8 - 17 October 2014 Chattanooga, TN

Ahhhh.... the water.

There's just something about the water...!   

     The water rushing beneath our hull performs it's own hypnotizing melody that catapults me into a trance-inducing state of contentment, relaxation, and mental rejuvenation. There is something about that consistent bow wave and the lazy wake that always follows us that I can watch for hours and feel as if I need to do nothing more.  

     As we slowly crept our way up the Tennessee River this placid early morning landscape, painted by our Creator was a beautiful setting as we sipped our coffee on the fly bridge.

     As the mist began to lift, God continued to raise the curtain to show us more of His nature that He has created for us to enjoy.

     Our flat Florida has no verdant undulations such as this; cast against an azure sky; garnished with fluffy dollops of white clouds; and all reflected in the magnificent Tennessee River.

     Bridges are so interesting and one of my favorite configurations to gaze upon.   We cruised beneath the South Pittsburg bridge in TN that you can see below.  The structural design and matrix of steel spanning any chasm and capable of supporting tons, I find  captivating.

     This volley ball net is in the river near, what I'd guess, to be a snake-infested bank; out in the middle of nowhere; and where the current's running about 2 knots.  Didn't even see an access path to it.  Go figure!!!  Certainly not a common sight.

     If you had even one ounce of stress or felt an iota of tension, wouldn't this view just whisk it away!

    We had a brief little shower and look what our artist painted for us as we rounded a bend in the river.  We saw the end of this rainbow on land and cruised right beneath it.  It made me squeal for joy!  How many obvious blessings a day can one enjoy without bursting?

     It seems that if you weren't traveling at trawler speed, you'd miss so much of this beauty. Because we were going up stream with the current against us, sometimes 6.5 knots, was "all out" for us.

     Each evening when we anchor I love taking a plunge into the increasingly chilling river for a swim but this day, I just couldn't talk myself into swimming with the cows.  The current was swiftly washing any gifts that they may've donated to the river but I just had to let them have their turn.  And the next morning, can you believe they were back in??  Must've been Tennessee Bovine Masters Swim practice.  Who else would be that dedicated?

     We just want to share these vistas with you even though the real thing is far better than a "Kodak Moment". 

 But still, pretty spectacular, wouldn't you say?

     Chattanooga has an outstanding 8 mile bike path beginning at Ross Landing Marina and leading to the Chickamauga Dam.  Since bikes are our primary transportation and we love to ride, we've been on way more than just a few bike trails and this is by far the best!  No pot holes or buckled surface from roots pushing up through the pavement.  The landscaping is extraordinary and there are numerous trash cans, nice, clean rest rooms (NOT port-a-lets), water fountains and a small snack bar.

     A beautifully constructed pedestrian/bike bridge along the trail to the dam.

We paused for a look at what this bridge was spanning.

     This heron is looking for a meal from what the water rushing through the dam may provide for him.

Chickamauga Dam

     Chattanooga has made great strides in their efforts to become a bike friendly city with the implementation of the River Park but as for providing safe bike lanes on the streets, they aren't quite there yet.  How do you "share the road" when there isn't enough room between the traffic and the curb for a snake to slither past?

This is one of the mile markers on the trail.

     Along the river front there are interesting sculptures.  I just barely missed the opportunity to capture this when the sun was in the perfect position.  The wood had a golden sheen.

     Have you ever seen a more perfect example of the expression of pure, unadulterated, unabashed, flagrant, audacious JOY?

     Shy as I am, despite unsuccessfully trying to sneak up on this lady to get a picture of these wonderful shoes, I humbled myself, complimented her shoes, and asked if I might take a picture of them.  She was delighted, held out her tiny little feet, and said she got them in Hong Kong.  Just saw on the morning news that "Flats are the New Heels" but if I were so inclined to suffer, I'd love a pair of these.  Aren't they beautifully unique?  Perhaps they're in all stores but since we are Sea Urchins, I haven't seen them before but I certainly would love to have a pair.

     Last weekend many universities, rowers, and dozens of shells hit the river for a competition.  There were 8 man, 4 man, tandem, and solo rowers.  Tulane was represented and there were many from AL, GA, KY, and of course, TN.  If that's not a choreographed example of team work, I don't know what is!

     You just never know what you'll come upon on a Sunday after bike ride although I did cringe as I watched that magnificent train drag across the street.

          After being uninvited guests to watch the processional, we visited the very interesting sculpture garden just across the street from the wedding site.

The Prodigal Son
Leonard Baskin 1976
Personally, I find this is very poignant

Exhaling Dissolution
cottonwood bark, steel and wire mesh
by Sarah Deppe of Maquoketa, IA

This is my man who "claims" to be anti-pet but it appears that he's loving on the bow sprit of this horse drawn carriage.  Could it be that he's just all talk?

          Our boating friends, Carolyn and Don, came up from Atlanta for the day and we never took a breath---at least 2 of the 4 of us talking at the same time.  Hated to hug goodbye but it was wonderful to see them.  They are just the nicest couple.

     We also met Guntersville next slip neighbor and his two adorable and precocious children for dinner earlier in the week.  Jay bought a 70 foot houseboat while we were in Guntersville so talk about a giant leap into the world of boating!!! His children are 8 and 10 and we felt like we were visiting with adults.

     Our last night in Chattanooga, although we've been saying that for several days--we NEED to be on our way.  It's pretty cold up here.  This photo doesn't do these lights justice.  During the day they appear to be tall stainless slotted columns but at night they are ever changing depending on where you're standing.

     Farewell to Chattanooga and the friends we've made here.  This is a great city and we look forward to returning for another visit...and hope for sunshine.

     My closing "saying" is---

Hugs from this beautiful city.  This morning we're turning around and heading downstream in search of warm and sunny weather.

Bill and Laura
Kindred Spirit III
Chattanooga, TN


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