Thursday, April 23, 2009

Easy first day of driving

I got a good start at 8:15 a.m. on Wednesday and the drive up I-75 was uneventful. I made it to Chattanooga, TN by 3:30 p.m. Made several stops for gas and just a break in driving and feel like it was an easy day's trip. (The gas in Georgia and TN is about 1.82 per gallon.) On the map, it looks like Chattanooga is a lot farther than it apparently is from Atlanta. I stopped at the Tennessee Visitor Center to get a map and I listened to the woman at the desk trying to explain opening and closing times to a hearing-impaired couple. I asked if I could help. She asked if I knew American Sign Language, and I replied that I thought I could remember how to interpret times of day... so I did, and the couple was appreciative. 
    Well, it turned out that I was telling them when the scenic Ruby Falls cave in Lookout Mountain was open and I decided to go and see it as well. Big surprise was that while down inside on the tour, I saw the couple again coming back up from their visit and the woman recognized me from the center and we greeted each other. A nice circle of connection.
    The Ruby Falls are named for the discoverer's wife, found by accident when he was trying to open up the long-closed main cave which had been used by both Confederate and Union armies as hospitals during the Civil War. (If you click on the link, you can see what I saw and learn all about it from their web site.) It was well worth having some extra time to stop and see this.
    Before I did the tour,  I checked in at the motel. I asked about a place to eat and was recommended to "Modern Dave's" and so before going to Ruby Falls I decided to drive by and see both where it was and what it was. I wasn't impressed by the outside appearance. But it was recommended, and after trekking about underground I was hungry.
    BIG surprise! Dave was the chef, and the kitchen is right inside the front door. You walk in and immediately feel welcome. They have over 50 (!) beers, both national and international, and an impressive menu for a daily delivery. The only thing I wasn't tickled about was the use of a microwave to warm up the saffron rice and beans that came with a top notch steak covered with a Cabernet wine sauce, because the rice wasn't fully warm and it wrinkled the beans. But the delivery was very appealing, as you can see here.

 This was a good find and I can really recommend it to anyone traveling through this area. Now I've got to get dressed and get another day underway. (I'm going to attempt to get past St.Louis, MO today.) Tune in tomorrow for the next update.

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