What can I say about Rock City? If you like lots of rocks and boulders, this place is for you. Meandering rock trails lead you through this botanical wonderland with over 400 native plant species. In the 1920's, Garnet Carter, the Father of Miniature Golf, or Tom Thumb Golf, as he called it, purchased a large tract of land atop Lookout Mountain intended for residential development. While Carter built his mountain top home, his wife, Frieda, landscaped the grounds, weaving walkways over, under, through, and around natural rock formations and planted native flowers and trees along the path. In 1928, Fried started a four year project forging a path through the wilderness with only a string to mark her trail. Carter is the star in the story of how a personal retreat became a symbol of American tourism. The housing development was scrapped, but a tourist attraction that has amazed guests ever since was born in the early 1930's. In 1932, Carter introduced his wife's unique gardens to the public as Rock City Gardens. In 1936, Carter, ever the marketing genius, hatched the marketing scheme of the century when he began his famous roof advertising campaign. He sent one of his handymen, Clark Byers across the country to paint "See Rock City" slogans on almost 1000 roadside barn roofs from Michigan to Texas to lure vacationers from the highways.
While the massive boulders are impressive, not to mention the plantings, many of which are labeled, the panoramic view from Lover's Leap was spectacular.
This is Lover's Leap, an outcrop of rock which overlooks 7 states: Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama.
This is the damn swinging bridge. The folks in front of us thought it great fun to make the bridge sway wildly back and forth as they tromped across. I did not find this pleasurable or amusing. I'm quite sure these are the same people who get on a Ferris Wheel and, while stopped at the very top, proceed to make the car rock violently.
Stay tuned for our last little tourist jaunt in Chattanooga- the Incline Railway up Lookout Mountain. Last post: Ruby Falls in Chattanooga.