Maryland Outdoor Club
Sat, May 13 2006 - Easy-Mod Monuments by Moonlight Hike (View Original Event Details)

Event Organizer(s): Beverly Hoeftman
Participants:Beverly Hoeftman, Alison Stevens, John Fogle, Simone Moore, Karl Davis, Shayla Bason, Taylor Scott, Fara Snow, Diana Cramp, Nicholas Cirri, Michelle Lammers, Roger Guyett

Write Up:
After assembling by the Foggy Bottom Metro station, we started our monuments tour with a stop at the statue of an oversized Albert Einstein, who lounges on the grounds of the National Academy of Sciences.

>From there, it was just a harrowing street crossing to the Vietnam Memorial. The history of this Memorial is a demonstration of how you can't please everyone. Most people initially liked the simplicity of the Wall's design and the focus on the names of the individuals lost. However, a good handful of Vietnam veterans and design traditionalists disliked it for various reasons ( servicemen.htm). Consequently, the Three Servicemen statue was installed. At this point, it was argued that the Memorial didn't represent the experiences of female veterans. After a groundswell of grassroots activism, the Vietnam Women's Memorial was added. At last everyone seemed appeased.

For a time, our route took us along the length of the Reflecting Pool (there were no rocks to provide a stream crossing). We were rewarded with several sightings of adorable ducklings. No one could imagine where they could have nested successfully, given the number of people stomping around all the time. Evidently, more than a few of them pulled it off.

After some more traffic dodging, we made it to the Tidal Basin. Though the evening had become rather warm, the shade from the cherry trees and breeze off the water kept us comfortable.

We soon reached the FDR Memorial. Each of the four outdoor "rooms" represents one of FDR's terms in office. Along the way, statues represent the Fireside Chats, bread lines, FDR dealing with his disability, and of course World War II. Guessing by the shiny spots on her ears, I was not the only visitor who couldn't resist petting the statue of Falla, FDR's dog. However, I refrained from pulling FDR's finger, which also appears to be a popular activity.

Even the short distance to the Jefferson Memorial offered several interesting diversions. Crossing the Inlet Bridge, we observed a bas-relief sculpture of an odd face. Its counterpart appeared on a yet another nearby bridge, keeping watch over what appeared to be defunct water fountains. We also spotted an unfamiliar monument very close to the Jefferson Memorial. I later learned that it commemorates George Mason, who persuaded America's founding leaders to include individual rights in the Constitution .which became the Bill of Rights.

The interior of the Memorial is inscribed with Jefferson's quotations. Many of us were impressed by how relevant these still are, despite the passage of more than two centuries. Deep thinking completed, most of the group lounged awhile on the Jefferson Memorial steps, chatting and snacking.

After leaving the Jefferson Memorial, we completed the loop around the Tidal Basin, and made our way back toward the WWII Memorial passing the Washington Monument en route. After a brief break admiring the many features of the WWII Memorial, we walked along the Reflecting Pool once again, this time in the opposite direction. By now it was nearly dark and the wooded path toward the Lincoln Memorial was teeming with millions of tiny bugs swarming in front of our faces and often into our mouths. It was impossible to completely avoid this impromptu protein supplement to our diet, try as we might.

At this point, I realized that the website I'd consulted for the sunset and moonrise times was a tad misleading. We waited quite a time on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial for the predicted full moon to arise, but finally tired of the wait and started back. As we returned toward the Metro station, the group paused on the Virginia Avenue overpass to catch a last glimpse of th

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