FIRST TIME ON THE MOUNTAIN
The October 6, Lookout Mountain Hike provided the first opportunity for Murfreesboro Chapter members Ann Jacobs and Ann Ford to traverse some of the trails of this grand and granite precipice. Arriving at the Craven House start point the trio of hikers was somewhat disillusioned by the gray, only partially translucent, curtain that veiled the view of the City of Chattanooga beyond. Not to be daunted and with hopes of a better view upon our return, we headed southerly along the Rifle Pit Trail, now occasionally marked with Great Eastern Trail emblems along the way. Reaching the base of the Gum Spring Trail, we started the long and somewhat steep ascent, past the trickling springs, to the Bluff trail. Pausing for a few minutes to recoup from the climb, we proceeded to the top of Sunset Rock. We were greeted by a rock climber disappearing over the edge of the flat surface and by the gray curtain obscuring the entire Lookout Valley before us. There was nothing much left to do but to enjoy our sack lunches and tell stories as we patiently wished for the curtain to lift. Soon our patience was rewarded as the curtain parted, and a great view of the valley and the mountain ridges beyond appeared, although under a low ceiling of gray clouds.
Leaving this scenic site and heading down the rocky path, we traversed the Bluff Trail to the steps at the base of Point Park. Ascending the 95 stone and metal steps (yes I counted them) to the Och’s Museum, we were thrilled to find the refurbished building now open to the public with many interesting exhibits. In addition, the view of the City of Chattanooga and Moccasin Bend of the Tennessee River is always an awesome spectacle. Yes, the gray shroud of early day had lifted. Leaving this scene to pictures and memory, we skirted the north face of the mountain and down the Mountain Beautiful Trail back to the Cravens House where we reviewed a short wayside exhibit of its history.
Leaving the area after 4.5 hours of an enjoyable and leisurely hike, it was a consensus by all that it was a most pleasurable experience well worth the time and effort. A special thanks to Ann Jacobs for her excellent chauffeur service.