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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

chattanooga, rock city!

today, on the emphatic recommendation of our friends missy and raoul, we visited a magical place called rock city in chattanooga, tennessee.

although this was another mildly-too-expensive outing, it did not disappoint.

the experience begins with all sorts of walking around rock formations.



this was all pretty cool except i found the loud new age, schmaltzy music they pipe through the gardens to be a bit much and eventually pretty irritating. still, there was a lot of cool stuff to see - lover's leap, historical markers, seven states, carnivorous pitcher plants, a rainbow tunnel...











...all sorts of things i really go in for. it was fun, but still...i had to ask myself why missy and raoul were so particularily smitten with this place. and then this happened:



as it turns out, the founders' daughter was a big fan of gnomes and fairies (and a black light enthusiast, too, it would seem). her additions to rock city really made the experience happen for me. these impish aesthetics were best exemplified by fairyland caverns - a sort of magical kingdom of germanic folklore with a hillbilly twist.









we also learned that one of rock city's historical distinctions was the innovation of barn roof advertising. this roadside attraction was one of the first to bombard surrounding (and even not-so-surrounding) areas with captivating billboards. we even found the remnants of some old ones on our way out of the city.

3 comments:

missy said...

I love it. Your photos are so amazing. I can't wait to go back. But I don't remember the music pumped into the park!! I did get my silhouette made by the woman there. Now you have to go back for Christmas!

sweetie pie press said...

thank you and raoul both so much for insisting that we go. it's hard to know which crappy roadside things are crappily amazing without the help of good friends.

my friend faythe also recommends 'the thing' which is somewhere in the texas panhandle. our itinerary just missed it on this trip.

freshie (and zero) said...

I love your Rock City pictures - I've lived in Nashville my entire life and have never gone to Rock City. I know it's kitschy goodness but these photos make it look like fun kitschy goodness!