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01/08/2004 Archived Entry: "New Years Day in Chattanooga"

Our New Years Day Skate in Chattanooga, TN
On New Years Day – January 1, 2004

Ken O and I drove up to Chattanooga on New Years Day morning to participate in the "Chattanooga New Years Day Skate," as provided annually by the Chattanooga inline skating club. What we got in return was a warm and embraced welcome, and a most enjoyable day that will be long remembered and cherished. Thanks for your more than down-to-earth hospitality Chattanooga!

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(front) Marc
(middle) Phil P, Cindy H, Judy M, Marty B, Ken O, John M
(back) Mac M.

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Walnut Street Pedestrian Bridge
(Ken, Judy, and Marty)

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Downtown Chattanooga
(Ken, Cindy, Marty, Judy, Phil, Mac, and John)

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Chattanooga has some pretty neat stuff…
a world class aquarium,
a restaurant with train cars,
and upscale bus stop benches.

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Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga.

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Part of the New Years Day - Chattanooga Skate Tour
was to observe some Canadian Geese or something,
water skiing in the Tennessee River. But no birds or
loons were there. “They’re so disorganized,” exclaimed
Marty, “they probably all slept in. I can’t understand it.
Last year, it was so much colder and the water wasn’t
nearly as nice, and there were so many of them.”

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The Chattanooga skaters are delighted
that Chattanooga has been designated
as a bicycle friendly community. Not
many U.S. cities have such distinction.
(front) John
(middle) Judy, Phil, Marty, Cindy
(back) Ken and Mac

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One of many skating opportunities located
off Reggie White Boulevard.

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The monstrous, looming goal of our New Year.
Our resolution: To get to the top of the thing!
(John in front, Judy, Mac, and Cindy in back)

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“Where’s Lookout Mountain?,” I jokingly asked Mac.
“It’s right over there,” he replied.
“Where?,” I asked again, as if I couldn’t tell Lookout
Mountain from a hill of beans. (I was trying to buy
time on behalf of my camera and its dying batteries.)
“It’s right there,” he exclaimed, “can’t you see it?”
“Keep pointing at it,” I responded, “I think I see it, but
I’m not yet sure… Oh, okay, good, there it is… the
green camera ready light has finally come on.”
Mac then turned around to look at me, “You just wanted
me to keep pointing so that you could take my picture,
didn’t you? You knew where Lookout Mountain was all
along! You had me-ah-goin’ there for a while.”

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“Lets Roll-um!!!,” barked-out Jane after each stop.
(Judy, John, Ken, Phil, and Mac)
Mac is perhaps the most friendly, lovable, down-to-earth
person I’ve met in a long, long time.

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Group photo at the Lookout Mountain Incline Railway station.
The grade at the upper portion of the track is at an incredible
72.2 percent incline. The layout of the track, itself, has been
coined “America’s Most Amazing Mile.”
(front) Marty, Judy, and Cindy
(back) Phil, John, Mac, and Ken

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John insisted that he take my pic as well.

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The system utilizes two cabled cars. The cars pass each other
at exactly the halfway point between the two stations. And
interestingly, at the podium that you see in this photo, the train
operator in each car leaves the moving car, walks briskly onto
the podium, passes the other operator (who's doing the same
thing), and enters the opposite moving train car. In other words,
the train operator who originated from the station at the top
of the mountain returns to that station, without ever reaching
the other station. Pretty bizarre, I thought.

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If this path were covered in snow…
I’d want to ski down it.
If it were covered in asphalt,
I believe I’d be terrified to skate down it.
That’s for sure!!!

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With my inline skates on my feet and the weblog camera in one
hand, I was using the other hand in prayer, “Dear God, please
don’t let this cable break!”

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The Incline Railway was not overly compatible with inline skates.
(Marty attempts to make her way to the front of the car.)

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A gorgeous view from atop Lookout Mountain.

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John and Mac pointed out all sorts of stuff to Ken and me.
(I thought I could see Atlanta, but learned that I was mistaken.)

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Ken searches for Raccoon Mountain

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One of many pretty houses atop Lookout Mountain.
“It’s all Coca Cola money and lawyer’s money up here,”
noted Judy.

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I can’t remember the name of this house, but it had
a cute “ring” to it.
(front) Marty, Marc, Judy, Cindy
(back) Ken, Mac, John.
(Phil took the photo)

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John was learning all about old, deep, vertical,
wet caves from Ranger Curry. Meanwhile, Cindy
had been learning all about their shotguns.
"He once held my grandmother at gun point,"
she later told us.

(well, she said something along those lines.)

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The well known “Chattanooga Choo Choo” restaurant. Here, the
patrons can eat in diner type train cars. I remember my father
relocating my family to Atlanta from Chicago in 1973. We stopped
at this restaurant to eat, and it was in the middle of winter.
I also remember that my younger sister and I ate spaghetti with
some type of weird meat sauce. My whole family became terribly
ill during the rest of our drive to Atlanta. “The restaurant isn’t
as good as it used to be,” simultaneously noted Judy, Marty
and Mac.

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Some of the pretty architecture and streetscapes
in downtown Chattanooga.

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