Lookout Mtn, and finally back home to Louisville
So after Deals Gap we headed about two hours west to Chattanooga TN to spend the weekend with my sister & mom on Lookout Mountain. We got up and out early Saturday morning to wash the car & go take photos on the mountain. The car had a ton of black dust on it, I guess the dust was tire remnants from along Deals Gap, that washed off fairly easily. After wasting two of those cheap blue towels you buy at the car wash I decided to just drive it up the mountain to dry it off and blot whatever small spots were left afterwards. While blotting the rest of the spots off (mainly on the engine/boot cover, no air rushes through that area) in front of the restaurant two guys ended up coming outside to check the car out. Niki and I just smiled and answered the usual questions and headed on inside.
When we sat down with my mom & sister they informed us that the two guys had been eating with their family but stood up quickly, as soon as the Elise parked, and headed out to see the car, leaving their family inside. Apparently MY family didn't believe us when we had mentioned the amount of attention the car gets ;)
So anyway, we're looking over the menu and chatting about the car's "attention grabbing" skills when the restaurant owner walks up and starts talking about the Elise. Come to find out he is not only from Louisville but he has an uncle in NY that restores & collects Lotus'. Turns out that he knows quite a bit about the Elise and that his uncle has an Ardent Red one that he sold his Lotus 7 for last year. Talk about a small world. After chatting about these quirky little cars for a bit we finish up our lunch and head on outside to take these photos (which I later emailed to Nick, the restaurant owner). Later that night I hopped on EliseTalk and low & behold I see a post from his uncle telling a Knoxville resident to stop in to his nephew's cafe on Lookout Mtn. Talk about a REALLY small world.
So after snapping the Cafe photos we headed back down to meet up with my sister at her house and follow her to a friend's house who had wanted to see the famed Lotus.
My mom checking out the car in the daylight in my sister's driveway...
My niece Julia Caroline showing the world what she thinks of these cars ;)
My sister's friend's kid looking up at his dad
So after taking my sister's friend (the dad) for a ride down a couple of backroads Niki and I headed up to the hang gliding launch on the mountain. I was hoping to get some colorful hang glider shots with the car but a ratty driveway stopped me from doing so. I found an overlook shortly down the road though and snapped off these photos.
Notice Niki asleep in the passenger seat...
After the overlook we headed down to a little general store type place where the mountain's train passes by. This train is damn scary, when you're on it you're at a very steep angle and you just creep straight up & down the mountain.
After all of the general store fun we headed up to "Cravens House", a battleground spot from (I think) the Civil war.
And the obligatory "art" shots... ;)
From Craven's House we headed over to Rock City (about two blocks from my sister's house) for some traditional fun. We go here every time we're in town, rocks & gnomes NEVER get old! ;)
Niki standing at the beginning of the needle's eye (slim corridor between two huge rocks)
Steps heading down into fatman's squeeze...
Some idiot on a rope bridge thats VERY high up...
Niki checking out the 6 state view...
The blair witch shot... (I'm sure this will end up being bastardized)
Niki in front of a waterwheel
I have no dignity.
Rock City was the last thing we really did in Chattanooga. We headed back Monday morning and finally got home around 5 that evening. The Elise finally found its new home :)
All in all the Lotus Elise is a very pleasant car to travel with. A coast to coast trip might be a bit of a stretch for the Lotus but I'm sure my Elise will see some more road trips in its coming years with us.