Terrific tennis in Tennessee

No hurry leaving Joe Wheeler State Park this morning — it was raining hours before we awoke and we gave it a chance to subside before we even climbed out of bed. Finally left and started east on hiway 72. Way too many stoplights, not a good start on the day until we hit I-565 around Huntsville AL. Smooth sailing from there on to Chattanooga.

We arrived early afternoon in Raccoon Mountain Caverns and Campground, Chattanooga, TN. Changed clothes quickly, packed some food and drinks, and hustled off to pick up Jim’s sister in Lookout Mtn and drive together to Manker Patten Tennis Club on the river.

Prettiest tennis club in the world, and we are so very lucky to play here once or twice a year. Paul, Jim’s brother in law, has to play here three or four times weekly — poor tortured soul. Whenever we’re passing through, Paul always manages to arrange a challenging doubles match for himself and Jim.

Today was no exception — they split sets against Don and John, then eked out a win against Don and Dan. What a guy has to go through just to get a cold beer! It was worth it, the best tennis Jim and Paul have played together in three years. Jim suggested Paul arrange hard courts from now on — it worked great.

We joined Candy and Don and Emily and Paul after tennis for dinner at the Chattanooga Golf and Country Club. We didn’t see any historic buildings, sadly, but had a fantastic dinner and evening in this 116 year old club. Started on the deck overlooking the Tennessee River but clouds rolled in and rain drove us indoors. Noisier inside but worth it, we weren’t prepared to dine in the rain tonight.

Tomorrow we head across the Great Smokey Mountains to Lake Junaluska, the largest Methodist conference center in the US. We’ve visited it often over many years, but this will be a different perspective for us. We will be working, with four other NOMADS couples, at the direction of the conference center’s maintenance supervisor. The conference center is sure to appear differently.

We hope you and your families are safe, warm, and dry. See you tomorrow!

Jim and Deb
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