Chattanooga - Then and Now

Trip Start Apr 06, 2014
Trip End Apr 20, 2014

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Flag of United States  , Tennessee
Monday, April 14, 2014

Our program began with an excellent historical overview of the city and region. Starting with trading settlements along the Tennessee River (Ross's Landing), the first railroad arrived in 1850. Chattanooga was strategically important as a supply depot during the Civil War - first for the Confederate army, then for the Union army beginning in 1863. After the war northerners were encouraged to settle here which promoted industry and manufacturing. During the past 20 years the downtown area has been rebuilt with art and history museums, an aquarium, pedestrian walkways and transportation.

The "Horsin' Around Carving School" in Soddy Daisy outside of Chattanooga is a place where anyone can come to learn to carve wood. A specialty of Bud Ellis, the master carver, is to restore carousel animals and many of the carvers we visited were working on animal figures. I talked with one carver who used a lathe - and made me a dribble out of black locust wood as we watched. Another carver used a hand-made piece of equipment to carve in a traditional way.

After lunch we cruised the Tennessee River Gorge in a 70-passenger high-speed catamaran though for half of the time we were cruising slowly and viewing from the top of the boat. A naturalist from the Aquarium led our tour and he shared a wealth of information about the River, the Tennessee Valley Authority dams and watersheds, the birds, fish, and other wildlife, and the Civil War campaigns and battles in the area.

Geology of Lookout Mountain was the topic of our evening presentation. Lookout Mountain towers over the city and will be our destination for Tuesday's activities. Bill Weikert gave us a primer on caves and Ruby Cave in particular as well as the history of the area.
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Barb W on

Everything looks very interesting. Sounds like all your arrangements are working out and that you have been fortunate with the weather. Hope it stays that way. got your postcard yesterday. Thanks. continue to have a great trip1

Diane on

Glad all is going well. Thanks for the updates. Hope your weather cooperates as you continue on your journey!

Peg on

I particularly like the boat rides to see the country. Some of my best memories of Costa Rica, Thailand, and the Amazon were on the waterways

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