Thursday, June 14, 2012 — Flag Day — Day 20
George drove us to Washington, DC today. His girlfriend drove separately since she had to head back before we did. This was my first time in DC, not including when I was too young to remember. It was a treat being the passenger in a car instead of the driver: I was able to get some snapshots of the Washington Monument and the Capitol as we made our way into town.
Our first stop was the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. It was an obvious choice since I’m the mathy type and George is an astronomer.
Seeing the Spirit of St. Louis in person, I couldn’t help but wonder how Lindbergh made it through that trip. It’s a tiny little plane, and he was in the air for over 33 hours.
Outside the on-site solar observatory, some astronomers had set up a homemade telescope. I was able to very clearly see the sunspots. There was one especially big one that day. I wasn’t able to capture a good picture of the image through that telescope, but I did get a picture of the image from the larger telescope from inside the observatory.
Our next stop was the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. George’s grandfather was working in Alaska in 1951 and found a bison head that is now part of an exhibit here.
George’s girlfriend headed back home, and George and I played tourist around the monuments of DC.
I took a picture as George and I started to walk towards the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, but once we were standing in front of the tens of thousands of names, I was so lost in thought that I didn’t take any more pictures. The number of people is staggering.
Once we got back to Charlottesville, we grabbed some gourmet burgers and sweet potato fries at a local place near the university. More importantly, once we got back to his house, I worked George on 2m simplex. Yes, we were only one room apart, but it was a valid QSO. I’m very pleased to have KD7IXO in the logbook now.
Trip totals as of Day 20:
- Miles driven: 2737
- States**: 13
- Logged QSOs: 53
- Ounces of good decaf: 184
- Ounces of bad decaf: 40
- Tow trucks required: 1
- Big metal chickens: 5
- Terra cotta pigs: 0
- Number of times I’ve heard “Somebodeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee That I Used To Know” by Gotye: 35
** “States” now includes states and the District of Columbia
Day 21: back on the road
73 de NR4CB, Connie