RUBY FALLS, ROCK CITY, INCLINE RAILWAY AND AT&T FIELD
29 Oct and 23 Dec
We had a rear extended weekend as we took Volunteer Time Off (VTO) half day with our regular time off. We tried to sleep, but just not our lucky day. We would take the hour drive to Chattanooga, TN crossing into Eastern Time Zone for the "TWO" hour drive. We purchased the package deal to see Ruby Falls, Rock City and Incline Railway. Also, added one more minor league baseball stadium.
The only natural opening to the cave was closed in 1905 during the construction of a railway tunnel and remained hidden until 1928. Leo Lambert made efforts to reopen the cave for tourists to visit the cave via an elevator. He discovered a small passageway about 18” high and 4’ wide. Exploring this opening he discovered the hidden waterfall. On his next rip he took his wife Ruby and told her that he would name the falls after her.
Driving through Tennessee from 100 miles away you will start seeing signboards advertising to visit Ruby Fall. All you have to do is follow the signboards. Like other cave tours this one was different. There are not bats so cleaning our hiking boots were not required. There is a trail, but only one way in and out. Tour group walking in had to give way to tour group walking out by stepping to the side. For the price we paid I was a little disappointed for how long we could stay at the falls. It felt like they were pumping groups in and out at a fast pace. Maybe, because it was a weekend and the waiting lines were long when we return to the entrance. We took the elevator 1,120 feet below ground and hike about half mile in to the falls. When the whole group arrived at the 145 foot high underground waterfall the lights would turn on. We had a few minutes to see and take pictures. When we took pictures with us the flash was on and the pictures did not turn out good at all. I even tried my best editing with no luck. However, the pictures of the falls itself turn out pretty good.
GoPro strapped to my chest and ready to go
Next in the package deal was Rock City. Again, there were a lot of people. This time we could take our time and stay as long as we wanted. We must have spent over an hour walking around the rock and cave tunnels. The climax was at the end with Lover’s Leap waterfall over the edge of the cliff. This is also the lookout location to see out over seven US States Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia and Alabama.
We were both dead tired and since the ticket are good up to one year of purchase date we decide to call it the day and will return before we leave Tennessee. There is a National Park at the top the incline railway. When we return I will bring my National Park book to get stamped.
It took us until out last week in Tennessee before we could make it back, but we did. The Incline Railways is about a mile in length and has a maximum grade of 72% and billed as one of the world’s steepest passenger railways. It reminded me of the time I took the Peak Tram in Hong Kong. After the 10 minute ride we arrived at the top and gazed out to the city of Chattanooga below. Onward we went to Lookout Mountain Battlefield NMP. The National Park signboard reads Point Park NMP is not its own Park, but park of Chickamauga & Chattanooga NMP in Georgia. This was the site where the Union and Confederate clashed in the fall of 1863 with some of the hardest fighting in the Civil War of the Battle above the Clouds for the key railroad center and gateway to the heart of the Confederacy.
Only a few miles away down the hill and into the city of Chattanooga is AT&T Field home to the Chattanooga Lookouts AA affiliate of the Twins. The grandstands were closed, so I asked a worker in the teams shop if there was a way to see the field and he took us on to the field. My last stadium of 2016 and stadium number 64 all time.
Check out the video of this trip.