This past February, I finished up college at beautiful Middlebury College in Vermont. I assume that if you’re reading this, you know a thing or two about me, and therefore you know that I was a Feb. If not, this distinguished title simply means that I started my college days in February of 2002 and four years later I ended my undergraduate career. More to the point, my last semester at Middlebury was the one month long J-term, where students study just one class rather extensively, but typically in a topic that one would normally not study. My class was called Place Through Popular Culture and among the areas of America that we studied was the rather ambiguous region of the eastern United States, Appalachia. Appalachia generally gets… umm… well a poor reputation and so we studied whether the reputation is deserved or not.
I’m giving too many pre-story details, but the point here is that among the places in Appalachia we studied turns out to be on Lookout Mountain in Georgia, where we are now. This rather bizarre establishment is called Rock City. The actual description from the website reads as follows:
Located atop Lookout Mountain, just 6 miles from downtown Chattanooga, Rock City is a truemarvel of nature featuring massive ancient rockformations, gardens with over 400 native plant species,and breathtaking “See 7 States” panoramic views. Take anunforgettable journey along the Enchanted Trail where eachstep reveals natural beauty and wonders along the woodland path. Experience fairytale magic at Fairyland Caverns and Mother Goose Village. Gift shops and restaurant on site. Splendid year-round! Each season there’s a new reason to visit!
Holy smokes! After reading that, I just had to pay Rock City a visit. It’s less than 2 miles from Eddy’s house, so after a nice 2 hours spin around the top of Lookout Mountain, I paid R.C. a visit. Initially I was intregued because I came from along the ridge where one can see Rock City hanging off a cliff in the distance, just like you can see in the above picture. Looks pretty good, huh? Sadly, seeing it from the distance turns out to be the highlight of the place. I rolled up on my bike hoping to make it all the way to the cliff but was put off by the gate and the TWENTY-SIX DOLLAR ENTRY FEE! Sheesh, dude, I can go in my back yard and see rocks and nature for free! I can make my own “Enchanted Trail” by chopping down some big ol’ trees and see that for free, too! $26 for rocks?! I suppose the coolest part is where you can supposedly see seven states from the rocky bluff, but probably equally cool is the Four Corners – where you can be in four states at one time. I’m pretty sure four corners is free, and furthermore it’s so humid and foggy here that you can hardly see as far as Chattanooga just 6 miles away.
Perhaps the most amusing part is the way this place is advertised. Throughout this area, there are red barns with black roofs with”SEE ROCK CITY” plastered across the top. Plus they’ve really marketed this well, because you see this icon everywhere, from cars to trucks to bird houses. This is actually the only feature of Rock City that I remember from my J-term class. Here’s a pretty cool car I saw the other day.
So next time you’re in the area, be sure to See Rock City.