and then rides all around it on her bike.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

I guess he finally got up.

There's a statue in the ground in DC at Hains Point, a park on the very tip of a long long island in the Potomac (which might technically be a peninsula, but I don't feel like looking it up to check) called "the Awakening".  

there used to be a statue in the ground in DC at Hains point, blah blah blah, called "the Awakening".  

It's not there anymore. 

It is moving.
Wednesday, February 20.
It has been moved.

It's one of those things that I've seen in guidebooks about hiking and biking  and picture-taking in and around DC, and it's always made me think, hey, that looks pretty cool, I should take a ride out there and see it for myself. 


Of course, I have a story. 
And this is how the story goes: 

Monday morning I woke up to amazingly beautiful weather - temps near 70 (Wisconsin, eat your heart out) and a light breeze... that turned later into a strong wind and, even later than that rain, but for the morning, at least, it seemed like a day straight out of a fairy tale, especially for February.  And I thought to myself, hey, today might be a good day to go ahead and take that ride out to that statue.  

But first, of course, pancakes and coffee.

By the way, yes, this was Monday.  In DC, when a day is a federal holiday, like, for example, President's Day, it's not just bank and postal employees who get the day off (rest of the country, eat your heart out).  

So I fixed some coffee and whipped up some "just add water" pancakes (very tasty), dumped some applesauce on top and opened up the Sunday paper, and what do I see but the following headline: 

It was moving.
Wednesday, February 20.


But this was Monday, when I read about it in the paper.  Coffee-pancakes-applesauce-paper-Monday, so I had time.  You know, like, 48 hours.   Or 36.  You know. 

And I actually didn't get out there on Monday, because that would've been too easy, and you know, I thought about the issue thoroughly and determined that since it was a holiday, the crowds would be intolerable, and, since it was a holiday, I would 
be needing an afternoon nap.  So I decided in favor of a Tuesday-after-work visit instead.  

Tuesday after work it was.  'Round about 5 o'clock yesterday I made my first-and-last-ever pilgrimage 
out to Hains point to bear witness (and lots of pictures) to the Awakening before it moved to Maryland.  

I was fortunate to arrive at the exact same time as a bus or two full of unbelievably/remarkably homogenous 14 year-olds from somewhere-that-wasn't-DC.  Once they (and their teachers... it was kind of cute) all had a shot and climbing up at sliding down the giant knee, I got my own chance, first and last:
definitely worth it.  Worth, even, the freezing cold ride home in 30 degree twilight weather with gusts of wind up to 30 mph.  In my face.  You only regret what you don't do, right?  Frozen misery lasts a half hour, but not sliding down the Awakening's knee, not biking to Mt. Vernon in January, not canoeing around that last corner, those things last a lifetime.  

More of my pictures from last night are here.  

I made two friends on my trip: one, a former pro basketball player for San Antonio and then for DC who these days keeps in shape by cycling laps around Hains Point after work.  He was on his way home as I was on my way home - apparently the wind sent him packing early, as he usually does significantly more laps than he did last night.  But he kept me company on the mile and a half back into the city, and thus helped keep my mind off the wind in my face.  And that was nice.  

Apparently there's quite a bike culture at Hains Point, a whole group of people who go biking laps around at various times of the day.  Interesting. 

I learned this from the second friend I met last night, one who had ridden down not to bike laps but to, like me, photograph this giant piece of aluminum one last time before it was to be carted away by cranes and trucks.  Unlike me, however, he had been there every day for a week, making sure he got that last perfect shot... 

As it turns out, this guy is an avid photo-taker, biker, and DC blogger.  And he's got some really great (read: better than mine!) Awakening shots, like this one, and this one.  Cool, hey?  I like them.  He even posted this one, which I am proud to have taken myself.  :)  Of course, he returned the favor by taking these shots of me.  Shana climbs to the top of something cool - classic:  

(He was there this morning too, and he's got some cool shots of the the Awakening being carted away to Maryland on his blog.  The Washington Post had a little video too, which was also kind of fun.  Other people have remarked, and I agree that I also would've kind of somewhere expected to find a whole body under those woodchips... )

At any rate, I'm kind of excited to be plugged in, at least somewhat, to the "DC-biker-blogger" scene.  I mean, this guy, my new friend, has a link on his blog to the folks who sell the "you'd look hotter in a helmet" bumper stickers.  That's big time! 

I've been up to a couple other things since my sister Cassie left, like this bike trip down to Alexandria, a thinly veiled attempt to keep myself from getting totally depressed that Cass wasn't here anymore.  It served its purpose for a while, but in the end I got totally depressed anyway.  No bike trip can replace a fun/adorable little sister.  

And Skippy, in case you're wondering, is still holding nice and strong.  Heck of a bike, I tell ya.  30 mph gusts of wind, here I come.  Eat your heart out. 

(I don't even know what that means.)


Anonymous said...

at first i was going to say "creeeeeppppyyy" like that giant hand would be grasping a wiggling turtle. (and you know how creepy that would be) but then i realized that with that statue gone, i'm not sure i have a compelling enough argument to visit dc. very sad. but i'm happy i saw the pictures, and i would have totally climbed to the top of his knee (and maybe signed my name :) )

Paul said...

I've totally been there, I can't believe they moved it! Of course, as I recall, it was a kind of stark place for a statue of a guy in the ground. Thanks for sharing!