We celebrated Rachel’s birthday a few weeks early by going to Chuck E. Cheese’s and eating a breakfast pizza. We got to go to one of Nick’s basketball games (they lost big time) and we managed to attend the church’s spaghetti dinner night and the Dad’s club Fish Fry. Don cooks for the fish fry and Nick helps set everything up and then serves the dinners and busses tables before he has to break everything down, so this turns out to be about a 9-10 hr day for both of them. We just showed up for an hour and ate. We had plenty of cold weather and a lot of snow while we were in Michigan so we were glad to get back to Chattanooga even if it was raining.
Chattanooga has built another new aquarium downtown right next to the original one, one is called the River and the other is called the Ocean, there are also about 15 new restaurants and tons of other things at the riverfront. We have spent two days walking the river walk, we spent one day on the east end and on another we started at the west end, it runs for about 8 miles and is right along the water 90% of the way. In the downtown area they have two different sections that are loaded with sculptures, we probably saw 25-35 different ones during our walks. This town just keeps getting better and better, by the way if you would like to buy a condo in the downtown area plan on lying out well over a million for a small place, and they tell me this is cheap. That reminds me, Cathy has to buy lotto tickets this week.
Today was the first Saturday of the month so that means that the Lulu Land Trust is open to the public, so that is where we spent the better part of the day. First you have to find the entrance, which is on Lookout Mountain, and then you drive down a steep dirt road to the old railroad right of way and the mountain stream, where you park and put on your hiking boots. There are over ten miles of trails, today we did about five of them and I swear they were all uphill, a very steep hill. We followed the old Railroad bed down along the stream to the first of the two falls, this is the smaller of the two but it empties into a beautiful emerald green lake which gets it’s color from it’s 80 foot depth. Another couple hundred yards and you can see Lulu falls which is over a hundred foot drop. There is a trail that takes you to the bottom of the falls and around behind them, but I learned my lesson last year and took a pass on it this year. After about a half hour at the falls we decided to take the Bluffs trail back to the parking lot, the first 3/10th of a mile on this trail were straight up, in that third of a mile we had to stop 4 times to caught our breath but when we saw the view from the top it was well worth it. You’re right on the edge of the cliff and have a view of about 50-60 miles, or at least it seemed like it. Three a half more miles and one stream crossing and we were back in the parking area.
To recover we drove into town and had lunch at our favorite place the Lookout Mt Café, after lunch we went down to Point Park, where the battle above the clouds took place, and walked around a few trails there. From this park you get a fantastic view of the Tennessee River and Chattanooga.
We spent one day driving around Signal Mt. which is on the north side of the river right across from Lookout Mt. Looks like we’ll need a few weeks to explore that area some time.
After close to 30 years I was finally able to get over to Fall Creek Falls State Park in Tennessee. Ever since I was a tiny little rookie cop riding my motorcycle down to the folks house in Florida I have always wanted to detour over to this park, but either the weather was bad or I was out of time and had to get back to work. Well this trip we decided to pack a picnic lunch and head over there for the day, it turned out to be about a 90 miles drive but I have to say once we got there it sure wasn’t worth it. It’s not a bad park it’s just a typical State Park, except all the rangers we ran into were pretty much a-holes. Fall Creek Falls is very pretty but you can drive right up to it, we were hoping for a bit of a hike along the creek to get to it. Piney Falls was a little better, about a 40-minute hike to get back to the falls and the swing bridge that takes you to the top of the falls. This bridge had more swing and sway then any other bridge I’ve ever been on; after we crossed and re-crossed it we were talking with another couple for about 30 minutes, during this time at least 10 other hikers came along, none of them made it more then 20 feet out on to the bridge before they turned around and came back.
I’m going to try putting a photo album in this blog, just click on the photo and it will take you to the album, then you can either double click a picture or else click on the slideshow button and it will run the pictures. I added a few pictures from last years stay here.