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  • Writer's pictureInger and Jeff Latreille

Ready to Get Out a Bit!

~Thursday, June 10, 2021~

Day 361

Thunderstorms in the forecast, AGAIN!! Still feeling crummy, though a little better. At any rate, we’ll have to forgo the bike ride we had planned and opt for more leisurely activities. Perhaps a drive into downtown Chattanooga would be doable.

Downtown Chattanooga, nicknamed the Scenic City, was exactly as I pictured, reminding me a little bit of Greenville, SC. Everything is so lush and green with its beautiful, natural surroundings.

Set in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, it definitely boasts an outdoorsy vibe with joggers, cyclists, kayakers and walkers all around. The 10-mile Chattanooga Riverwalk which winds along the Tennessee River through downtown looks so appealing so will definitely have to do that on another visit. That would have been a fun way to see the city. We parked the truck near the Bluff View Art District and with Sadie in tow made our first stop at Rembrandt’s Coffee House,

a local favorite, reminiscent of a European cafe. Luckily, the rain held off while we enjoyed our coffee/hot chocolate on their lovely trellised patio. We walked over to the Hunter Museum which is on a bluff overlooking the Tennessee River. The views from this vantage point are delightful with the river, the foothills, and the Walnut Street Bridge as part of the picture. Though we didn’t go into this museum, the outside has appealing sculptures and the buildings themselves are quite interesting with their 3 different types of architecture. The first building (mansion), built in 1904 was designed in the Classical Revival style, followed by the 1975 building constructed in the Brutalist style with its exposed, unpainted concrete with little to no embellishments, and finally the 2005 building designed with a more modern, slick twist. Next stop was The River Gallery Sculpture Garden which is very modest in size, but is one of 195 gardens listed by the International Sculpture Center’s sculpture parks. The Garden features permanent collections and an annual rotation of exhibits. I would have taken photographs, but there were “no photography” and “permits required for photography” signs everywhere. Just across the street, with our noses leading the way, was the Bluff View Bakery and Pasta Kitchen. Unfortunately, the kitchen was closed to visitors, so we had to settle for simply taking in the smells. Evidently, when they are open, patrons can observe bakers and pasta chefs creating rustic breads and fresh pasta, all served and delivered locally.

Still not having our full steamed energy, our last stop of the day was a drive to Signal Mountain. A suburb of Chattanooga and located at the southern end of the Cumberland Plateau, Signal Point was used by Native Americans to signal important messages and by Union troops during the war between the states as a relay station and to observe traffic on the Tennessee River. Today there are 18 miles of trails for hiking, trail running and mountain biking as well as many wonderful scenic overlooks of the city of Chattanooga.

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