This afternoon, we went to Raccoon Mountain Caverns, which is located outside of Chattanooga, Tennessee. As we were waiting for our tour to start, I had just happened to find this old cable car sitting off to the side next to a building where you can get yourself equipped for the Wild Tour. I don’t know anything about it, other than it’s been sitting there for a long time. The only thing I can figure is that the cable car used to go up the side of Raccoon Mountain to other attractions at some point in time.

October 27th, 1863 (Siege of Chattanooga).

Hooker is apparently not a team player with Grant any more than he was with Rosecrans.

Honorable E. M. STANTON,

Secretary of War.
BRIDGEPORT, October 27, 1863-6.30 a.m.

Troops are now just moving out for Shellmound and Raccoon Mountain. No evidence to show that the rebels will oppose the undertaking. Hooker came here from Stevenson last night. He is in an unfortunate state of mind for one who has to co-operate, fault finding, criticizing, dissatisfied. No doubt the chaos of Rosecrans’ administration is as bad as he describes, but he is quite as truculent toward the plan he is now to execute as toward the importance and confusion of the old regime.

[C. A. DANA.]

This is the outside of the cable car that we had found near the main building which housed the entrance to Raccoon Caverns in Chattanooga, Tennessee. I’m not sure why this is still sitting there. Regrettably, even I thought this was an eyesore. I’d hate to know what its original color scheme used to be.

Chattanooga, Tennessee

Chattanooga was very nice, probably the best campground yet! It was adjacent to Raccoon Mountain Caverns which we chose as our Chattanooga activity. We opted for the “wild caving “ experience. The girls were enthusiastic, I was hesitant about crawling through narrow, dark caves! After reading numerous positive reviews, I decided to throw all caution to the wind, and go for it. I’m so glad I did because we had a blast. I went totally out of my comfort zone. Our guide was very capable & experienced, full of interesting facts about the formation, history and geology of Raccoon Mountain Caverns. He assured us that the only animals we were likely to encounter were harmless and tiny (think salamanders, tiny spiders, maybe bats) and that we would be seeing fossils from the Mesozoic era! We donned our hard hats (with attached headlamps), knee pads and gloves and set off deep underground to do some wild caving. Initially we walked through the most impressive & beautiful rooms of the cavern , stunning stalagmites, stalactites, soda straws , columns, eerie deposits & formations. Very surreal . After awhile we started exploring off the beaten path. We crawled, shimmied, squeezed, scooted, slid, rolled and straddled over deep canyons, repelled down sheer cliffs and inched our way over terrifying precipitous rocks. The only light was from our headlamps , and at one point we had a blackout (everyone turned off their lights) to experience total darkness. There are only two natural places in the world to have complete darkness ; caves& the bottom of the ocean. Much of the cave was muddy, slippery and very dangerous, our adrenaline was pumping the entire time. We spotted a salamander (which our guide was very excited about!) and as promised we saw many fossils. In several spots, we had a choice which small hole we felt comfortable squeezing through…naturally the girls were more adventurous than I in this regard! The tunnels were given great names like "the birth canal” , “back scratcher”, “.49 squeeze” (because if you had another penny you wouldn’t fit) and more. All in all it was such fun..when it was over we were filthy, I was sore & exhausted but the girls begged to go on the next 4 hr expedition scheduled. We will be visiting Carlsbad caverns on this trip, perhaps they will have a wild caving tour available. It’s really hot in Tennessee this time of year! Our time is spent in the air conditioned RV or in the campground pools. Just walking outside for a minute is unbearable. Although the cavern was a very comfortable 60 degrees 😊 Next stop..Memphis!