Monday, August 15, 2011

The Incline Railway: Spider Monkey Edition

As someone who is not too fond of heights, it makes perfect sense that he or she would include the Lookout Mountain Incline Railway as one of the places they would like to visit when they spend a few nights in Chattanooga, TN.


I am not sure what I was thinking.

Perhaps the pictures in the brochure didn't look too threatening.

Perhaps the 70 percent incline didn't quite sink in.

Perhaps I wasn't listening when it was noted that this incline railway is the steepest rail road in the word.

I do know that I was ready to back out when I saw this...

See, this track, which is a mile in length, travels right up the side Lookout Mountain. If you follow the train tracks with your eyes, you can see this itsy-bitsy, teeny weeny little station up at the very top.  I. was. scared. out. of. my. mind. Sure, its a controlled situation, but what do you do at the top? In the process of worrying about the amount of oxygen available at the top, I was hyperventilating at the bottom.

And to make matters even better, you are dragged up the side of the mountain backwards (kicking and screaming ... literally... There was a six year old behind us that made it known he would rather be in Florida then on this train.) ! The hubby wanted to make sure that we had the best seats on the train...(which only counted if I had my eyes open)... at the very front. We would also be the very first to witness whatever awaited us when the cables gave out and we went flying back down the mountain.

(Not our car... but I didn't keep my eyes open too much during this ride.)

Guess what. We made it to the top! The hubs took this picture as we were waiting for the breaks too lock. Thank goodness this is the only thing he took a picture of and not of me. You see, the train was built to have an incline that matched the mountain. Hence, at the top of the mountain, you must walk up the stairs in the train. This meant that I, who was now "at the bottom of the train," transformed into something that resembled a spider monkey and I managed to grab on to EVERY pole in the train and almost ran over the previously mentioned six year old to get out.

After taking a quick.. 30 minute walk around the affluent neighborhood at the top, I finally gained courage (and calmed down enough) to travel up to the observation deck. It wasn't really too bad. Nor was the trip back down the mountain. See, maybe I will be ready for the hot air balloon soon!

(Be impressed. I took this picture... and was up against the guard pole. Okay I can't say that as you can see the pole in the picture... but I was close.)

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