I would not have predicted at the beginning of the Voyage that Chattanooga, TN, would be a great stop.  But it was, and I encourage anyone coming near to spend a few days.  It was made doubly interesting by having the always entertaining and inquisitive Eric Brazil aboard.

First stop was the unique Tennessee Aquarium, a new, double aquarium with a traditional “ocean” aquarium in one building and an outstanding freshwater aquarium highlighting the world’s rivers in its own building.  Of course, the exhibits surrouding the mighty Tennessee are the best, including two of the most active river otters I’ve ever seen.

We also went up to Lookout Mountain, sight of the famous “Battle Above the Clouds” where Grant began the campaign that would drive the Conferates out of Tennessee and destroy much of their rail and transportation network.  And Eric stayed the night before he left in the unusual “Chattanooga Choo Choo” hotel, a train station that has been turned into a hotel and shopping area.  Of course, the hotel’s phone number is 1-800-TRACK29 and the restaurant is called The Diner.  John says Eric walked up to the counter and actually said, “Pardon me, boy, is this the Chattanooga Choo-Choo?”  but he denies it.

Of course, Chattanooga, as is true with most places, has it’s dark side.  Three terribly bloody civil war battles were fought here — Chickamauga, Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge.   Ross’s Landing, exactly where the boat was docked, was the beginning of the “Trail of Tears” where the Cherokee, last of the Five Civilized Tribes, were rounded up and driven by the U.S. Army to the desolate Indian Territory (Oklahoma) in 1838.

Only problem with our stay is  that I’ve had gold fillings falling out of my teeth since Canada, and was out for a day getting a patch by an excellent dentist secured by the wonderful harbor host Hal Baker who took time from his day to drive me there and back.

Memsahib docked in the heart of the city

Tennessee Aquarium, about a five-iron from Memsahib

Lookout Mountain with Eric

View of Chattanooga from Lookout Mountain

Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel

Choo Choo’s Lobby

Hunter Musuem of Art — Land Side

Hunter Museum from the river side