Thursday, July 19, 2007

Rocks, Gnomes, and Ruby Falls down?

July 4th, the birthday of the USA. What a day for all Americans to feel proud and to remember those who fought and gave up so much so we could celebrate this wonderful day in a way that most take for granted and others only dream of. It was this day that we decided to take a trip to see Rock City and Ruby Falls.

Robin and I have both been to Rock City before. Only Robin has been to Ruby Falls before whereas I have not. Ashby, on the other hand, has only seen the signs painted on the sides and roofs of old run down barns littered about highways and bi-ways around our area. Let me not forget all the bird houses that litter yards far and wide as well (Yes we did buy a "See Rock City" bird house while seeing Rock City). It is in our back yard. Robin's mom has one in her front yard.

I have to say, Rock City was not as big as I remembered. It still had the allure of a big tourist attraction where you could gain the most wonderful views from atop Lookout Mountain. Yes, you can even see 7 states as they claim (that's provided the weather is clear and you know what you are looking at). The vegetation (shrubs, flowers, trees, etc) was quite nice about the park as well (can you call it a park?).

Next up on our trip for our independence celebratory day was to see Ruby Fall....I mean Ruby Falls. All I have to say about this is if you are allergic to dust please do not go spelunking, especially in a big group, unless of course you stay up front the whole time. I kid you not, some guy behind me must have coughed the whole time through the cave. I think I ended up with more phlegm on the back of my neck than I did drops of moisture on my head from the cave. One other pointer, when you decide to go mucking around in small tight spaces with a large group of people make sure you shower or at least put on some deodorant. There is nothing worse than smelling someone's funk throughout a cave without any fresh air.

Well now that's out of my system, about the cave itself. The cave was nice, there really isn't much to it. They take you down in an elevator and you walk all the way back to the falls. For the most part it is a straight shot without hardly any other paths. The falls are rather pretty especially with all the lights they shine on it. It couldn't be more majestic, even if they did away with the cheesy background music.

So if you find yourself in Chattanooga for a day with nothing to do, give it a look-see. It's the least you can do if you've never seen it before and have time to kill.

Collectively, we give them 3 stars. They lost 2 because of the crowds and ticket pricing.

Stay tuned for Unchained Melody? No, Chained Rock.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

My Head is not Frozen but that Pider is.

The weekend before the 4th of July we decided we wanted to get out after church and do something, as it had been a while since we did anything out of doors that didn't require a bunch work and sweat, or thousands of other people around. In so doing, we decided to take a trip to Frozen Head State Park. We happen to love this park and have camped here at least twice. We have also brought the youngins, our daughter Ashby and our dog Clover, up here several times to play and we have hiked a few of the trails. Robin grew up in this park so to speak, considering her cousin was head ranger and her parents were avid outdoors enthusiasts for lack of a better term.

We made the ultimate decision to ask mom and dad if they wanted to accompany us on this journey. They hadn't been to Frozen Head in quite some time and we knew they would enjoy the trip, even if dad was cramped in the back seat of the jeep like a sardine.

We had a pretty good time. Ashby played in the creek, dad gave geological knowledge to us who would listen, and Clover dragged me where I would let her. Mom and dad both ended up swinging a bit, not at the same time though. Robin played around in the creek just a bit, but not much, she was more busy taking photos, conversing, and teaching as well as learning. We really didn't need a towel or anything like that as the creek wasn't much of a creek, thanks to the drought we are experiencing here in East TN.

After our fun in the creek we decided to head to the campground area to climb on the big boulder in front of the bath house. As a child, Robin thought it was the biggest rock she had ever seen and/or climbed. She recalls it was much harder to climb back then. Ashby loves to climb the rock and as picked up well were Robin left off...

Even mom and dad had to climb one of the boulders there in the campground. We will have to wait for PeePaw to send those pictures.

After our fun at the park it was time to make the trek back home, but not before stopping for a spot of dessert from Sonic. Yum...


Up next, Rocks, Gnomes, and Ruby Falls down?