We left Tuscaloosa yesterday, and decided to stay a night or two in Chattanooga. Lots to do in the area. So we drove across the state of Alabama and the little corner of Georgia and entered Tennessee. Chattanooga is tucked in between the mountains and ridges. It is near 2 lakes and the Tennessee River. We found a campground on the internet, Raccoon Mountain Campground.
It was a rather nice drive overcast but not raining. We got settled and decided what to do the next day. Here on the campground, which is in the mountains, is the entrance to the Raccoon Mountain Caves. We decided to pass on them and do Rock City the next day. Woke up the next morning and it rained….and it poured all morning….some hail….Finally around 2 pm, It was letting up, so we headed to Camping World. Our wiper had died the day before. Were about a mile from the interstate and as we drove over the last hill this is what we seen….
Lot and Lots and Lots of water….Notice the dump truck in the water? That was an exit ramp off the highway. The underpass was closed off. Their was another car that had also been caught driving through. It had to be pulled out with a tow truck. Right to the left of us was Waffle House…..We stopped and had sandwiches and watched for awhile. It looked like the water was coming up, so the road wasn’t going to be open anytime soon. We decided to go back past the campground the other way. We drove at least 10 miles. The road wound around the Tennesse River. It was a beautiful drive, but sure wasn’t heading us to Camping World. Turned around and went back to a road that said, Visitor Center, Laurel Point Overlook. Rich thought he might find a map at the Visitor Center. Six miles later of winding mountain roads, following the river and up the mountain, we ended up on top. We drove across a dam that was over a mile long. It was one way traffic. It had started raining so hard that it looked like we were driving into oblivion.
It turned out we had stumbled on the Raccoon Mountain Pumped Storage Facility, run by the TVA, Tennessee Valley Authority. It is a Hydro Electric facility, that is used during peak power usage. The reservoir at the top is over 528 acres of water. The dam holding it is over a mile long. The water is released through an in ground shaft through the center of the mountain down to power the hydro generators at the bottom. This picture is taken as we drove over the dam. It was one way. lol….It was a beautiful drive.
When we got to the top of the mountain, turns out the Visitor Center was closed for construction. I wanted to walk down to Laurel Point and look out over the top, but another round of rain was coming. So back down we drove…lol….6 miles….round and round….passing the 2 underground tunnels we seen along the Tennessee River at the bottom. The water was just pouring down the gulley’s along the road. Little waterfalls. So wanted to stop and take pictures, but it was pouring rain still. After we were back out at the highway, we headed back into town.
Maybe the water was gone by now?………….No…………still their. The dump truck was still their also…..and water getting higher….along in front of us was a loaded dump truck. He turned around and Rich decided to follow him. He knew where he was going. Several blocks back up the road, he turned. We found the way to the other side of the interstate…………yea…..finally we got on the Big Road. Now if you don’t know, their are 3 main interstates that converge on this city. What a mess. Stop and go…We had to wind our way around to the other side of Lookout mountain to Camping World. really not far by mileage, but the traffic was stop and go….Finally ….5:45…..we arrived….They closed at 6….We bought our wiper and made the trip back. But this time we used side streets….much faster that way. So that was our day……Our trip to Rock City or Lookout mountain never happened, and the trip to Camping World took over 3 hours …..one way….lol….but we got our wiper….so maybe Chattanooga will be on our list another time….So today we will leave and head up past Knoxville Tenn. to our friends Chris and Julie. We haven’t seen them in over 10 years…..Can’t wait.
Kitty is getting use to traveling…..He loves his Dad…..lol….He always wants him to pet him….Even when driving…..Kitty has his own foot stool that we put in-between us when driving down the road….Oh what a life…..