We certainly were blessed with fine weather for most of our visit...
With my love of "things on rails" it was impossible to pass up a chance to ride the incline in Chattanooga. This little railroad operates from the foot to the top of Lookout Mountain, sight of a major battle between the Union and Confederate soldiers in America's Civil War, known to all as "The Battle Above The Clouds."
There are only two cars, one going up and the other down. They're connected by a long cable and counterbalance each other, with the cable going over a large drum at the powerhouse. Except at the mid-slope passing area and the two termini, the un-powered, steeply sloping cars operate using an outer rail and a common inner rail, at standard gauge (4'-8-1/2"). The route is about one mile long, and though the grade varies, at its steepest it is 72.7 percent, being billed as the steepest incline in the world.
Approaching the upper terminus.
Overhead view. Notice the common center rail.My wife bought our tickets while I was off taking pictures. However, when boarding and de-boarding the incline car, the male attendant omitted any gender-related greeting. I'd guess he simply wasn't sure, and took the safe course.
While in downtown Chattanooga picking up some party favors for the upcoming wedding, we stopped by the Moon Pie store (they're made by the Chattanooga Bakery, in town.) They're delicious pastries - two (or three) cookies, with marshmallow icing between them, individually wrapped. This place was a real "blast from the past." In addition to Moon Pies and RC Cola (a local favorite) they featured candies and confections which I hadn't seen in many, many years... like Bonomo Turkish Taffy (smack it and crack it). Read about the convoluted history of this delicious, but not at all common, candy at http://www.bonomoturkishtaffy.com/MuseumHistory_ep_40.html.
Any of you remember the little wax bottles containing small amounts of flavored liquid, which you bit (or broke) the top off, to be able to drink the sweet juice? If you're not in my age group, probably not... Last time I thought about NikLNips, I was in 4th grade, and bought them in a nearby neighborhood general store:
What a find...including store clerks who addressed us as "ladies."
While enjoying the scenery on the hills around Chattanooga, my wife and I noticed a flash of light and a lot of smoke to our left...then this spaceship landed in a small clearing. Needless to say, I got in some quick pictures, before the steps descended from this orb, and a group of Martians emerged. They walked right up to our daily driver - and said "Take me to your Buick." Needless to say, I floored the gas pedal and we fled the area quickly. We guessed that Martians preferred Buicks, and didn't want to take any chance of ending up on Mars...thus missing the antique car tours scheduled this year. Had we been driving the antique Buick, it's so big the spaceship might not have had room for it...
Before you ask: no, this "flight of fancy" didn't really occur. But the spaceship house (built in 1972, 3 bedrooms and two baths, seen below) is completely real! You can drive by and see for yourself...look on the internet for Spaceship House, Palisades Road, Chattanooga. If you're so inclined, you can even rent it by the month for a vacation. Sounds like a place to have a lot of fun!
When you ride the incline to the top of Lookout Mountain, you can walk a couple of blocks to Point Park. High atop Lookout Mountain, Point Park was built in 1905, to commemorate the US Civil War's "Battle Above The Clouds." Carter Stevenson, commander of the three Confederate brigades that defended the area had positioned cannon atop Lookout Mountain to aid in it's defense. November 24, 1863, Stevenson was encamped in the area of the park surrounded on three sides by a force ten times the size of his. A fierce battle ensued, much of which took place on the sides of the mountain, above the low clouds that day (hence the name.) Once the cannon became ineffective, the troops were withdrawn. Upon orders from General Braxton Bragg, Commander, Confederate Army of Tennessee, Stevenson withdrew his men southwest to Chickamauga Creek and Missionary Ridge, ending the siege of Chattanooga.
Yours truly at Point Park
The woman at the visitor center addressed us both as "ladies" - and me specifically as "Ma'am" the entire time we were there. Very accommodating.
View from the top. You can see why this position was so desirable, both offensively and defensively!
How would you like that view out your back window?