Day 2: December 23, 2012
Up & Down, Up & Down

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There didn't appear to be any non-drive-through breakfast options in LaFollette and my 2010 journal tells of not finding many good recommendations for next-up Knoxville. This year I managed to find two that sounded truly inviting but neither is open on Sunday. In the end, I headed back to the place I had tried for in 2010 but missed because I was there just after 7:00 when it opened at 9:00. This year I arrived just after 9:00 to learn that it opens at 10:00 on Sunday. But I did get a nice shot of the World's Fair Sunsphere as I passed through town.

I hoped to visit the civil war battle site on Lookout Mountain on this trip and had thought Monday might be the best day. But the possibility of rain existed for Monday and, when I reached Chattanooga under a dry sky with plenty of time, I decided that now would be good. There is a short video, a tall painting, and several artifacts at the Point Park Visitor Center. The entrance to the park, which is a full size version of the Army Corp of Engineers insignia, is right across the street. I believe most of the fighting took place on the rocky slopes below the park. It certainly offers some fine views of present day Chattanooga. The tall tower is the New York Peace Monument which sits atop the point and the stone walled structure is the Ochs Memorial Observatory which hangs onto one of the slopes some distance below.

This is just part of the combined Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, the country's first. I intend to visit Chickamauga when I leave town on Wednesday which means I'm sort of doing it backwards. The Confederate's win at Chickamauga in September of 1863 would be their last major victory. A couple of months later, Union forces would solidify their hold on Chattanooga with victory at Lookout Mountain. Among the many good things controlling this hub did for the North was to provide the base for Sherman's march to the sea.

I've ridden up and down on the Chattanooga Incline before. Today I rode it down and up. At $14 it's hardly a bargain but it is unique. It started operating in 1895 with steam power and switched to electric in 1911. That's pretty much it as far as upgrades go. With a slope of 72.7%, this is one of the steepest passenger railroads in the world. As it starts down the hillside, the city of Chattanooga can be viewed through the roof panels. The second picture is looking back up from the bottom and the next two were taken during the ascent. In typical incline fashion, one car goes up as one car goes down. Not far from the bottom, the track splits so that the two cars can pass. The last pictures are of the engine room and of a car beginning its descent.

I could have checked into the Delta Queen at this point but instead opted to take care of my hunger. Shrimp and grits at Aretha Frankenstein's did that quite well despite being just a touch on the hot side for my wimpy taste.

This is my third stay on the Delta Queen. My first was in an economy rate bunk cabin, the second in a deluxe king, and this time it's something in between. For the first time, I'm on the port side of the boat which give me a view of the river instead of the park. I made sure the calliope and paddle wheel were still there then headed to the Texas Lounge. My cabin is just one door away.

I eventually went on shore for some nighttime pictures of the aquarium and the Queen. The last picture is the view from just outside my cabin.

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