Tuesday, the trip from Elko GA to Chattanooga TN was a breeze going through Atlanta on I 75. We have heard from so many people to avoid going through Atlanta and it was not bad at all. We think it's because we came from the very congested traffic areas of North New Jersey that we saw Atlanta as fairly easy. The best advice I would give someone going through Atlanta on I 75 would be to stay near the center lane as many roads split off of I 75 in Atlanta. We made the 221 mile trip in 4 hours.
Now for the time when I became complacent with setting up the rig. We pulled into our new pull through site at Holiday Trav-L-Park in Chattanooga TN just a few feet from the GA state line to our South. We got maneuvered into a good position within 5 minutes and were ready to start our setup procedure. Patty places in the wheel chocks and then we put down the pads under levelers. Here is where I messed up. Next on the list is to take the load off the truck by putting down the front levelers. For some reason I went out of our established order and disconnected the truck from the Rig before putting down the front levelers. Neither of us questioned this! Next, Patty started putting down the front levelers and.....I.....began....pulling the truck out from under the Rig! Ka-Boom! The rig falls into the truck bed and onto the partially extended front levelers. New hard rule: NEVER DISCONNECT THE TRUCK BEFORE THE FRONT LEVELERS ARE SUPPORTING THE RIG. The good news was that no one was hurt and there was no real damage to the rig or to the truck. The rig landed on the rails for the bed cover and bent each side about an inch in. That was easy to just bend back out straight. I still can't believe I did that!!
After the incident, the setup went fine. We got our computers out and checked in with the world. Around 6 we had a quick dinner of a hot dog each and a salad. It was very hot so we went for our walk around the park and then a quick dip in the pool. Then we went back to the rig and planned our tourist visit to Chattanooga for the next 2 days.
We decided the night before to be up and out of the rig by 9 am. We did pretty good for us and were out by 9:25. We made plans to ride the Incline Railway to the top of Lookout Mountain, visit Rock City with Lovers Leap, and then visit Ruby Falls. After the tourist stuff, the plan was to be back to the campsite and lounge by the pool in the afternoon. We managed to get in all of the tourist stuff by 5 pm and were back to the rig by around 6 pm. It was a nice long day.
I had been on the Incline Railway in the late 60s as a kid on vacation with my parents. I couldn't really remember the ride and now I know why now, it's sort of boring and expensive at $20 a head to just ride a mile up with nothing really to do at the top except look down.
|Chattanooga is viewed through the roof|
Next we went to Rock City which has Lover's Leap. Lover's Leap is what I picture when I think of Lookout Mountain. Patty was here as a very young child of 6 and I was here when I was 10 or 11 years old. We both remember it but mostly just Lover's Leap and Patty remembers the swinging bridge. Rock City is expensive too but at least it really is something to see. I would recommend seeing Rock City if you are in the area.
|Lover's Leap in Rock City|
|View of the falls under Lover's Leap|
|View of Chattanooga from Lookout Mountain|
|The iconic sign that shows the direction to view the seven states|
|Small space that was OK as long as there is no one holding up the line to get out!|
|An albino deer on Lookout Mountain|
|A little scary, all of that rock being held up by one little rock|
|Rock City added a lot of gnomes to the rocks|
|A scene in the rocks in Rock City, Humpty Dumpty|
We then drove over to Ruby Falls. Ruby Falls is a cave with a waterfalls in it. I am claustrophobic so I was a little apprehensive about doing this. I had my ticket and I was here so I was going to try it.
The cave used to be open at the base of Lookout Mountain when the indians used it. Also, both sides in the Civil War used the cave. Then the Railroad came through and permanently blocked the entrance around the turn of the century. Then sometime in the 20s a guy decided to make the cave into a tourist attraction by digging an elevator shaft 260 feet down to the tunnel. The guys wife was named Ruby so that is how the falls was named.
The way into the cave is by a single elevator 260 feet down. I got on the elevator last and the ride down wasn't too bad. In the cave at the bottom the top of the cave was just 6 feet tall and somewhat narrow. I asked the guide if it got smaller and he said yes it did and that we would be down here for over an hour. Well, no, I'm not doing this. The guide asked if I wanted to go back up and I said YES! He said this happens a lot and they have a name for it, I'm taking the "short tour". I got back up to the top and outside and just waited for Patty to finish. All in all Patty reported that Ruby Falls wasn't that interesting if you have been in a cave before.
That was it for our first day of "tourist stuff". We got back home and had a hamburger dinner on the grill. We bought some flavored hamburgers (Chipotle) at WalMart in Georgia to try. They were very salty, so much so Patty couldn't eat all of hers. Of course I ate mine but didn't want hers. We plan to donate these to someone as a gift in the near future :)
Thursday was a mixed day of chores and then going out on a river boat for a dinner cruise on the Tennessee River. First we needed to do laundry since we hadn't done any since we were in Tampa 3 weeks ago. I also wanted to check the air pressure in all 10 tires, the 6 on the truck and the 4 on the rig. I only needed to put air in one truck tire which was great. However it was the inner dually tire on the passenger side. It just needed 3 lbs but I am very cautious when it comes to tires. We also did a little reading around the pool while the laundry was washing and drying.
The dinner cruise was on the ship Southern Belle and left from the area of Chattanooga called River Bend on the Tennessee River. We didn't know this before but a big music festival was underway at River Bend. The headliner tonight was Lynard Skynard! There are only a few bands we would like to see and that was one of them. Yeah, and to see them play southern rock in south Tennessee, Damn! Oh yeah, the price was only $20 to get in front of the stage and $27 entrance fee to the festival for a total of $47 each, cheap! You could also watch from the side for just the entrance fee and sit on the ground or your own lawn chair. We were not prepared so we didn't do it :(
The dinner cruise was nice and the food was very good featuring prime rib. We cruised by the River bend Festival 2 times so we got to see the Lynyrd Skynyrd trucks and all of the boats where people had gathered to listen to the band. The cruise was over at 9 pm and the band didn't start until 10 pm so we didn't even get to hear them. Anyway, it was a good night after all.
|One of Lynyrd Skynyrd's trucks for the concert|
|Boaters waiting for the concert on the Tennessee River|
|The stage on the river at River Bend|
|More boaters for the concert|
|Sunset over the yardarm|
Today we move up to Berea Kentucky 236 miles to our north. We will be there for just 2 nights and then we travel up to Crawfordsville Indiana for 10 days. Berea is an area near Corbin where I took one of my motorcycle trips when I was 18 years old. By the way, Corbin is the hometown of Colonel Sanders.