We finished up our Lookout Mountain tourist experience by visiting Ruby Falls, an underground waterfall deep in a cave. An elevator ride and a rather long walk through a narrow cave yielded several interesting sights, along with a neat story about how a man had found it in the first place.
To start off the day, the tail-end of a donkey:
A guy named Leo Lambert was drilling an elevator shaft to set up a tourist operation at a lower (known) cave when he discovered this enclosed passageway. Exploring it, he found a huge waterfall and a bunch of rock formations. That must have been quite a day for him! Both caves were open to the public for a while, but now only the upper one because it is a lot more interesting.
According to our guide, this is the Southern Tennessee Rock Fish (or something to that effect):
The waterfall is spectacular, the largest by far that we have ever seen underground. They let you see it in "normal" conditions briefly before they start a rather corny light and music show. It did allow for some colorful photography (and the Christmas music was a nice touch):
65-foot high and pretty amazing!
A pretty pool and more cave formations:
Solar installation at the Ruby Falls building:
On the way back to town we stopped in at the International Museum of Towing and Recovery (just because it was there and we were curious). They have a room packed full of all kinds of tow trucks, new and old. For example:
World's Fastest Wrecker - 109 mph at the Talladega track:
A "Toe Truck":
More tow trucks:
And finally, into town for a glimpse of the Chattanooga Choo Choo!
Time to leave Tennessee (for now). We will be back! Maybe sooner than expected...
On the way west we took a detour to the top of Alabama at Cheaha State Park:
A couple more photos here:
View from an overlook at more of Alabama:
A photo for Bob:
Almost done with our December 2013 cross-country journey!