Wednesday, 1 May 2013

153 Washington and Arlington

Tuesday 30th April
Miles done about 154 today, total 1679.

We stayed in a travel lodge tonight and we obviously got one of the last rooms.  It was joined to another one and was decorated for young children. There were teddy bear pictures all over the place. Including this. The curtains, bedspreads and lampshades were all of Mr Sleepy.  Thank goodness we were.

Kit and Ted had a sleep over.

Yet another crap weather day. The USA is having some really weird weather at the moment. Record breaking snow falls are due in the next couple of days. It just gets better...

Anyway, before setting off for Washington we popped into the Gettysburg war cemetery. It was a humbling place with so many unknown victims.

This was the first memorial we came across. They are placed where the unit fought from.

Rows and rows of unknown soldiers.

The main memorial where the Gettysburg address was given from.
The site was being watched over by some hawkish characters. We think it is a red tailed hawk, a juvenile.
 Then it was back on the bike to fend off the rain for an 80 mile trip to Washington DC. DC stands for District of Columbia. It is a state in it's own right, just like Texas etc. It is however very small and only really encapsulates Washington City. First stop was the White House.  We were unable to get any closer, there was very high security surrounding the park area just before the view we managed to get.

Photo taken by us...

Photo taken by an obliging American lady, presumably drunk, but obliging never the less. (It took me a while to see that the railings and the white house are at an angle behind Ray and me). Actually I'm in shock over my helmet hair.
Looking in the other direction. As is the norm for us, anything worth photographing is always covered in scaffolding. The Washington Memorial.
It was then back on Wallace for a short ride to the Arlington Memorial, the military cemetery.  I was looking forward to this as one of my lifelong wishes.

I would normally say I was not disappointed but due to the nature of the place that is the wrong word. Arlington is an awesomely large place of homage to those who have served or given their lives in the pursuit of retaining freedom to the American people. As was pointed out by one of the guides, "Freedom is not free". I would add that the ultimate sacrifice for freedom is the price that the few pay for the many to enjoy it.

The Lincoln Memorial

The rows of grave was endless. Those killed in action as well as retired servicemen and their families are eligible to be buried here. No photo can convey the enormity or the vastness of this cemetery.

The Iwo Jima memorial to the US Marine Corps.

The Vietnam wall. All those that perished during the Vietnam war are inscribed upon it.
We then moved on to Font Royal, the last big town before the ride on the Blue Ridge Parkway starting tomorrow.
It was a thoroughly miserable, wet, rush hour journey. I was glad it was over.  We are in the Scottish Inn, run by Indians from Mumbai, cheapest yet,but a very good standard.
Tomorrow we are heading into the hills, and the weather is supposed to be dry, we'll see......


  1. Some great photos there Ray. Great to see you on the Tenere instead of in the Land Rover for a change. Keep the blog coming as they say at Mac Donalda "I'm Loving It!" Cheers Ray

  2. Enjoying your blog immensely, and nicely done with the all the photos. The Skyway and Blue Ridge Parkway are awesome, if a bit slow. You probably know this, but the Parkway will be closed from Milepost 355 to Milepost 368 through this Sunday. The good news is that you will still be able to get to Mt Mitchell. Unless it snows... :)

  3. Thanks Ray. Nice to see some comments from you. I have been popping in and out on yours too. You must have a seriously hard butt !! 1500m in 24h. Nutter....

    Dragonfly. We missed your post and ran straight into it. The detour was massive. Ho hum. As for mount Mitchell, It was covered in cloud for the top 1000 feet and we got soaked. Still fun though. Deals Gap tomorrow (4th & 5th). Thanks anyway.