We made it in to Chattanooga and I’m happy to report the check engine light has not returned and Houdini has not blown up (It’s the little things…). We got to Chattanooga, and drove around for a bit looking for some views. We saw beautiful pictures on our phones of a cliff overlooking a waterfall but did not realize till we got there that it cost $20 a person to go see it…um, no thanks.We’re on a budget. We checked out the area near it and still were able to see some lovely views of downtown Chattanooga from the mountaintop. We hung out up there and walked around for a bit before heading to downtown where we found a Starbucks and decided to get to work.
So far, we have been absolutely horrible about uploading pictures to our computers and updating the blog so we needed to take some serious time to work on that. We must have been at that Starbucks milking their Wi-Fi for at least four hours before deciding it was time to see what the town had to offer.
We stumbled upon this little retro video game bar called the Coin-Op and boy were we glad we did. We sat down and ordered beer and looked at all the memorabilia around and vintage games people were playing while three people played Super Mario Kart (the SNES version) on the projector for everyone to see. After a little bit we were in line for the lone bathroom in the place and I’m not exactly sure how it started but Maria struck up a conversation with this guy in line in front of us named Anthony and it wasn’t long after that he ended up offering his place to us.
Anthony was there with his roommate Brandon who was celebrating his 29th birthday. The four of us walked outside where we met another two (Lauren and Christopher) there to celebrate Brandon’s birthday and the six of us walked over to another bar. We all got to talking and it was amazing just how generous and amazing all of them were to us. The four of them gave us a list of places we could go for hiking and some beautiful views that weren’t the tourist traps of Ruby Falls and Rock City. Lauren works at a rock climbing gym and invited us there to try rock climbing for the first time and Christopher invited us to his studio to attempt to make some clay art. Plans were made and numbers were exchanged and then it was time to head out.
After the bar we ended up all going back to Anthony and Brandon’s place, a converted warehouse that was so awesome. Half of the warehouse was a living space with a full practice space for a rock band with a drum set and a collection of amps and mic stands everywhere. The walls were all covered with murals drawn mainly by Brandon as well.
Lauren ended up having to head out so we made sure to give her a tour of the van and have her sign it and she decided to give us a piece of her artwork (apparently everyone in this town is an artist/rock climber/musician). Not long after that we all decided to call it a night as well.
The next day we headed over to the rock climbing gym and it was amazing. It was so much fun as well as so tiring. I made it almost to the top of the wall (on one of the easier climbs of course) on my first try but my hands and forearms were just too tired when I got near the top to hold on anymore. It was also scary to let go and repel down, it doesn’t feel like the rope is going to slow down your fall on the Auto Belay machine they have you hooked up to but it’s either let go or climb back down and my hands weren’t having that so I leapt off the wall and luckily it did exactly what it’s supposed to do.
Maria and I stayed there for a few hours and while we both started to get better in the beginning as we figured out what we were doing we then quickly started getting worse as we no longer had the stamina to get up very high on the walls. We decided to call it quits on that and to make some food then head over to some of the places everyone was telling us about the night before. I definitely think that Maria and I will be looking to join a rock climbing gym when we finish this trip though.