August 30, 2005

Start: Atlantic City, New Jersey
Washington D.C.
Mileage: 220 miles
Route taken:
Garden State Parkway to the Cape May Ferry over to Delaware to Highway 404 to Highway 50, exit at Washington D.C.


        Hurricane Katrina was making its way up north and the weatherman was predicting some of the remnants would spill over to the east. I expected the worst, but fortunately was mostly spared.

        I decided on taking the ferry at the end of New Jersey, rather than backtracking to get on the interstate.

        The ferry runs from the southern tip of New Jersey to the town of Lewes, Delaware. The 70-minute ride on the Delaware Bay is choppy and there isn’t much to look at, but it is a very efficient way to reach the state.

        Highway 404 is a long stretch of two-lane highway that travels through farm land and small towns.

        About 20 minutes after passing Bridgeville, Delaware I was in Maryland and heading towards Annapolis.

        The bridge you take to cross the Chesapeake Bay is incredibly long and the views of the water are incredible. I wish I could have stopped to take a picture.

        When I got to Annapolis I knew Washington D.C. was close and it was right about rush hour. I knew I would be all right with traffic because I was heading into town, while most were done with work and were heading home.

        When I reached the off ramp to downtown I looked to my left and saw the Capitol dome. It is an unbelievable site and visible from quite a distance.

        The last time I was in D.C. I was in a car and drove right past the White House. I was in a hurry, on my way to Georgia to find work and reached the nation’s capitol at midnight.

        The lights were fantastic and illuminated the entire city. It was incredible being able to drive past the White House and the Capitol Building.

        Sadly those days are over. There are cement posts on Pennsylvania Avenue and the closest you can get to the White House is about two blocks away.

        I guess with recent events that is to be expected, but I noticed the entire city now is a place of things you can’t do, instead of what you can do.

        It was a little disheartening. This is where our government operates, it should be open to citizens. They should be allowed to participate, but instead are kept at arm’s length.

        It made me wonder what is next. When this threat is over, will government open its arms again? I doubt it. That’s too bad. The thrill I got driving past the White House was incredible. It’s a shame future travelers won’t get to experience that same joy.