Today was the day to participate in the 20th annual “Run to the Wall,” the demonstration to draw attention to our remaining POWs and MIAs. Our plan was to get up before 5:00 a.m., but, as usual, I awoke ten minutes before the alarm. We were on our bikes by 5:20 and out on the street to receive our yellow dots (indicating we were helping out) by 5:30. We arrived at the North Parking Lot of the Pentagon before 6:00 a.m.
We were supposed to help park the bikes, but we needed red arm bands and those were depleted, so we took turns and watch the lot fill up for 6 hours. We spent most of the morning hanging out under a tree at the edge of the lot. Of all the people to meet among the thousands there, I again met Adeline of “Old Bags on Bikes.” We talked some more and I listened to more of the details of her experience.
The ride started promptly at noon and was probably the coolest thing I’ve done. To come over the Memorial Bridge with the Lincoln Memorial directly ahead and to ride the length of Constitution and back up Independence was inspiring. People lined the streets waving and giving the “thumbs up” to all the riders.
Four of us got separated from the group and made a wrong turn. We ended up in Arlington and could not get back across the river to join the others. Dave decided to head home. Beth and Kevin walked across the bridge, and I started my journey.
The Sabbatical Begins
I made my way South on I-395, I-95, and I-85 to Henderson, NC. Since I got an earlier start then expected, I went a little farther than I planned. The afternoon was hot and sunny. Aside from the usual stunts pulled by rude, impatient drivers, I did encounter one of the things they tell you in the Basic Riders Course to look out for. A box fell out of the back of a bucket truck at highway speed. Fortunately I was in the lane to the left and the box bounced straight back, so I didn’t get close to it.
I-85 south of Petersburg is one of my favorites. It is lightly traveled and is lined with trees, which provide a good bit of shade. I made good time on that stretch, but not too good, as the police were out writing tickets.
I video taped the entire ride through DC this morning, but haven’t looked at it yet. This afternoon I fired up my laptop at a gas station, used my air card to connect to the internet, and made this evening’s reservation. It all worked nicely.
It looks like hot, sunny weather tomorrow. It’s quite dry and there are fires in southern Georgia. It looks like the smoke is west of where I hope to travel.
There’s not much to reflect on tonight. It was a day of doing, not thinking.