2015 Long Island or Bust Tour – Days 17-18


May 10th 2015

Well I made it to the eastern time zone I think?  After heading out of the Memphis area which was hit by a non-predicted severe storm I went through Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and then back to Tennessee, Chattanooga.  Even went I went up to Rock City I saw a sign saying something about being in Georgia again.  Right on the cusp this town seems to be regarding Central Time/Eastern Time.

Rock City, top of TN

Memphis would have been nice to spend time exploring but the weather, well? Down right sucked.  All these places I have traveled through I will come back at some point.  The one’s that really caught my eye and the places I skipped.  Can’t do and see everything right?

While in Chattanooga my focus was Rock City, Broad Street and the Aquarium.  Doesn’t seem like much but I spent over 6 hours at the beautifully displayed aquarium and then hiked around Rock City.

Cool mountain like road up to Rock City and the view.  Off season traffic not that bad but I will warn you, HIGH season this road as short as it may be could torment you with traffic.  It’s mother’s day weekend I can see the tourists pick up.  Rock City to walk the trail was a little clogged up with Kodak moments.  As I type this by the breakfast area in my hotel, a very attractive, elderly southern woman has walk on by me.  Her choice of perfume I think is giving me an allergy attack.  Smells nice but I think she may have used the entire bottle on herself and her hubby with his after shave.  Need to take an antihistamine.  👍

I have never been called Mam so many times in my life since visiting this part of the South.  Not insulting and always sounds polite.  I have met three impressionable folks on this trip.  Cheyenne Native American.  82-year-old, who wears his Vietnam Vet vest with pride, loves his eagles, is concerned with his tribes teenage suicides and also drive a corvette.  As he said to me, “white people paid for my car and I appreciate it and served my country.”

Railway incline up Look Out Mt

Second man was a Pastor.  Again 82.  Looked like Morgan Freeman.  He was having his afternoon grits while as he said the wife was having some private time at home.  Baptist Pastor, religion is huge done here.  He was like a rock star at this restaurant I felt like I had to talk to him.  I said hello, he asked me to sit and I did.  Nothing too heavy but of course we got into a little bit about homosexuality.  Well, I did ask him about his thoughts.  This wise man explained all religions are about love and inner peace.  Anyone who says their religion tells them to judge others?  Well, then they need to find another God.  He asked me if I was gay, I said automatically yes and he said God, the Lord love me and he said I was a beautiful human.  He also went on to say it’s shame many who are gay struggle to get to the point he felt I was at for my age.  LMAO.  I loved this man, honest, wise and was a pleasure chatting with probably the most popular Pastor in the outside Memphis area.

Look Out Mountain is not only an area for tourists but residents live up there too.  I wouldn’t why too much traffic in the tourist season but the homes and views are amazingly beautiful.  Stunning actually and I thought they would be millions of dollars?  Checked the real estate and many are well under a million.  Gorgeous though and so well-kept.  If you are here, drive or ride around the hood up there…

Back to the third young Army man I met.  He was drinking a beer, texting on his phone and smoking a cig at 0400.  I usually wake early.  When I went to my car at 0600 he was still there.  Getting nasty out by this time I stopped and asked…”are you OK?”  He said sort of.  Went on the explain he has 12 years left in the army, the sacrifices he has made, the impact on his young family, loss of his wife to divorce, has a 9-year-old daughter he rarely sees and struggles with his own demons.  He is being deployed into active duty and combat for the 4th time soon.  We talked about me noticing he probably hadn’t gone to bed yet, was drinking and outwardly upset.  This young, handsome well-built man struggles with depression.  We spoke for about 2 hours, about everything.  I listened and shared as well part of my stories.  At the end…I walked him up to his room to ensure he would get some rest.  We hugged good bye and I thanked him from the bottom of my heart for protecting and sacrificing for the USA.  Door closed and that was that.

Chattanooga Art 😉

All cities have their issues and this little one is no different.  While driving around I saw a bit of everything.  Drugs, wealth, poor, beautiful buildings, decrepit ones, shops, bistros, stadium…and a very recycle friendly city.

I drove a lot, saw a lot or enough for me this stay and really enjoyed the aquarium.  It’s a must if you want to see a first class non-state funded set up.  120 volunteers, 100 employees and all on grants, park fees and donations.  Love the River and Ocean attractions.

Part of Rock City felt like a Alice in Wonderland Trip…

beautiful slate/rock trials that take you through the tiniest crevasses

Everything is in bloom now and there is no short of plant life around here.

The weather cooperated and this is a very beautiful part of the country in such a different way than the west.  Some highlights of my aquarium visit and this post is done.  I am heading next into the hills of the Smoky Mountains to a tree-house resort like place right by the Tail of the Dragon in North Carolina.

Sea Dragon way cool

Handsome aren’t they?

Had a back stage pass to see how all this is done.  Was supposed to be able to see the penguins but they are breeding now so not meant to be.

How the entire ocean is fed.

pounds and pounds of fish and veggies

Through these tubes all around the pools

Takes three hours to prepare the meals

Really enjoyed myself here…and look forward to my tree-house experience.  👍  Thanks Tennessee.

7 Comments

  1. RichardM says:

    Wonderful posts, especially the stories. I’ve only been to TN for work and had little time for exploring.

    Thank you!

  2. Jim in Independence, OR says:

    “I went through Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and then back to Tennessee”. Isn’t that what Dorothy did in the Wizard of Oz?

  3. curvyroads says:

    Interesting, in this area near Chattanooga you were within 100 miles of us. But we were even further east in TN outside of Knoxville testing out an RV. Sounds like good experiences, especially meeting interesting people.

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