Monday, June 18, 2012

Floating down the Tennessee River

Since Memorial Day weekend (the last Saturday of May), there have been a flurry of activities, from boating to hiking to music festivals. So many videos to edit, so little time...

We took our boat out for the first time this season to find our anchor frozen. We tied up to Hale Kai (thanks, guys!), so we could cool off in the river on a hot summer day (feels like summer already, eventhough it doesn't officially start until Jun 20.)

This was followed by 3 music festivals the next weekend - Chattanooga's Riverbend Music Festival, Nashville's CMA Music Festival, and Manchester's Bonnarroo. These festivals were all within 1-2 hour(s) of each other. Why they schedule all these music festivals on the same weekend is incomprehensible to me. Needless to say, the cops had a field day all along Interstate 24, from Chattanooga to Nashville.

I first learned about FanFair and the CMA Festival through our friend Joyce. We had cruised to the Abacos, the Bahamas together in 2003. As all cruisers know, boating and schedule don't go together very well, but she had one and needed to return to the States as she had tickets to FanFair.

Fast forward to 2007. We arrived in Chattanooga, and that June, we met Joyce at the CMA Festival in Nashville. We enjoyed it so much we've been going back almost every year. With fabulous (and free) music on many stages, and in clubs, stores and restaurants, as well as generous sponsors giving out lots of free stuff, what's not to like? We also have a favorite restaurant - Wild Horse Saloon, serving decent southern fare at reasonable prices. The establishment has a stage and a huge dance floor, complete with line dancing lessons. Here are some pictures from that weekend.
Mia Bergmann performing at the Hard Rock Cafe Stage

At the Chevrolet Riverfront Stage
French's Shoes and Boots

Inside Ernest Tubb record store
How's your summer so far?

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Riverbend Music Festival: a First Experience Cruising the Tennessee River at Lake Nickajack Nashville under water

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Hiking at Lookout Mountain and Sewanee

Chattanooga not only abounds with outdoor activities but also with Civil War history.

Just this past week, I hiked with friends at the University of the South at Sewanee, and took my ESOL class for a tour of Lookout Mountain Battlefield.  After a history lesson on the Civil War and the significance of the park (thank you Ranger Allen!), we took a short hike from Point Park to Sunset Rock. Most of the students were new to hiking, so we did not go all the way to the end point. It was spring, but felt more like a hot summer day. Luckily, the trail was shaded by the tall trees. We saw some pretty spring flowers and blackberries along the way.
Point Park

Below are some pictures from our hike (Morgan Steep to Memorial Cross) at the University of the South in Sewanee. Many thanks to our boater friend Judy who took some time to show us around her gorgeous work area (college campus) and the location of some of the trailheads. We'll definitely be back.
Deer sighting on our way to Morgan Steep Trail
We made it. Yahoo!

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Hiking at Lula Lake and Falls Seize the day - hiking at Lookout Mountain