Sunday, December 20, 2009

A trudge around the Mall

Like all of us here in the D.C. area, when I went to bed Friday night the snow had started falling. When I got up Saturday morning, it was still falling and it kept falling all day long.

So, like any normal, insane person, I decided the best thing to do was head out for a walk around the National Mall to take some pictures. A walk around the Mall through at least 12 inches of snow. More of a trudge, if you like. I did come to one conclusion Saturday morning during my journey: It's was a good thing I don't have covered parking. Cause if I did I wouldn't have made it nearly as far as I did. I'd initially bundled up the top half of me - shirt, fleece, shell, hat, gloves - but neglected the bottom half, on which I was only wearing jeans, boots and wool socks.

In the process of brushing the 8-to-10 inches of snow off my car I decided I was stupid and should probably head back inside and fix this oversight. On went the polypro long-johns, polypro sock liners and ski pants.

Much better.

Surprisingly, West Potomac Drive was cleared of snow and, more importantly, the usual hoard of cars belonging to bikers and joggers was blissfully absent so I had my choice of parking.

My journey from there was long and hard...err, anyway. I started at the Korean War Memorial and headed from there to the Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam veterans memorials (the statue, Wall and Women's Memorial) and down to the World War II Memorial. Strangely, the water in the fountains at the WWII memorial was on. So much the better.

Although not usually a long walk, it took me about two hours to reach this point. I was still toasty and dry due to my wise wardrobe choices, but it's a bit of a chore walking in snow (that's why man invented skis) so I decided to head home.

Alas, my route took me past the Tidal Basin and, while I was able to resist the lure of the FDR Memorial and it's waterfalls, I couldn't resist the pull of the cherry trees. Despite the snow and cold, my fatigue and thirst (dehydration is also a winter danger, another staggering oversight on my part), I spent another 20 or so minutes around the Tidal Basin. The snow was coming down so hard at this point the Jefferson Memorial was invisible across the way.

You've been kind enough to read this far so I won't delay any more. Here are the results of my stroll in the snowstorm. I hope you like them.

And the irony of the whole thing? Well, not once on my walk did I slip and fall, even on the really slick steps up to the Lincoln Memorial or the path along the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. But Sunday afternoon? Well, as I went out to dig my car out for the third time this weekend - BAM! I fell on my ass. And, for those of you who know me, well, you know that's a long fall and a lot of ass hitting the ground in a heap.

I think the bruise may invent some new hues before it's done.


Marielle said...

As always, beautiful pics. Similar to when I last saw you. Sorry about your tush. At least it was instantly iced. Need crampons for your shoes :)

FoggyDew said...

Marielle - It wasn't nearly as cold Saturday as it was the day we were out. In fact, I'm still thawing out from that day.

Anonymous said...

These might be my favorite of all the pictures you've posted. Lovely.

FoggyDew said...

Heartbreaker - that's probably the nicest thing anyone's said to me lately. I'm glad you like them.

Sebastian said...

Well worth the stroll in the snow, I think :)

It's the possible pitfalls that make photography all the more EXCITING! We have to have something that sets photography apart from painting -- let's face it, it's pretty damn easy unless you UP THE ANTE a little.

Love the war memorial, and the soldiers!

Liebchen said...

I love that first photo - well, I like all of them, but that first one especially. I can't pinpoint it, but it's just very striking.

FoggyDew said...

Seb - Absolutely agree. Some of the best pictures are taken when everyone else is inside snug and warm. The one thing I did learn is I need a raincoat for my camera (found one online). And some gloves with flip-up fingers (also found online). I might have stayed out a lot longer if I'd had those. There's always next time.

Liebchen - It's striking because the memorial evokes a patrol through the snow in Korea. The real snow just brings their expressions to life. (I've been wanting and waiting to get that picture for years, if you must know.)

Sebastian said...

Yeah... have often wondered about protection for my camera.

So far it's been OK -- I don't go out in heavy rain, but everything else seems to have been alright... most cameras/good lenses are weather-sealed, so it should be a matter of just towel-drying them after.

Got some links to camera jackets?

Kate said...

I love these pictures! Absolutely fabulous! And here in SD, we're always walking around in the snow - no matter what. Because otherwise we'd be housebound for months. I love that you did this.

Anonymous said...

Hi, very interesting post, greetings from Greece!