Saturday, September 20, 2014

Country Travels - Part 2

Day 3
From Atlanta, Georgia to Chattanooga, Tennessee
118 miles; 1 hour 46 minutes driving time 

8 - Pardon me, boy, is that the Chattanooga choo-choo?

I had never been to Chattanooga before, but there's no place like it if you want to have a catchy song stuck in your head all day long. Except that, no one else in my family had ever heard it... so I cultured them real quick with a YouTube clip. 

Chattanooga was my favorite part of the whole drive.  We hiked walked through a cave to see an underground waterfall, rode a train down a terribly steep mountain, and spent the better part of our time climbing and hiking around the most beautiful thing ever: Rock City.

9 - I'm glad there are people in this world who think crawling through tiny crevices in giant mountains sounds like fun.

Because then those people tell other people about the cool things they find and those other people tell other people who tell other people and eventually they start blowing up big crevices in giant mountains so that the rest of us rather sane people can walk through on our own two feet and see what there is to see for ourselves. 

Like this giant underground waterfall.  It's pretty cool... but not cool enough to squeeze through a tiny tunnel on my belly for a mile through pitch blackness with only a headlamp and a compass to guide me (which is what the original crazy explorer had to do).  I'm not really claustrophobic... but, that makes me feel as if I might be. The downside to having someone else find places of natural beauty, though, is that they might try to enhance the natural beauty of it by turning it into a giant lava lamp experience. Lights of changing colors... movie music playing surround sound... I might have liked it better if they had just let nature be beautiful on her own... but whatever brings the money, I guess.
10 - Traveling down a 72.7% downhill grade in an old train car attached to the mountain with nothing but a cable felt like something we should do.  With our children.

It's hard to see just how steep the mountain is in these pictures, but if you ever get the chance to see it for yourself, you'll understand. Turns out that 72.7% is a pretty steep grade...

11 - Rock City- I want to go back to there.

This was my very favorite thing of all, and the kids really loved it, too. 

All you can climb rocks... rickety bridges... fairy lands... what is not to love if you're a kid? 

Or an adult, for that matter.

The scenery was gorgeous, and all of our kids were happy. Minus TK who doesn't seem to ever be entirely happy when he has to follow a set of rules (like, no jumping off cliffs (or even walking along the ledges of the cliffs)).

In fact, we tried very hard to keep Timothy from jumping off the edges.  Thankfully we succeeded.  All day.

McKenzie and Carson decided to try a little mountain climbing, and both of them did an awesome job.  Brian rediscovered his new anxiety about tight spaces (after his long MRI a year and a half ago, he wasn't entirely comfortable following Miles through the Needles Eye pictured below.  But that was the only way out, so, now we call him brave).

Loved it all!

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