Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Ruby falls, Tennessee

Always aching to have the “one in a lifetime” experiences, we set out to find places of interest in the Midwest…With the 4th July weekend fast approaching, we scanned hurriedly on the map of America, reactivating our rusty Geography lessons regarding the geographical wonders of America and general topography…we always knew two mountain ranges in America, the Smoky and the Rocky mountain range! And as it was the monsoon season in India, our regular trekking season, we were all the more inclined to travel to the mountains! Smoky mountains were our choice for the trip! And were we disappointed? Never ever a moment!
The lush greenery in Nashville greeted us and set the perfect tone for our hilly sojourn. We drove merrily past the cities and towns and headed south, towards Chattanooga. Sounding strange on our tongues, we kept repeating all the different Red Indian place names we encountered whilst we drove…Our first halt was Ruby falls, just read quickly through the history of the falls here, just to get the hang of what I describe next…
Reaching the lookout mountain, well that was our first taste of hilly roads, and mountain terrain of the States, and we must appreciate the perfect road condition and ample road signs, warnings and caution boards at the right places! The roads had perfect landings and shoulders, how we wish Maharashtra learnt about them too! J
We drove through thick rain, yes! Thick indeed! The rain was almost out of any Yashraj or Dharma production movie! Big drops dropping off the clouds in such profusion, we could hardly see beyond a few feet! And the mist hung low in the mountains, so through the curtains of rain and swirling mists, we reached this magical land of the Lookout Mountain!
There we entered the lift that took us 1120 feet below the ground! Upon entering the mountain from inside, we marveled at the calm and darkness that spread around…Our guide led us around the falls, gave some super expert tips regarding the caves and the stalactite and stalagmite formations in the caves! We walked around the various ‘rooms’ of the caves. Each route was laden with limestone deposits, mineral deposits and some amazing natural formations. The Stalactites formed chandeliers in our path and the stalagmites rose to greet us, their faint irradiance and soft sound of running ground water, created an ambience beyond words! The Selenites amazed us with their flower like shapes, “growing” on the low ceilings of the caves.

After a mile long trek, which involved a lot of bending low and walking down dark paths, we entered this cave ‘room’ with an opening the size of a marriage hall! Imagine thousand feet below ground an opening which is so deftly carved out by underground water movement! And the guide simply switched off the guiding lights here! The calmness now had a fearful edge! The silence and darkness assaulted us with their magnificent potency and all pervading presence! ‘You will all go blind in a few months time if you continue to stare in the darkness…’ the guide informed! Our pupils stretch out trying to seek light and in the process, get damaged and soon are rendered useless in darkness! Wow that was some trivia!
As the room lit up, we could see cave pathways, as small as rabbit holes or just the size of a double spread newspaper; these pathways were open to exploration! But we really couldn’t stomach that idea! Especially after the recent darkness episode! We left this room, thinking about the sages of India who meditated in the caves of Himalayas, and also about thousands of mine workers around the world! Suddenly perspectives changed, and newfound respect rose for these people!
We walked into the final hall of the cave; the final sight froze us in silence! Literally!
With temperatures hovering around 58 degrees Fahrenheit Celsius, crashing our silence, was a massive waterfall, gushing into the pool below…what a sight it was! Gooseflesh prickled our skin and smiles wreathed our faces, eyes marveled at the sight and the real pricking feeling of being a mere human being, just one of the average creations of nature seemed to gnaw away at our ego…Such a delightful creation was this! And for nobody in particular, hidden away thousand feet below the ground surface, in the heart of a mountain, gushing, rushing and delighting itself in a way!

Read more about Ruby falls here and do go visit this superb place once! And yes if you folks are in Europe, a must visit on these lines is another marvelous creation of nature, beautifully protected by man..The Truemmelbach falls  
Geography learnt like this would be so interesting! J Am glad my baby A is learning it so!
On the side note, all this wandering included my baby girl, just shy of being one year old! I carried her in my trusted beco baby carrier!

PS: I am not being paid to endorse any of the links or sites above.

1 comment:

Girish said...

Nice. I didn't know about the falls. Your writing is impressive. Have fun and share pictures!