Pardon me, boy, is that the Chattanooga Choo Choo

“Pardon me, boy, is that the Chattanooga Choo Choo.”

As neither of us had been before, and as we were advised to stay away from our intended route of Charleston, Savannah and Atlanta, the quirky sounding Chattanooga seemed a good alternative. The reviews mentioned some interesting places – Ruby Falls, Lookout Mountain and the Incline Railway all sounded promising.

We had the address for the station of the Incline Railway, reputed to be the steepest passenger rail track in the world. Our sat nav once again didn’t like the address, so we just set off up the mountain anyway! One of the problems, which has taunted us since leaving Washington, is the trees. Millions of them provide an excellent barrier for any possible views. There were no ‘overlooks’ and, apart from an odd glimpse which indicated a considerable elevation, no views! I must comment once again on the number of magnificent churches dotted all across the mountain. One garage, one coffee shop, one pharmacy but I lost count of the churches after 10. The people here must be deeply religious and we noticed we had gone from “Have a nice day”, through “Y’all have a wonderful day” to today’s “Y’all have a blessed day”. The problem is that the same people are wearing t-shirts which are anything but Christian and not remotely kind to our fellow men. But they appear to love Mr Trump and their slogans appear to indicate the opposite feeling for Mr Obama.


Eventually we found the Incline railway, dutifully paid $15 plus tax to ride up and down what is almost, in parts, a vertical track. Carolyn reminded me she wasn’t keen on heights as we faced the plummeting track!! I assured her it would be better going back in an upwardly direction. Was this the Chattanooga Choo Choo? No, that soubriquet was reserved for the old train in days gone by which travelled from New York as far south as Chattanooga. The views from the top of the track were great and, in fact, were probably the best we managed.


Ruby Falls sounded wonderful but the falls were in caverns deep under ground. No thanks. I would never make a caver or a pot holer. ‘Rock City’ on Lookout Mountain was promising but not so appealing when you reached the massive car park. What were you going to see for your $30? Apparently, you could stand in one place and see 7 States. It was sunny but there was still low cloud on the tops of the surrounding mountains and we thought we might do better ourselves from the top of the mountain. We forgot the wretched trees!!


Never mind. We are going downtown tonight for some good ‘ole bluegrass music. We are also taking advantage of the hotel’s laundry to set off for Nashville tomorrow with a case full of clean clothes! Let’s just see who we meet along the way this time. Yesterday, I was entertained by the cashier at the garage. She pressed a wrong button and apologised for her “Brain Fart”. Always ready to learn!!!!


Carolyn’s Curios & Musical Notes 🎼🎶🖌

What a day?! More appropriate, perhaps, on our Road Trips… what another day?!

Kath has mentioned the morning’s escapades and suffice it for me to add some photos and my usual trivia. The Incline is billed as, “’America’s Most Amazing Mile’ which has delighted guests for over a century. The Incline Railway up historic Lookout Mountain is the world’s steepest passenger railway. In operation since 1895, the Incline is a National Historic site and Mechanical Engineering Landmark.”


I would add that, at its steepest, it’s a gradient of 72.7%. I’ve tried to add photos which give an impression of the real angles but I’m not sure I’ve succeeded. The two otherwise identical photos of Kath differ only in making the carriage horizontal. Getting out of the car at the end was almost like climbing a ladder.




Disconcerting was the gaffer tape holding the window together and the Tee shirt.

Disconcerting Tee-shirt

For compensation, as well as the ride, the view was impressive!

As well as the ride, the view was impressive!

In Tennessee, I had to think musically of Tennessee Ernie Ford whose Sixteen Tons was his biggest hit with Davy Crockett another favourite. But, we’re in Bluegrass country and so, tonight, we went to live Bluegrass. Well,… out of our four live sessions so far: Blues, Jazz, Country and tonight. Regrettably, I’ve heard much better Bluegrass. The band comprised a more than competent 5-string banjo picker, a female bass player who added vocal harmonies (mainly in tune), a mandolin player who was ok and the hat wearing, guitar playing leader who had a fairly thin voice but knew the words. We left at the interval but not before a man who was, probably, very nice when sober, decided to tell me that I was the most beautiful girl in the room! Yeah, right!


Tomorrow, we’re on the road again heading towards Nashville but pausing en route. Scanning for music, I found the venue ‘Spankies’ advertised. Maybe not!!!