10-03-09 Chattanooga, TN II and Delta Queen

[Rick] We awoke this morning to the sounds of Ducks. No, not those ducks, these ducks.

The first thing we did was to go watch the IMAX 3D presentation of “Under the Sea”. This was a part of our combo ticket to the aquarium, which we visited yesterday. This was a great underwater story. It featured the coral reefs and the fish and animals that inhabit the reef. It also stressed the ecological balance that must be observed and the consequences if that balance is not kept.

Chattanooga has a FREE shuttle service throughout most of the main part of town. It is provided on electric, no emission, busses that hold about 15 people. They run round trip to the Choo-Choo section, a destination in itself. They also run across the river to the North Shore. That is where we went to see The Legendary Delta Queen. She is one of the main reasons we wanted to come to Chattanooga. She is tied to the RDB 463.6 and is now a restaurant and hotel. We traveled on her many times before she was forced to retire, and were somewhat apprehensive about seeing her in her now permanent location. She sits on a dock in McClellan Park, a very nice park with a carousel and a lot of specialty shops nearby.

We walked on like we owned the place. No one stopped us. (On the way out, the guard was stopping Looky-loos). We walked all around the boat and she is in great shape. She is clean, freshly painted and varnished. All of the furniture and pictures are in place. The large comfortable chairs are there and still comfortable. Banjo Bob Stevens still plays in the Texas Lounge, but we were told he is the only person still employed from when she actually was sailing. The dining room was still as we remembered it. We thought about staying for supper, but the menu did not appeal to us. We later found that “Reservations are required” and they are full for the evening, both hotel and restaurant. This is a good thing, as the only way for her to survive is to keep pulling in the people.

We returned to the boat in late afternoon and after supper, went to listen to the headliners at the Bluegrass festival. It is unfortunate that they are having a Barbershop Quartet competition this same weekend about 5 blocks away. We were told that the top 250 quartets in the southeast will be competing.

Tomorrow, we leave Chattanooga and continue upstream toward Knoxville.

More pictures from the Legendary Delta Queen:

The Fountain at McClellen Park...

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