Thursday, January 2, 2014

Chattanooga and Cheaha

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:
http://www.kipley.com/marcy/highpoints/alabama.html

View from an overlook at more of Alabama:


A photo for Bob:


Almost done with our December 2013 cross-country journey!

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