"The world does not reward honesty and independence, it rewards obedience and service. It’s a world of concentrated power, and those who have power are not going to reward people who question that power."-Chomsky

"The trouble with self-delusion, either in a person or a society, is that reality doesn't care what anybody believes, or what story they put out. Reality doesn't "spin." Reality does not have a self-image problem. Reality does not yield its workings to self-esteem management." -J.H. Kunstler

"You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows."-Dylan

Saturday, April 18, 2009

4/18: Virginia & DC

Saturday started early, at least for Devin and Leif. We had gotten a good piece of Virginia behind us before stopping for the night at a rest stop 90- miles or so south of Roanoke.

After a quick refill with the remaining veggie oil stored from Memphis & Nashville, it was off for the final push thru the rest of Virginia, into Maryland, and finally Washington, D.C.

Virginia was one of the pleasant surprises of the trip so far. The western part of the state is disturbingly beautiful, at least the sliver I saw from the bus on I-81. The slight regret returned in that we hadn't gone thru this part of the country afoot. Maybe later...

The drive toward Winchester and I-66 went quickly; almost too quickly to suit me. It seemed like 300 miles were gone in a blink of the eye, and coming into Washington brought back a flood of memories. Devin was driving thru the same area I'd lived in, for a few months, back in 1995. I wondered what had become of the people I had known, and lost touch with, during my time there. And, I again wondered: how was I living there alone if I was only 15? These are the questions that linger...

Chris coordinated with his friend, Trent, as we began to gather our things and arrange our packs for the drop off in DC. Devin had a friend to see downtown, so we asked him to drop us off at the Mall so we could goof around, playing the part of Japanese tourists, while we waited for Trent to get into the city from his home in Chesapeake Beach, which is on the bay about a half- hour's drive south of Annapolis.

The weather was perfect... sunny and in the mid 70's again... as we stepped off Zeitgeist Apparatus (Devin's pet name) for the last time. I had come to enjoy being on the bus and the routines that we had fallen into. I also felt that I was leaving old friends behind, ones that I had known forever, because of the experiences we had shared over the 5+ days we had traveled together. We had a good laugh at Tennessee Law Enforcement's expense, signed their guestbook, took a few pics, did the man- hug thing, then stepped off toward The Mall- with the huge falic- tribute to capitalism looming overhead. This felt remarkable. We'd boarded the bus in Santa Fe and disembarked nearly 2000 miles away, in the heart of the most powerful city on earth. At the risk of sounding like Chris, we are a couple of badasses.

We hiked a roundabout route from Constitution Ave., around the Reflecting Pool (Forrest!), to the Lincoln Memorial, snapping pictures and relishing our role as spectacles. People were sneaking pictures of US... at the Lincoln Memorial. Ha!
Trent called after about an hour, so we trekked back down the Mall to meet him at Thor's Penis. We then walked to his car, near the Capitol Building, and drove off to Maryland.