And from there, we head over to Rock City. Which is also on Lookout Mountain, but over on the Georgia side.
Georgia? As in EAST COAST STATES? Harumph, I hadn’t planned on coming that far east! Plus (insert whining) I’ve already been to Georgia!
Anyway, Rock City is plenty scenic (and then some), more than making up for yesterday’s Monte Sano disappointment.
We drive (very briefly) through Chattanooga proper, but in all honesty I’m not up for city or parking or strolling by the time we’ve seen the three attractions. We head back, stopping for gas (which my aunt kindly pumps for me, since I’m a Jersey girl and am doing my damnedest to see how long I can go without ever pumping my own), and picking up a pizza en route.
We arrive at the hotel some 12 hours after we left, as rain starts to roll in. My aunt and I turn her notes into the presentation she needs for her class tomorrow, and I start packing up for the trip north.