Upon arriving in Chattanooga, we went to the campgrounds at Raccoon Mountain, just outside of the city. We saw many people emerge from the caves of Raccoon Mountain covered with dirt and mud, but very proud. They had been doing caving which required stoop walking, crawling, squirming and getting very dirty. We opted for heights and went, instead to Lookout Mountain. This is the site of 5 battles during the Civil War. We saw on one of the plaques that a man from Wisconsin was one of the commanders for the Union Army. We took the Inclined Railway up the steepest part of Lookout Mountain. It is a 10 minute ride and at one part travels at a 72 degree incline. The car itself is built on an incline to minimize some of the vertical feeling at the top.
Once at the top we were rewarded with expansive views of Chattanooga and the valleys below. At the point of the mountain is Point Park, built by the Army Corp of Engineers to commenmorate the Battles of Chattanooga. It was clear to see why the Confederate soldiers choose to stay at that pinnacle and force the Union soldiers to come to them. But the site was also fraught with conflicting feelings about slavery, war, and death for one's beliefs.
After taking the train down, what a rush going down that 72 degree incline, we headed off to the other end of Lookout Mountain which is located in Georgia. There we drove up to the City of Rock. In the late 1800's a developer wanted to build a community up there so he bought 700 acres of land. He built his home on a piece that contained wonderful ancient rock formations and overlooked the city and valley below. His wife collected 400 native plants and dispersed them throughout the property in the plantable areas. She then took a string and wandered through the rock formations, marking the trail which workers then transormed into a walking path with bridges, tunnels, lookouts and a few squeezes between enormous rocks. What a wonderland. Needless to say, we wandered the path for hours and neither of us got stuck in a tight spot.
And then it rained for a day.