Sunday, September 30, 2012

Another month has passed already.  Thus far we have traveled 3,100 miles, 599 engine hours, we've been traveling 131 days (93  of those days we were actually moving the boat), we have locked through 135 locks, spent 52 nights at paid docks, 41 nights at free docks, and 38 nights at anchor.  We have used 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel, and visited 104 cities in 10 states and 2 countries.

This morning we attended the Highland Park Baptist Church in Chattanooga, TN.  This is a large church, that in 1969 was the second largest church in the world.  Their congregation has dwindled and in 16 weeks they are moving from their present location to Harrison, TN.  We were welcomed by everyone and enjoyed the service.  We are not always in a location where we are either within walking distance or have the use of a car to get to church.  It is always a joy to us when we can attend a worship service.

After church we went out to lunch at McAllister's Deli and then shopping at Wal-Mart.  As with laundromats, we always take advantage of the opportunity to go grocery shopping.  This afternoon we took a stroll through downtown Chattanooga.  Here are some photos:

Highland Park Baptist Church, Chattanooga, TN before the service

Lunch at McAllister's Deli

Checking out our groceries at Wal-Mart, Chattanooga, TN

Striper goes for a walk near the waterfront

Run, Striper, run!!  We run her between us till she's tired.

Downtown Chattanooga is immaculately clean

Market Street, Chattanooga

Market Street, Chattanooga

Downtown Chattanooga

A hansom cab in downtown Chattanooga -- we passed one twice and that Dalmatian was awful!  Barking, barking, barking!!

Downtown Chattanooga

Downtown Chattanooga

A wooden sculpture

Ralph and Striper coming down the waterfall steps -- it's a refreshing pool

Fishermen near the fountain

September 29, 2012
Thanks to Hal Baker for loaning us his rental car so we could do all the touristy things here in Chattanooga.  Below are some highlights of the Incline Railway which is a mile high and ascends to Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  It was originally built in 1895 and is the steepest in the world at 72.7%.  

We also drove to another area on Lookout Mountain, Georgia to Rock City.  This amazing city of magnificent gardens, caverns and rock formations is stunning.  From Lover's Leap at the top, you can see seven states:  Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Mississippi, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina.  It is one of America's Top 101 places to visit, according to National Geographic, USA 101.

Also nearby on Lookout Mountain is spectacular Ruby Falls.where you descend 260' by elevator to an unusual cave path through stalagmites and stalactites eventually leading to the incredible Ruby Falls.  Quoting from the brochure: "In 1928 Leo Lambert and a group of fellow explorers entered a small opening in a newly found cave in Lookout Mountain.  They spent 17 hours mostly crawling on their hands and knees exploring before hearing the sound of rushing water.  They were awestruck at the magnificent beauty of the waterfall they found inside the cave at its deepest point.  Leo named the falls in honor of his wife, Ruby." 

The walking tour takes you to a depth of 2,140' from the top of the mountain to the bottom of the cave.  We walked a half mile to the falls and a half mile back out via the same route.  It was quite chilly and I am quite claustrophobic.  It was stunning, but I was very glad to get outside where it was much warmer and to vacate the confines of the cave.  However, the Captain knows I get chilly and claustrophobic and kept me warm and peaceful and visiting Ruby Falls was an experience I'm so glad we've had.

Ruby Falls

Rock City

Rock City

Rock City

Ralph (afraid of heights) on the swing bridge Rock City

One of the many plaques in Rock City

This area of the Tennessee River is known as the Grand Canyon of the South

Waterfall in the gnome village, Rock City

One of the nursery rhymes in Rock City

A sad chapter in America's history

The world's steepest Incline Railway, Lookout Mountain, GA

Descending Lookout Mountain on the Incline Railway

A car ascending Lookout Mountain on the Incline Railway

Rock City celebrates 80 years

Beautiful gardens in Rock City, Lookout Mountain, GA

At Lover's Leap in Rock City, you can see seen states

Flags of the seven states

Traveling from Guild to Chattanooga, TN

Ralph going down into one of the caverns in Rock City

Inside Fairyland at Rock City, all the nursery rhymes are represented -- by a German artist

Rock formations in Ruby Falls

Ralph in front of the waterfall at Ruby Falls

Celeste in front of the waterfall at Ruby Falls

Stalagmites at Ruby's falls -- stalagmites rise from the floor of caves and stalactites form from the ceilings of caves

Stalagmites in Ruby Falls

Saturday, September 29, 2012

It rained almost all night and was foggy again this morning as we left Hales Bar Marina in Alabama and traveled north on the Tennessee River and across Bennett Lake bound for Chattanooga, Tennessee.  This area of the Tennessee River is known as the Grand Canyon of the South for it's beautiful mountains and bluffs.  Had the weather been better, the photos would have been better, as well.

