Tennessee

Ruby Falls ZIP Stream Aerial Adventure

Looking a little apprehensive
When we were at Ruby Falls on Tuesday Emma saw the sign for the Ruby Falls ZIP Stream Aerial Adventure and kept talking about it so finally on Thursday morning we headed out there. She was a little dubious of going when we first got there and I asked her if she was sure she wanted to try it. There is no refund if you change your mind so we wanted to be sure she would do it. She assured us that she would so we paid the $25 for her. We had to wait for a while and during that time a gentleman came off of the adult zip line and according to how his wife was treating him he wasn’t feeling well at all. I think that sort of frightened Emma but she was determined to do it. Her guide was Anna Rene and we couldn’t have gotten a more perfect person to do it. She was so patient and gentle with Emma encouraging her but never forcing her to do anything.

Dressed for adventure
Actually it is an obstacle course with a zip line in it. Emma got to go through it four times and each time chose a different obstacle. There is also a rock climbing wall and Emma climbed all the way to the top. I was amazed at her dexterity but then she is a dancer. Quite frankly, it was the best $25 we spent in Chattanooga!
That pink speck is Emma

We had told Emma about the Unclaimed Baggage store in Scottsboro, Alabama and she really wanted to go there. I’m not sure if she really wanted to go to the store or if she wanted to add another visited state to her list but never the less she wanted to go. We stopped at Wendy’s for lunch and then headed to Scottsboro. It’s not too far, about an hour, from Chattanooga. The store is huge with most anything anyone would want but it seemed different this time. Their prices did not seem to be as good as when we visited a couple of years ago but Emma still found some bracelets that she wanted so another chance to spend “her” money.

The ride back to the campground was long as there was pouring rain and heavy traffic but we made it. Another eventful day!

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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!

Home Away From Home

Unclaimed Luggage Store in Scottsboro, Alabama

Today was a day of rest getting ready for the trip home. With no plans for the day and not wanting to see anymore caves or caverns we decided to go to the Unclaimed Luggage store in Scottsboro, Alabama. It was about an hour’s drive and an interesting place. There were many people there and I wondered if they were local or tourists. The store had almost anything anyone would want – if you wanted to buy used items. There was a lot of clothing but as Jerry said, “I’ve got enough used clothes”. I bought a cover for my Kindle that doesn’t quite fit but will be fine, a pair of sunglasses and we bought a suitcase to keep in the RV in case of an emergency flight home at any time. It was only $15.

On the way home we stopped for groceries at Walmart. According to the GPS it was .6 miles away – perhaps as the crow flies but not as the car goes. Got the groceries and came back to the campground by 2:30. It was a beautiful, sunny day so I begged Jerry to drag out my chair and I sat outside for a while. Came in and since Jerry was asleep on the sofa I went in the bedroom and turned on the TV to watch the pre-show for the Derby. I watched it intermittently and napped intermittently until about 5:30. We watched the Derby and then had dinner. After dinner we intended to take the trash out but ending up sitting outside by the fire with neighbors Barbara and Jim until nearly 9:30. Tried to get the GPS set for tomorrow’s trip but the new GPS doesn’t recognize Townville, SC. Not sure I’m going to keep this one either.

Home Away From Home

Chattanooga Ducks

Wow – what a night and what a day. Jerry woke me up last night snoring and I could not fall back asleep so I had to wake him up. He moved to the sofa. I woke up about 6:15 freezing! I didn’t want to go into the den to turn on the heat because I knew Jerry had had a bad night and I didn’t want to wake him up so I stayed in bed cuddled up until nearly 7:00. I finally couldn’t stand it any longer so I got up and quietly went in the den. It was dark but I tried to turn on the heat only to turn on the air condition. I finally got a flashlight out of the cabinet and then – Jerry asked if I needed help!

After a cup of coffee I got back in bed trying to get warm and listened to a podcast and fell asleep again. Finally got back up about 8:30. We sat around and talked about future trips, saving money, what we were going to do today, etc. We finally decided we would go downtown Chattanooga and take the Chattanooga Ducks Tour. I called about 10:45 and they said they only had vacancies on two trips today, one at 11:30 and one at 3:30. I asked him if we could get there by 11:30 and he said sure but to take an alternate route because of the parade. I explained that I would be using a GPS so he told me how to get there.

We left immediately and had no trouble getting to downtown but then had to find a parking spot in the midst of a lot of traffic. We finally found one near the waterfront and very quickly began walking to the tour. He had told me that he was behind a cupcake store so we found it fairly easily but it was a hike.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESThe ride was great. It was an authentic renovated WWII amphibious landing craft that could go on land and water. The guide was very knowledgeable and knew a lot of history about Chattanooga. He recommended walking the Walnut Street Bridge, Coolidge Park and the aquarium. We rode along Ross Landing and on to McClellan Island all the while hearing a lot of history. To go from the street to the Tennessee River and then back to the street was fascinating. It was windy and a little cold but a great experience.

By this time we were hungry and the guide had recommended several restaurants which we passed right by as we walked today the car to get our Adkins bar and water. One of our topics of discussion this morning was saving money on our trips and we admitted that we were eating out too much. However, if it had been left up to me today we’d have gotten something better than an Atkins bar for lunch!

Coolidge Park Carousel
Coolidge Park Carousel
After our “lunch” we walked over the Walnut Street Bridge. The 2,376 foot span is one of the world’s longest pedestrian bridges and connects Chattanooga to the North Shore. On the other side was Coolidge Park and a beautiful carousel that was donated to Chattanooga from Atlanta after Atlanta got a new one. Atlanta however didn’t send any horses, etc. so a master carver, Bud Ellis instructed a team on how to create all of the rides.

We walked back across the bridge and then went to the Tennessee Aquarium first to the salt water side. The first thing we saw were the penguins and they were so cute. They were all banded so that the handlers could tell them apart. After a tour of the salt water we went to another building to the fresh water side. It was much larger and had many fish of all sizes and descriptions and from all parts of the world.

Returned to the RV a little after 5:00 exhausted. Fortunately we were eating meatballs and leftover veggies. I cut up a cucumber and we ate about 7:00. Although really tired Jerry bagged up the trash and we took it to the container. As we were walking back we ran into our neighbors from Durham, Jim and Barbara Hastings and ended up standing outside and chatting until 9:00.

Inside now and Jerry is continuing to watch the football draft and I’m off to bed.