Wow! Chattanooga Rocks! Nick and I had such a blast on our trip down South.
We woke up at 4am, ate some food, packed up the car and left Bowling Green, OH for Chattanooga, TN. It was a good long 9 hour drive. We went through Dayton and Cincinnati, Ohio. I’ve never been to Cinci. There is an awesome view of downtown when you’re heading north on I-75. That was enough to convince me to give it a visit in the future.
We arrived in Chattanooga around 2:30pm. Our first stop was Tim’s house. Tim and his wife are both great climbers, but since having 2 kids and some injuries, they have decided to focus on bicycling for the time being. So Tim sold us one of his nice crash pads and some chalk for our bouldering trip at a really great price. He also let us borrow some bouldering guidebooks from the Tripple Crown Bouldering Series, that way we could find our way around. Thanks again Tim!
Little Rock City
After getting the last of our gear we raced to make it to Little Rock City before nightfall. We arrived at the Montlake Golf Course at 4pm (sunset was 5:30pm). We rushed to get our gear together, signed in at the club house and ran into the LRC boulder field that borders the course.
Once there, we were both simultaneously excited and at a loss. Use to little colored tape markings on our routes at the indoor rock wall, we had a hard time locating boulder problems. Luckily some friendly local climbers showed us the way.
We jumped on a couple of “easy” routes, some V0 / V1’s. Well the first one was more difficult than expected. The friction was great with the cool dry air, but it was just so different. Nick managed to flash the second route that we tried, while I was still having a hard time. I went back to the first route and made some progress. We started playing around on another route and then the night quickly settled in.
After our short, but exciting, bouldering experience we decided to go into downtown Chattanooga to get some food and drink. We took The CragBaby’s advice and decided to check out the Tremont Tavern and it’s famous burgers. CragBaby was right about the burgers! They were huge and amazing. Tremont Tavern also carried a large variety of beer that I never heard of. There was a tasty Terrapin “Side Project Pumpkinfest” that was on specia, and your first glass was free!
The best part of Chattanooga was the people. Everyone was friendly and talked to you like you were their long lost brother. We met Pete, who just graduated with his MBA from the University of Georgia in Athens, GA. He told us of his hard time trying to find a job in Chattanooga, some of his business ideas, and he helped us find out if the road to Rock Town, GA was repaved after being recently washed out. We found out that it was, but we never made it. I’ll get to that later.
Then we met Mark and Cindy, two artists and teachers, who recently moved to Chattanooga. We found out that they were originally from Toledo, OH and Michigan. Mark new all about Bowling Green so we were quick to hit it off. We had a few drinks and enjoyed the great company.
At some point Mark asked where we were staying that night. Due to the lack of good camping sites in the area we decided to sleep in the car in a Wal-Mart parking lot. Mark and Cindy joked with us about how cold it was going to get that night. When we were ready to leave they offered us a place to stay at their home a few miles down the road. After walking through the cold to another bar we decided to take them up on it!
Thanks Mark and Cindy!!!
Nick and I ended up staying up late with Mark listening to music we never heard of, checking out his art, and talking about Toledo and Chattanooga. Thanks for the musical education Mark! I never knew Jimi Hendrix had a Christmas album, and the Avett Brothers rock!
They offered us blankets, pillows, coffee and much needed showers. Thanks again Mark and Cindy! Your place really beat the Wal-Mart parking lot :)
You can check out some of Mark’s art at www.mL2001.com.
Day 2 Coming Soon!