I realized early last week that I was going to need a mental-health day because I could feel myself starting to go just a little squirrelly. It didn’t help that I had a new toy burning a hole in my pocket and there are few places as rich as D.C. in photographic fodder. I took last Monday off from the daily grind, slept in, went to the gym (MISTAKE!), then loaded up my bag with lunch, a fresh set of batteries and a bottle of water and set out to explore a corner of my city.
I’ve lived in suburban D.C. for going on 14 years (which practically makes me as a native) and there are certain things I’ve never managed to do or see in that time. I haven’t made it to the top of National Cathedral or the Washington Monument to take in the aerial views of the city; I’ve missed the Christmas tour of the White House (which may now be permanently off the list; damn terrorists); I still haven’t made it to the Library of Congress and have yet to tour Mt. Vernon. [Does anyone have any other recommendations?] My goal for Monday afternoon was Hains Point, specifically “The Awakening.”
First impression: Where the hell is this damn thing?!? I was prepared to walk – I’m regularly in touch with my inner pedestrian – but the J. Seward Johnson, Jr. sculpture is two miles from anything! My six-mile trail took me across the Memorial Bridge, through the Korean War Memorial, over to the Tidal Basin (with a brief detour through the FDR Memorial, where I glommed on to a ranger-led tour), then down Ohio Drive. And down. And down.
Second impression: Where’s the rest of it? It’s VERY cool, don’t get me wrong, but it’s MUCH smaller than I anticipated. No wonder I could never spot it from the air when taking off from DCA (never mind the fact that by the time we’re airborne, we’re generally too far north to catch sight of the tip of the Point).
I wish I’d gotten an earlier start. By the time I got back to civilization, it was the leading edge of evening rush hour and I pretty much hopped on the Metro as soon as I could, so I could get back to my side of the river without having to wait too long. I also really wanted to go to the World War II Memorial, but there was absolutely no way. Hopefully I can squeeze a trip in next month after work (fewer tourists!).
Check out my Flickr page for more touristy DC pictures.