Tennessee

Rock City and Ruby Falls

Whew – what a busy and hot day in Chattanooga. We finally got out around 10:00 (plans were 9:00). Since it was supposed to be such a hot day we decided to go to Rock City first and then enjoy the cool temperatures in Ruby Falls. That was probably one of the wisest decisions we will make on this trip! On our way to Lookout Mountain we went by Walmart to pick up a few items and thus arrived even later than anticipated.

The road to Rock City is obviously a mountainous curvy road with a lot of “s” curves. As Jerry had said on the last trip,he was glad he wasn’t driving the motor home. Luckily we got a close parking place. At the ticket booth we realized that we could save a little money by buying a package so we ended up buying tickets for 2 adults and one child for Rock City, Ruby Falls, Inclined Railway and the Tennessee Aquarian. How do you spell ka-ching!

Rock City
We headed right into Rock City and the lovely walkway. Everything is so green and lush at this time of the year although we didn’t see a lot of flowering bushes. Emma seemed to be intrigued with the many facets of the walk.
Fat Man’s Squeeze
Fat Man’s Squeeze was particularly interesting. We all three squeezed through! As we wandered around we realized that we somewhere took the wrong turn and had ended up at the beginning in the gift shop. Interestingly enough Emma, the one who had not been to Rock City before recognized where we were before Jerry and I did. The only way to get to the pavilion where we had planned to have lunch was to retrace our steps. Whew – we were already hot and Emma was tired too so the walk was not something we were looking forward to but we made it! We took no side trips but went directly to the pavilion, got a table and ordered lunch. I had a delightful plate of fried green tomatoes along with crudités accompanied with their homemade pimento cheese. Since it was not an entrée I ordered the chips to go along with it. Actually I ate very few of the chips as the plate was quite enough. I might add, it was delicious, almost as good as the cold glass of iced water that we got as soon as we got there!

Hot, Tired and Hungry!
With some fuel in our bodies, a little rest in the shade and something to drink we were a little bit more energetic so Emma and I headed to the swinging bridge. We cautiously walked across it as it was bouncing because of others on it. When they got off went all the way across and then she decided she wanted to return alone so I let her go and then joined her after she reached the end. Jerry and I enjoyed Rock City this time but not nearly as much as the first time mainly due to the influx of people and the heat. When we were here in April it wasn’t so crowded and of course the weather was cooler.

Our next stop was the deliciously cool Ruby Falls. Although we had a little wait time before we could go down to the falls we were at least in the air condition. Our tour guide was Austin, a college student and since Emma, Jerry and I were in the front Emma became the line leader. We were always very near to Austin so not only did we hear everything he said quite well we were able to ask questions as we walked along. The falls were very crowded today with extra buses but we still went along pretty quickly. As we walked along Austin pointed out the various interesting points and then the finale – the spectacular falls. They are natural, beautiful and the only indoor falls of that size in the country.

Next we headed to the Inclined Railway, rather anti-climactic really but at least we were sitting down and it was cool. We headed down the incline for the mile ride, had our ice cream cones and then rode back up.

Exhausted we finally headed back to the campground. It was nearly 7:00 so a tried crew went right inside to recuperate for the next day.

Tennessee

Chattanooga Again!

Riding along on this pretty June day brings to mind that wonderful poem “what is so rare as a day in June” and it is certainly true today. After a good night’s rest Jerry and I were up fairly early but still had time for our “quiet time” and coffee, showers and then preparation for leaving. Jane brought Emma by on her way to school and we were nearly ready to go by then. Jerry pulled the coach up to the parking area and I followed in the car. Then we again hooked the car up to the motor home. Jerry does the outside work of hooking up and I do the inside “work” of putting the Jeep in the right gear to be towed. By 8:23 we were on the road to Chattanooga. It is a really pretty drive as everything is green and mountains are in the distance. It’s probably going to be a hot day but we’re cool inside so we are still enjoying the benefits of that rare June day.

After a couple of hours we stopped at a rest stop mainly just to walk around for a few minutes plus take advantage of the facilities. Back on the road by 10:20 and Emma has asked how many more hours. Um… After a week-end of dancing Emma was pretty tired so she took a couple of naps on the way. That makes for a much “shorter” trip”! Of course, an iPad and a movie help too! FYI – she is belted in!

At the Tennessee state line we stopped at the Welcome Center to take some pictures and get some information plus we had lunch. We had originally planned to use the picnic area but decided inside with the generator and air condition was a better choice! It’s hot in Tennessee!

We arrived at Holiday Travel Park of Chattanooga which is actually located in Rossville, Ga around 3:30 and had an easy check-in. We’ve stayed at this park on our Tennessee trip a couple of years ago and they have made improvements since then. The roads and the sites are graveled so we didn’t have to contend with mud if it rained. Also, the sites seemed to be further apart. They have a nice pool also. The only negative is its proximity to the drag strip. On Friday and Saturday nights the loud motors of the race cars can be heard but by the time they started we had ended our day and were inside so they didn’t bother us too much. We had a nice quiet spot almost at the end of the park, a pull-through although we needed to unhook before we pulled in in order to align the tanks with the pedestals.

A quick set up and we had the rest of the afternoon. Jerry surely didn’t want to drive anywhere so Emma and I went discovering. Since we knew that the campground was located on a Civil War battlefield which served as a skirmish site in 1863 preceding the Battle of Chickamauga we set out through the woods to find the marker denoting this information. We thought we were going on a long hike – nope, just a little walk and there was the plaque!

We then decided we needed to go to the grocery store so the three of us headed out with no idea of where we were going. After several missed turns and finding a not so good grocery store we realized that there was a Publix fairly close by. Emma and I got the silly giggles and then she wanted a picture not only of the Publix sign but one of her standing beneath the store sign. All the way to Chattanooga to get a picture of Publix grocery store! As we walked in the first thing we saw was a watermelon – heck, our shopping was done! I’m quite sure people looked at us as though we were crazy (Jerry surely did) but we were having fun and since we didn’t know anyone we could act as silly as we wanted to – and we did!

Back to the campground via a much closer route and then a nice dinner. Jerry had promised a treat after dinner so off we went again, to the local ice cream shop. A nice cone of chocolate ice cream is a good way to end a day!