Our next stop is Ruby Falls which now requires online advanced sale tickets timed every 15 minutes. As we drive along I go online hoping to buy tickets for 11:15 or 11:30. I am surprised to see that the first tickets now available are for noon. I quickly buy them...only to then realize that Ruby Falls is in the Eastern, not Central time zone. Crud! We have 30 minutes until the start of the tour and Google Maps says we have a 24 minute drive through mountains to get there. With much luck we walk up to the ticket counter right at noon and the woman points us to our tour group which is just beginning to assemble.
We drive through some of the neighborhoods of central Chattanooga, checking out the housing. One thing is certain - Chattanooga is a hilly city. Some of the roads and driveways feel like they are at 45 degree angles. The downtown itself, lying along the banks of the Tennessee River has 10-12 square blocks of relatively flat land. The town is nice, but our first impression isn’t one that says we need to spend a lot of time here.