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Just Like Inauguration Blues

By January 21, 2009herb's eye view

A coupla months ago when every hotel room in a 60 mile radius of the DC was reserved for the week of the inauguration, my roommates and I were flirting with the idea of renting out the apartment for a ridiculous amount of money (a row house in Georgetown went for $30,000 for a week!) and skipping town to go snowboarding. This couldn’t happen for many reasons…

And with the looming inauguration and the reality that I would be in the DC vicinity during it, I started to worry about having throngs of citizens and uniformed security all over my backyard, with Beltway traffic becoming even worse with the increase of population. Inbound routes in Virginia were blocked off allowing only buses and taxis through; pedestrian traffic was even prohibited for all but two of the bridges crossing the Potomac. The Metro and train routes were being carefully monitored. And so many things kept compiling allowing me to imagine that great chaos would ensue.

Hanson told me that I had nothing to worry about though. He was right. As per usual…

But the whole she-bang did weird things up a bit; just not how I had expected.

Anyone who had driven a vehicle in the greater DC metropolitan area knows full well that the traffic is atrocious. Sometimes it feels like it is always rush hour.

But on the day of inauguration, in the early afternoon just a few hours after the president was sworn in, I found myself practically alone in my car for a good mile-and-a-half stretch of interstate 395 south-bound. For a few seconds, I imagined it to be like how it might be post apocalypse. I saw no cars around me. However, I did witness several groups of people (I assumed were making the DC exodus) crossing the highway on foot. They were climbing up on-ramp embankments, hurdling jersey walls and walking across a good six lanes of interstate highway…with me as the sole vehicle on the road.

That definitely stranged up my day. Laughed out loud, I did.


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