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Old 05-05-2004, 07:11 PM   #13
MikeO OP
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Joined: Jul 2002
Location: Scarning, Norfolk, today...
Oddometer: 6,721
DC stands for Damn Cold...

15th February

A cold morning. I scrape the frost off the seat as I pack the bike.



It’s beautiful and sunny, with clear skies. I decide that it would be foolish not to visit Washington DC, as it’s only an hour and a half away. I set off, pausing only to fill up with fuel. Incidentally, fuel here is rather good value – Supreme Unleaded (93 Octane – Super Unleaded or Optimax in the UK) is $1.78 per US gallon. That’s under 27p per litre (£1.22 per Imp Gallon)…



I ride to Washington mostly by way of dual carriageways and Interstate Highways, including Route 66 – totally devoid of any kicks at this temperature. I could really do with my heated jacket & gloves right now…:( Riding into Washington is quite unlike riding into any other US city I’ve visited so far. There isn’t the huge rash of motels, fast food outlets and shopping centres which characterise US towns & cities. Washington, dare I suggest it, seems more civilised, as if someone has thought about the impression a visitor is going to get as he drives in. Quite quickly, I’m into the centre of town and monuments which are very familiar from a thousand films & TV shows are coming into view. As usual, there’s a slight sense of unreality when you see these things in the flesh, almost like déjà vu…

I arrive at the White House, or as close as you can get a vehicle to it. The entire block is sealed off and is crawling with uniformed and plain clothes security. I stop and take a quick picture – if you look carefully, you can see the White House in the background, far away…



Interestingly, my GPS has a bit of a fit when I’m in the immediate vicinity, showing me moving in various directions when I’m stationary and losing satellite reception when I’m clear of any obstruction. I have little doubt that there is some form of ‘point defence’ GPS signal jammer in operation (frankly, I’d be surprised if there wasn’t). I stop again, to take a picture of the bike by the Washington Monument…



I then decide it’s FAR too cold to hang around any longer (plus I really don’t like being in cities) and head on out. I wander about for a while, riding down some pleasant little country routes, before deciding I need to warm up. The temperature hasn’t dropped, but the wind has picked up & the air feels more moist – there’s a threat of snow in the air and I don’t want to be caught looking for accommodation once it starts (it’s a public holiday – Presidents’ Day - tomorrow, and motels fill up early). I make my way into Fredericksburg and check into a Super 8 Motel…
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MikeO screwed with this post 02-12-2006 at 03:15 AM
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