On many of our trips we have found local tours. We have walked the streets of Savannah, ridden through Nashville. We’ve toured the Mall in DC, a graveyard in Gatlinburg, and the bowels of Disney.
We are convinced that once in New Orleans we even had a real life Vampire as our tour guide, or at least he thought that he was. He was a guide on a hunted tour. He came complete with the red lined black cape and fanged teeth that appeared real enough that I wasn’t going to ask. He had one blue eye and one green. I can’t say that I remember that much of the tour, but he will be forever etched into my mind. As a parent, there are many times that you wonder if certain decisions were really a good idea. This was one of those moments.
While in Chattanooga, we found a walking tour through the Bluff and Bridges area of the city. Our guide was Carlton Thomas of Chattanooga Sidewalk Tours. While talking with Carlton, I learned that he had attended college with my cousin. What a small world.
This area was once known as Ross’s crossing. John Ross owned and operated a trading post and a ferry that crossed the Tennessee River. Ross was of mixed Scottish and Cherokee heritage from 1815 to 1826. He was also an elected chief among the Cherokee. Ross and his people were forced to move west by President Andrew Jackson in what became known as the Trail of Tears. In 1839 the area became known as Chattanooga.
We walked the 2376 feet across the Walnut Street Bridge to the North Shore. Built in 1890, the bridge was closed to traffic in 1978. A decade later the city renovated the bridge and it is now one of longest pedestrian bridges in the world.
Walking down Frazier Avenue on the North Shore we pasted by Julie Darling Donuts . We had already found these darling donuts. All that I’m going to say is donuts with maple syrup icing and crusted with real beacon. They are almost worth the expense of driving to Chattanooga alone.
We turned off of Frazier and headed for Coolidge Park. This is a popular downtown park located on the waterfront. It features a beautifully restored Dentzel carousel, a pavilion, an interactive play fountain, and lots of open space. The 1894 Dentzel carousel is a central feature in Coolidge Park. The antique carousel was restored by local master wood carver Bud Ellis and a devoted team of craftspeople and volunteers at his studio “Horsing Around” located near Chattanooga.
Afterwards we walked back across the pedestrian bridge and up towards the Hunter Museum of American Art. Located in front of the museum is a statue by Tom Otterness who has explored social issues in the past with humor. In his work here the couple is dancing on a bag of “Free Money”. He also has another statue title “Last Penny”.
An evening storm had been threatening to rain on us but stayed off in the distance. When we arrived at the museum the storm presented us a beautiful rainbow.
After the tour we were returning to the trolley, and enjoyed the beautiful scene of the sun setting behind pedestrian bridge.