Sunday, April 8, 2012

30 Days of Biking: Day 7

One week down, 3 more to go!

Tonight's ride was a tourist ramble. I decided to stop by the monuments & memorials downtown. I love visiting the monuments & memorials at night. It's quiet and empty of tourists...usually. I guess Saturday nights are popular for night-time sight seeing for tourists, argh.

On my way downtown, I was serenaded at a stop light by a guy playing a harmonica. He wasn't half bad. Too bad I didn't have any money to give him.

I apologize for the crappy iPhone pics. I didn't bring my real camera with me.

The first stop of the night was The White House. Somewhere in the dark, you can see it...

Then I rode to one end of the Mall to the Capitol building. I was a lot closer than I appear.

I rode on the Mall itself, and ended up passing by the Hirschhorn again and Song 1 was still playing.

Then I reached the end of the Mall and passed by the Washington Monument (which is still closed to visitors due to last summer's earthquake).

I continued on and ended up at the World War II Memorial. I like how this memorial frames the Lincoln memorial.

Next stop was DC's World War I memorial. This is a privately funded memorial dedicated to the residents of the District of Columbia who served & died in World War I. In typical fashion, Congress keeps trying to take the memorial and turn it into a national memorial, rather than building one of their own. Boo. Tonight, there were a bunch of (apparently) college-aged kids whooping it up in the memorial. Oh well.

Across from that memorial is the brand new Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. I've never seen it before, so this was a new experience. It was pretty nice. There were two guys at the memorial, passing a bottle of vodka & discussing their "freedom to smoke a blunt". Seemed a little...odd. I guess it's all in the interpretation.

Up next on this little ramble was the Korean War memorial. I don't think I've ever visited this one either. I was walking along the wall, completely alone, when out of the corner of my eye I thought I saw a cat. When I looked straight at it, I realized that it was too big to be a cat, so maybe it was a dog. And then I saw the fluffy tail-it was a fox! I tried to get closer to it to get a picture, but it kept dodging behind trees and bushes. I've never seen a fox before, let alone in DC, so that was pretty nifty.

My favorite memorial is the Lincoln Memorial. I think it's the most peaceful of them all. I like climbing up the steps and then looking down across the reflecting pool towards the Washington Monument and Capitol. It's usually empty.

Except for tonight. There were tour buses and loads of screaming teenagers. There was a stage setup for...something. I'm not sure what. There was even a bride getting her photos taken. I didn't stay very long.

The last memorial of this ride was the Vietnam memorial.

I rode back home along the duck pond. There were a bunch of ducks lined up along the edge, sleeping. I couldn't resist and I woke them all up. Then I noticed one duck that hadn't moved. I crept up on her and watched her. I thought she was pretty brave, since none of the other ducks would let me get within 3 feet. This duck wasn't budging an inch.

And then I heard the very faint 'meep meep meep' of ducklings, and realized that she wasn't moving because she was protecting her little ducklings which were tucked underneath her. Whoops. Sorry for waking them up, duckie!

The rest of the ride home was uneventful. Although my basket is just the right size to carry a duck in. He can live in the bathtub. Next time.

Miles: 10.48
Monuments/Memorials visited: 7
Harmonica songs heard: 1
Number of tourists that ruined the experience: ALL OF THEM.

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