We slept the sleep of the dead. She fell asleep at 6 last night and I held on to 9 (off and on. There are parts of that movie I don't recall)
. But by 630 this morning we were well rested at America's Best Hotel. It did have a comfortable, clean, king-sized bed. And no dog to hog the covers this time. We found that we needed a few items and since we had not made the ordained trip to Wally World yet, commenced to find one. After the obligated free continental breakfast complete with waffle maker Where would the motel world be these days without those handy gadgets? The better places even have tubs of peanut butter to add to the fare. This wasn't one of those but we made do.
We had planned to stop at Corinth, thinking grandpa had been there as well but after doing some reading last night (that's why I had to stay up the extra 3 hours), I found that his unit had been sent northward to chase Braxton Bragg all over central Tennessee and Kentucky and participating in the battles of Perryville and Stones River (which the southern folk call Murphreesboro). We'll catch up with them again in Chattanooga in a bit.
Though we didn't have to stop, we did swing through Corinth, MS, a nice town by what we saw, with a very nice Holiday Inn Express (maybe that's America's Best Hotel and why the NPS recommends you stay in Corinth). We picked up US72 and headed east. One thing we would note on our tour through Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, back to Tennessee, then back to Georgia (yes all today) was the local folks evidently don't think you need much in the way of road signage. They will throw up one or two at the turning points then assume you've gotten onto the right one and need no further instruction. That didn't work well for us. More than one time, after making a turn I thought was indicated by said signage, my internal compass and combination Map of the US would start giving me that funny feeling on the back of my neck at which time we'd fall back to the iPhone's Siri or Google maps to find out, yep, you're on the wrong highway bubba.
You might say, "well why not just go by the navigator on the phone"? Well for one, I don't necessarily want to take the quickest route, I want to take the historical route. And secondly, because some roads are so windy and close to each other, the dang gadget thinks we flew through the sky to the other road and wants us to "make a u turn at the next location..." Technology. Give me a good paper map any day.
The drive from Selmer to Chattanooga is about 4 hours, 225 or so, and we decide to make it leisurely. We stop a few extra times and see some things we've never seen before:
|THE Piggly Wiggly, Gurley, AL|
|City Park, Bridgeport, AL|
We moseyed over to the train station and got a look around but the doors were locked. We did get a good view of the river and tracks, showing why this was an important town back then. It was a railroad hub and we the union was here, although grandpa didn't come this way. We found the Confederates had burned the original station when they heard the Yanks were coming and after they did, it became a major supply route for the north especially as it became the starting point for the "cracker line", the supply line that was eventually opened to get food to the starving Union troops in Chattanooga.
The Hurricane, liking old houses as she does, wanted to drive up Battery Hill on our way out, so we did, seeing many fine old homes and getting a grand view of the Tennessee river from the bluffs You could see for miles towards Chattanooga. Another good choice.
|Bluffs at Bridgeport overlooking the Tennessee river|
We made it to the Super 8 and the sign said "Dave Patel". Yogi's brother maybe? But the desk clerk was named Jackie and when I told her where I was from and that I why I was there I did so with a little trepidation. There was no need. She welcomed us back (after 150 years) and made us feel at home. She told me a story of how she was a supporter of our military as well, her dad being in the 101st Airborne, and was so glad to have us she put the Hurricane and I on the first floor where we could park right by the door. The Hurrican's knees thanked her. We checked in (nice room), then headed around the south way to approach Lookout Moutain from the east then turn north to find the Incline RR We had been this way almost 20 years ago with the kids and our good friends Mark and Suzanne Gordon, and thought we'd like to do it again. It was as enjoyable the second time and even more so since this time, unlike the last, I knew we had a historical connection to the area.
|Waiting out the storm|
|West from Lookout Mtn|
|East from Lookout Mtn|