Sunday, May 16, 2021

Chattanooga/Smoky Mountain Trip Day 2


(Photo of me on top of Lookout Mountain)

Sunday got off to a slow start.   Travel Park is a nice campgrounds but be warned….   There’s a raceway nearby and on Saturday night I kept hearing loud, revving engines from the races.  It kind of took away from the tranquility of being on a former battleground.   I slept in until 8:30 and made myself a nice breakfast of biscuits and gravy.  Ok, I know it looks kind of gross but it was delicious!

For my first full day in Chattanooga, I had a packed schedule so I headed out to downtown Chattanooga to visit the Chattanooga National Cemetery.   

I always like to visit cemeteries and there were 2 caches there, so it was a win-win.   National cemeteries are always so impressive and stately.  I enjoy seeing the rows of headstones and the monuments...

The thing I like about doing geocaches at cemeteries is that, first of all, they are always respectful, and second, you usually have to locate a certain gravesite or marker and learn some history about it to claim the cache.  So it’s a learning experience and is often combined with history, which I always enjoy.  

I had to use information from this headstone for the geocache...

After that I stopped at a nearby college and found this geocache that was hidden in plain sight.  Those are always fun!  This one was quick and easy.  Most people would walk on by and not give it a second thought... 

After that I drove over to Lookout Mountain, which was the biggest reason I wanted to visit Chattanooga in the first place.   I have a keen interest in Civil War history and “The Battle of Lookout Mountain” was a key battle in the Civil War in November of 1863.   I’ve always been fascinated at the thought of the 2 armies engaging in combat on a mountain top 1800 feet above the river.   There’s an Incline Railway that you can take to the top but seats were sold out until 4:00 pm and I didn’t want to wait, so I just drove up the steep and winding road by myself.  It was pretty cool!  Parking is minimal at the top but I got lucky and scored a parking space in the (non advertised) small free lot behind the visitor’s center.   It was really interesting to walk around the ridge and read about the Battles for Chattanooga. 

 The views from up top are phenomenal.   I can’t imagine how they dragged all the cannons up there or how the soldiers even managed to scramble up themselves.    It must have been a sight to behold.   I actually spent a couple hours there, roaming around the trails, checking out the monuments and cannons, wandering through the visitor’s center, and enjoying the views looking out over Chattanooga.   

I still had a couple of hours left before dark so I drove over to Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park.  Wow - It’s a huge place!  I sat and watched a very informative 25 minute film about the battle and then looked at some of the display cabinets...


I spent quite a bit of time driving around the battlefield looking at all the monuments and getting out to walk around and take pictures.  There’s a lot of trails through the woods that lead to monuments and strategic battle locations. 

 This monument had some information on it that you had to read and write down to get credit for a geocache at the battlefield... 

But my favorite Monument was the Wilder Brigade Monument that looks like a castle.   

It was open and you could go inside and climb the winding staircase  to the top, which I did – all 136 steps.   I know because I counted them.  The views of the grounds below were quite impressive. 

 It was a gorgeous afternoon and there were lots of people visiting the battlefield.  I wished I had brought along my E-bike.  It would have been a great place to ride it.   

By then it was after 4:00 and I realized that I hadn’t eaten since lunch so I headed back to the campground and heated up some sloppy joes.  I cheated and just crumbled my bun up in the pan on top of the sloppy joe meat and ate from the pan.  You can roll that way when you’re by yourself.   LOL.  I had very little clean up so I was happy...

The forecast was for some rain that night and the next day so I cleaned up my campsite and put away as much as I could so everything wouldn’t get soaked.  Then I took a shower and relaxed with a book for a while.   I am re-reading “Gone with the Wind” which seemed like an appropriate choice given my interest in Civil War battlefields.  I also picked up an interesting sounding book at the Lookout Mountain visitors center so I browsed through that as well.   All in all it was a fun day.

Next post will be all about Rock City!

1 comment:

  1. Loved this! I'm a Civil War Buff, too. Adding this to my list of places to visit! Loved your "roll with it" skillet meals, too...less mess, less fuss!


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