Friday, March 09, 2007


Last week I drove Brian and Lathrop back to Fort Benning, GA. We got a late start; 10:30 in the morning before we left this berg. At an average 85 mph, it's an 11 hour drive. A few rapid pit-stops and a 1-hour time difference let me dropping the boys off and was leaving the army base at midnight.

Speaking of Army bases, did you know they have THESE?

Tank Crossing Signs!
Do they just jump out in front of you, like deer?!!

Anyway, how is it that doing nothing but driving for 12 hours can make you look and feel like a trainwreck? By the time I got to my hotel, my muscles had atrophied, and I was moving like I was 110 years old. I was exhausted to the point of running into walls, and zonked out before my head hit the pillow.

Only to wake up and start all over again.

But there was no race home, on Tuesday. In fact, I decided, "I'm burning 2 precious vacation days...I might as well do something vacation-y on one of them."

I phoned Ilaiy, who I know is perpetually hooked up to the 'net. He got right to Google-mapping my coordinates and decided that Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga, Tennessee, was my best bet. A nice relaxing hike around a scenic mountain! Just the thing!

Relaxing, save one minor point: my fear of heights. I found the drive up to be dizzying; I was shaking when I got out of my car. There was a $15 fee to hike through the tourist attraction on Lookout Mountain, but it was worth it to delay the drive back down.

I coughed it up, only to end up sidling across *this* swinging bridge:

And here I thought my off-road trek would relax me. I was just short of hyperventilating when I got to the other side. Seriously, I had to sit down and catch my breath.

Relaxed just enough to face this: 1000-ton balanced rock. This thing gave me the heevie-jeevies too; a slight breeze might just have un-balanced it while I was underneath, yes? I scurried through this spot.

The waterfall was gorgeous, and I get more points for standing on a little lookout balcony to take this photograph. I focused, grabbed the railing, took the picture, grabbed the railing, lowered the camera, grabbed the railing...I did all but sit down and scoot back to safety.

Lover's Leap
(He's not worth it honey, he's been sleeping with someone else all along.)

Another view from a cool, mossy trail:

And a water mill:

And joy, o joy, Spring flowers line every path.

It was 2 hours of sunshine and daffodils, crocuses, violets, intermingled with breathtaking views, inside and outside of rock. I was refreshed, mentally and physically,when I decided to get back on I-24W, the 318-mile leg of the trip.

Short lived, though; here's a mere 3-second video on my way down:

3 seconds of this view still make my stomach flip; so much for hitting the highway in a relaxed state, eh?

It was still a grand stop, leaving me with a nice memory of warm sun, even as I pulled into my snow-covered driveway 8 hours later.

I got a taste of spring, a month ahead of time.

It was enough to hold me over.


  1. Driving wears me out, too, and I hate heights! I also hate driving in mountains. I feel your pain. Everything looks gorgeous though.

  2. Anonymous6:01 PM

    Did you see the 'marching' signs? The have a couple of guys looking like they are marching... and I remember thinking, man that would suck to be late for work and have to wait for a whole platoon to go by. I wish I could have been with you on this trip.

    Love ya,

  3. wow great pics --- hope it holds ya over :-) til spring...your spring is when we get our hot season here in FL... weather has been so nice the last few weeks sunny 80 daily!!

  4. I love those pictures. Wish we had spring flowers up here - but that won't be until May...

  5. Great pics!

    Love all the scene-y and Springy ones!

  6. LOVE those photos...thanks so much for sharing with us!


  7. Laurie: I normally love to drive...12 hours with no stops tho...whew!

    Brandi: Saw those in FLW, but not this time.

    Bob: We're getting there; 75 the last few days.

    Jazz: None here yet either, but soon, soon.

    Momo: tyvm!

    Janet: Your welcome; thanks for checking them out!


Back talk! Comment here!