Dawn broke, and made a loud smashing sound. I woke up.
My sister and eldest niece had to leave by 7 am to get to a singing event my niece was chosen to attend… Actually, she was one of the few people selected to sing at the opening ceremonies of a new museum in DC. The President and First Lady attended. All politics aside, it is a considerable honor to sing before a President. I am quite proud of her!
But their absence meant I needed to get the other four off to their respective school buses on time. This I did. Then it was time for me to pack up the pack, and to go. Places to go and friends to see, old and new!
Mrs. Joy picked me up at Greenbelt Metro at 11, and it was off to a delicious place of gyros! Sooo tasty. That was planned – whiling a lot of the afternoon at her house was not planned. The best surprises often are not! Caught a nap on her porch, hydrated up, and spent a lot of time talking over past and future hikes. I hadn’t expected to find a trail angel out this way, and yet there she was!
I’m still gazing back in bemused “whattheheckwasthat” mode at what happened next. I was scheduled to meet a very old friend, Tom McManus, out at Reston at 4:30, roughly an hour away by Metro, so Mrs. Joy dropped me off at the New Carrollton metro stop about 3:15. So far so good.
First, there was the broken down subway train at the station ahead of us, 2 or 3 stations in. Time draaaagged while waiting for them to get it off the tracks so ours could move. I was anxious because of dinner reservations at 6pm. Finally, our train got moving again.
And then there was the fire at Metro Center subway station. This station is THE major hub station, where five or six different lines converge. Having this station shut down completely threw everything into chaos. Our train made it as far as Federal Triangle, the stop just before, and everyone had to get off.
So what is a hiker to do? Along with a group of four others who formed a little clique with me, I bravely blueblazed through the canyons of Washington DC, hiking from one metro stop to the one just past Metro Center, bypassing it completely. At some point my crankiness gave way to their good humor, and we did a lot of joking and laughing through the whole thing, until we had to go our separate ways.
Getting back into a train was not easy either; until some of the bottleneck cleared, sardine cans. Finally I made it to Tyson’s Corner stop at 7 pm; since the reservations at a busy seafood place were long gone, Tom, his wife Alexandra, and I went to an incredible Brazilian steakhouse instead.
Mojito. Shrimp kebob. Steak kabob. Second mojito. Flan. My stomach sang and my head got fuzzy. 🙂 incredible food! More please!
It’d been a long day, so I pretty much crashed and burned in the guest room shortly after we got there. Maybe the mojitos helped that. It was so good to see tmac again rhough, and meet his wife – a very kind, beautiful woman, inside and out.
I travel on.