2,371 km: DC Day 3 & Virginia

Me and Raleigh went down to the Air & Space Museum.  Great collection of cosmonaut gear, love seeing stuff with the old CCCP and Soviet flag on it.  Movie about dark matter narrated by Neil deGrasse Tyson.  A naval aviation section without any reference to Top Gun???  Maybe the highlight were a pair of male and female space toilets.  They seemed hilarious but overly complicated;  good thing I’m not a cosmonaut or else everyone on the ISS would probably get dysentery.

Japanese planes

I don’t read Japanese but I’m pretty sure the poster above predates World War II and is promoting commercial flight, but I’d like to pretend it’s really beautiful wartime propaganda.

We went to the Museum of Natural History next.  There were a series of bronze statues depicting homo sapiens ancestors, with which I demonstrated my expert kung fu for awed onlookers:

Ancestral Kung Fu

A genetics display included questions about attached earlobes and the ability to roll one’s tongue.  Rolling one’s tongue is genetic??  Sounds like Piltdown Man science to me, start grilling innocent bystanders about their tongue rolling abilities.  Amazingly, a girl standing around trying to mind her own business can’t roll her tongue.  What is this black magic?

Check out the Hope Diamond.  It’s alright, I guess.  A father telling his son about the diamond explained, “I was going to propose to your mother with that diamond but I decided to donate it to the museum instead.”  The kid’s jaw dropped and he said “Really??”

Stop for some beers and appetizers at a Thai place with surprisingly few people.  Later find out it was their first day re-opened since being closed for health violations.  Yum.

Over to the apartment of the wonderful Ms. Wetherby for beers, pizza and telling stories.  Good times are had, but we’re all pretty wiped.  Call it an early night.

Get ready to leave the next day.  Before I leave I’m filled up with breakfast by Ms. Wetherby and Raleigh hooks me up with a bitchin Hawaiian shirt for my growing collection.  Trying to escape DC turns into an absolute shitshow.  The I-95 is basically a parking lot, traffic going 5 to 10 mph for over an hour.  The implications of not having air conditioning in the car are rapidly becoming apparent – temps in the 90’s mean my windows are down, which means chewing on truck exhaust in the gridlock.  Eyes burning.  Getting nauseous.  I understand road rage now.  Try to get off but turn onto another highway with the exact same problem.  Start losing my mind, swearing uncontrollably.  I take a secondary road in a completely wrong direction just to get away from the traffic and get some fresh air flowing through my car.

Somehow end up in the Appalachian foothills and roll into the southern end of Shenandoah National Park.  Road rage subsides with views like this:

Shenandoah 1