We arrived at the Marine Max bluffs dock in downtown Chattanooga around noon today and were met by the manager of the marina, who helped us tie up.   Also meeting us was Hal Baker, who is the Loop Port Captain for Chattanooga.  Hal is a very personable helpful friend who came on board and gave us a packet of information, told us important information about his hometown, Chattanooga,  and loaned us the the key to a rental car he has been using.  How very thoughtful. 

We drove less than ten miles to Lookout Mountain, Georgia -- or should I say "Joejah?" to the Incline Railway -- the steepest in the world, Rock City where you can view 7 states at the overlook, and Ruby Falls - breathtaking falls within an amazing cave.  These magnificent attractions are all in the same vicinity.  We spent the entire day sightseeing.  Too bad I forgot to wear my pedometer.  It would be interesting to know how many miles we walked -- I think probably six.  

In any event, I am in the process of using my card recovery program to recover 100 photos I inadvertently deleted -- those of the incline railway and some from Rock City.  This is a great program that has saved by bacon many times when I've deleted all sorts of things I later needed.  And speaking of saving one's bacon -- got an email from Joyce and Lane this evening advising us, in case we didn't know -- and we didn't -- that Chattanooga is in the eastern time zone, not the central time zone that we've been in for the past several weeks.  So we essentially had dinner at 8:00 PM and will lose an hour of sleep tonight!  Arrrrghhhh!

I'll post photos I write this, my wonderful card recovery program is recovering my lost photos.  Once I have them restored, I'm heading to bed.   As they say in show biz, "Goodnight, Gracie."

Friday, September 28, 2012

We departed Goose Pond Marina & Resort this morning a little after 8:00 PM in the fog.  We traveled 53 miles up the Tennessee River today.  The past couple nights we have passed up anchorages in deference to marinas because it's been hot and humid and we want to sleep with the air conditioning on.

We locked through the Knickajack Lock, the last lock before Chattanooga.  Another five miles and we arrived at Hales Bar Marina & Resort in Guild, TN.  Hales is quite a large resort with an expansive marina. There are cabins on the mountain and floating cabins, mini golf, a pool, golf course and on-site restaurant, as well.   We understand it is currently in transition with a new owner.  Dock rent is $1 per foot which has been commensurate with other marinas in the river system.  They're very hospitable and friendly here.

Our friends, Lane & Joyce from Makin' Memories are here also and we had dinner together this evening at Shells On The River Restaurant.  We were a little dubious about the restaurant which is only open Friday, Saturday and Sunday because it is not much to look at both inside and out.  We were pleasantly surprised with our meals and service.  Our waitress was friendly and efficient.  Lane and Joyce ordered catfish dinners and Ralph and I shared a 14 oz. rib eye steak and ordered additional sides of a baked potato and salad for me.  Our steak was absolutely delicious.  I don't know how it was seasoned, but it was excellent and Lane and Joyce ate every scrumptious bite of their catfish dinners, as well.  We wish them much success.

After dinner, Lane and Joyce came to our boat for ice cream and cookies and we had much lively conversation about everything.  It was so nice to share an evening with them again.

No "foodie fotos" today:
Shells On The River Restaurant -- not much to look at inside or out but the food was excellent and so was the service.
I like this view behind the boat
Entering Knickajack Lock

Lock doors closed behind us

This is the old dam -- it is said to be haunted and was featured on a paranormal tv program recently

Approaching Hales Bar Marina & Resort

These are 1, 2 & 3 bedroom floating cabins for rent -- they're quire popular on the Tennessee River

Leaving Goose Pond Marina in the fog this morning

The changing landscape

John Snodgrass Bridge