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Trip Report Tennessee, One Thousand Feet Underground

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After driving about three hours north of Atlanta, Georgia, it has been at least ten years that I am heading in the direction that I am. I am going to visit a destination that has intrigued me for over thirty years.

Having attended college in western Kentucky, I have previously driven along I-24 many times headed south to Florida. Along the interstate no matter which way you are going, miles from Chattanooga, Tennessee, there is a roadside sign that is bound to catch your eye.


On a nice Saturday afternoon I am standing on Lookout Mountain taking in beautiful views of the home of “The Chattanooga Choo Choo”. In a few minutes after paying $17 admission, I am 260 feet below the surface. This is the approximate spot where Leo Lambert began an adventurous journey to make a remarkable discovery.

This afternoon we are fortunate that although our passage is still restrictive in some areas at least we can stand unlike Mr Lambert who along with a few friends crawled about 650 feet into the unknown before he could first stand up.

Pass interesting cave formations that over time have taken on some imaginative shapes from steak and potatoes to a donkey, we arrive at Ruby Falls. At about 1000 feet below the surface of Lookout Mountain, I watch in awe and feel the cool refreshing mist of a 145 foot tall waterfall as it thunders down into a welcoming pool below.

This is spectacular Ruby Falls still as fascinating and awesome as the day it was first discovered in the late 1920's.

Thanks Mr Lambert for sharing your discovery with the rest of the world. I am glad that this time I followed your sign instead of keeping the pedal to the medal.


Ruby Falls Link: http://www.rubyfalls.com/pages/Plan-Your-Visit-FAQs/

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