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!
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 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!
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.