Freedom and Liberty

Freedom and Liberty
I travel in Freedom but sleep in the security of Liberty (not only on the road, but in this amazing country of ours)

Friday, April 25, 2014

Chattanooga/Hixson (Day 1) (good day)



I had a good night's sleep and awoke around 7:00 a.m. central or eastern time, I wasn't sure. I made some Community Club coffee and stepped outside to see the day. A big Blue Heron was fishing for his/her breakfast not more than 30 feet from me. He/she ignored me but I enjoyed watching until I finished my coffee. It was then time to head out and see what Chattanooga had to offer in terms of sight-seeing. Top on my list was Lookout Mountain. I had heard about it all the way back to Grade School when we learned about the Battles of Chattanooga and Chickamauga. The pamphlets from the Welcome Center said the best way up the mountain was by way of the Inclined Railway. So I planned to head there first.

I grabbed my pen and paper to begin my navigation notes when I remembered the adventure from yesterday when I accidentally took the road whose street sign was poorly worded (whoever heard of putting "south" at the back end of the street name.) Today I would be taking a lot of turns through the heart of downtown Chattanooga so I would need a lot of paper. Oh well, time to bite the bullet. I picked up my phone and clicked the Here Drive + application (techies call them apps). It came up quick and asked my destination. I entered "Inclined Railway" and the location came right up. The screen asked if I wanted to have the voice commands activated. It would have been better had it asked if I wanted voice suggestions instead of commands because I had a flashback to boot camp and my company commander issuing his voice commands. Hmmm,,,, maybe a female voice would be better. So I chose a female voice that I'm pretty sure belonged to one of the members of the Female Swedish Ski Team from a long time ago. I decided quickly that I could follow her commands anywhere. I haven't given her a name yet, but I'm sure one will come to me eventually or you readers can make a suggestion too.

Trains passing
With phone, camera and jet-pack in hand, I clicked "start" on the phone GPS app (techie now) and away we went. She immediately started telling me what turns were coming up and when to turn and which lane to get in, etc.

 
She did a pretty good job of getting me there. It saved me several sheets of paper so I guess it was worth-while. I'm kidding, it was great. It led me right there and gave me plenty of notice about turns and everything. I'll be using her a lot more in the future.

The Inclined Railway was built about 120 years ago as a quick and cheap means of reaching the top of Lookout Mountain. The final grade towards the top is almost 73 degrees. Very steep. It is about a 1 mile trip and takes about 10 to 15 minutes. Once you get to the top you're rewarded with this view of the valley below. That is the Tennessee River with Interstate 24 running along it's banks until it curves away. Beautiful view. My camera couldn't capture the beauty of it all.
View from Lookout Mountain down into the
Tennessee River Valley
 
After you get to the top, you can walk around as much as you want before going back down. Being an old fat man, I wasn't sure how much walking around I wanted to do. But I figured I could blame any out of breath condition on being 2,000 feet higher in elevation than I was back in Bossier City. I took a chance and started walking towards Point Park. It is a National Park commemorating the two Civil War battles.


Entrance to Point Park
 
I wondered why the entrance looked like a castle but couldn't find anyone to ask. Later I googled it and found out it was built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers back in 1905 and it is one of the reasons why their logo is a castle. There are automated money machines past the gate where you pay the $3.00 entrance fee. Once inside you can walk around and see the sights.
 
You can see from the cannon picture above why Lookout Mountain was so important. With only a few cannons, you could control most of the valley and river below.
 
In the center of the park is a tall column with a statue of a Yankee and Rebel shaking hands.


I took the train back down the mountain and went back to the campground. A couple of Mallard ducks flew in to keep me company as I sat outside in the evening shade. Maybe they will come back this evening and I'll get a picture of them.
 
It was a good day.
 
Ya'll take care of each other. Cya.



2 comments:

  1. Hi Darrell!
    Love reading your blog every evening. Kudos on your photography too! We made a family vacation trip to Chattanooga many years ago and rode the incline RR up Lookout Mountain. I had forgotten how beautiful it was! Make sure you visit Rock City. Did you see barns and billboards telling you to "See Rock City" and "See Ruby Falls"?
    Btw, we named our navigation voice "Gypsy" (for GPS). I call her other names though when she messes up and leads me astray. Lol! Have fun, enjoy yourself and be safe!
    Linda O

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  2. Hey Linda, thanks for the comment. I've seen those signs for years. I haven't decided if I'm interested in those two spot or not. Glad you like the pictures. Take care.

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