Jeff and Rachel decided to watch the Inauguration from the comfort of their living room. Jeff dropped me off at the Silver Spring Metro. The station was busy at 8am but not too bad. The train stopped several times on the way in, mostly because there were so many trains in service that morning. But, I got into town a little before 9. This turned out to be a good thing. The Red Line closed later in the morning when a woman fell on the tracks. While she wasn't badly hurt, it took a while to get her to safety. The Red Line was closed for over an hour.
I wasn't sure which stop to get off at. I debated between getting off at Farragut North so I'd be on the Washington Monument side and Metro Center, which was closer to the Capitol. But, like hundreds of thousands of other people, I wanted to see how close I could get to the Capitol without a ticket. So, I got off at Metro Center. It turned out I couldn't get very close to the Capitol - there were massive lines everywhere. After pacing around a bit, I followed the surge of foot traffic heading towards the Washington Monument area, which is about a mile from the Capitol. It was probably about 25F, fairly sunny and not too windy so the walk was fine.
Along the way, businesses set up tents and were sold food. Even though it was only a little after 9, I bought chicken on a stick ("Breakfast of Champions!"), figuring it might be my only chance for hot food for a long time.
I have been in DC something like eight different times for various progressive rallies since 1978. I have never seen crowds close to the size of the crowds for Inauguration Day. There were between 1.5 and 2 million people in the Capitol Mall area that day.
I got down to the Washington Monument area a little before 10. There was still a sea of people coming down 17th St.
© 2009 Photos by Laurie D. T. Mann