Wednesday, July 2, 2008

TN River Gorge Exlporer

Most everyone in the southeast has been to Chattanooga at some point in their life and experienced the TN Aquarium, the IMAX, Rock City and Ruby Falls. All beautiful and unique in their own special way. Last week Gram's along with the kids, and Aunt Valerie were privileged to be on one of the first public tours aboard the brand new Tennessee River Gorge Explorer. Chattanooga's newest attraction. (And if you ask my girls, one of the best things to do in downtown!)

Just a few minutes from downtown Chattanooga is the TN River Gorge. It has been said that the Gorge is one of the richest areas for plants and animals within the world's temperate regions. You would have to go to the tropics to find greater biodiversity! That's just the fancy way of saying...there is a thousand and one different types of plants out there! And believe you me during allergy season all of Chattanooga knows it!

The girls came home talking about the animals they heard about. It would have been great if they had taken a pair of binoculars so they could have had a closer view of the eagles, hawks and osprey. The naturalist on board was eager to answer any questions, but the girls were so taken with the boat that on this trip, they just didn't have many questions!

I thought it was interesting that the Gorge is often called "Tennessee's Grand Canyon". It was considered sacred ground for the Cherokee Nation and became the main water route for their evacuation on the Trail of Tears. All things you can learn on the 90 minute excursion.

My mom had a surprise once they stepped on board. One of her favorite first grade student's father and uncle are "captains" of the Explorer. They have a rich family history as riverboat captains. They love what they do and took the time to visit with my mom and the girls. (They got a sneak peak into the pilothouse to see what it takes to command this vessel.)

Once they got into the Gorge and slowed down a bit, everyone was free to go to the top deck and enjoy the views. Apparently, my little nephew fell asleep in his mommy's lap so she stayed down below, but was still able to enjoy the scenery.

While on the top deck, Chloe got a glimpse of a camera crew. They were from the Fox affiliate in Birmingham. The reporter came over and asked her some questions. He must have thought she was younger than her very mature almost 10 years, because she told me the questions were very easy and she would have loved to talk about more than what he was asking. BUT, Chris Montana is supposed to contact us when the story will air and you better believe I'll be posting the link so you can go watch it on-line. I'm not proud or anything. :)

If you live in the Southeast and are looking for a fairly inexpensive weekend family getaway..go here and check out all the details of the Explorer. It's fun and educational at the same time. BUT, be sure to call and make reservations the boat only holds 70 people.

If you go, let me know! I would love to hear about your trip into the Gorge. :)


BethAnne said...

We havent gotten to go on the Explorer, but would love to. I have heard several people talk about how fun it is.....

Heather C said...

Sounds like a great excursion! I don't blame the girls... I'd probably have been pretty taken with that boat myself! Looks nice! Thanks for sharing... love the pics!

Fran said...

I would love to bring our boys that way and do that. SOunds awesome!!!!

Happy 4th Steph!!
Much love,

Jackie said...

Happy 4th- those pics are great...sounds like ALOT of fun to me!! Hope today was full of blessings and reminders of our freedoms! love ya!

Christina said...

What a pretty new vessel and what awesome scenery. Boy this really shows how God created the most beautiful things. This is what our whole earth should look like.

Glad to hear everyone had a great time.