The end of May has come around and my Dude and I celebrated our anniversary by way of another road trip. This time we went to Washington DC so we could check out the big Air and Space Museum by Dulles Airport, the American History Museum and the Museum of Natural History. The route we took filled in another hole in our Map of Travels.
We left Saturday night, just after sundown, hopped on Interstate 10 and drove all night, and a big chunk of Sunday, until we reached Jacksonville, Florida. There we turned north to Savannah, Georgia where we decided it was about time to take a break. I was amazed at all the greenery I saw. Green, green. Everywhere it’s green. Being from Central Texas, which sits on the edge of the semi-arid Hill Country, this is paradise to my eyes.
Tuesday, we visited the Air and Space Museum. Oh my word. I have never seen that many flying contraptions stored in one location. From old to new, vessels that require human pilots and missiles that fly by computer. Small prop planes. WWII Nazi Fighters. The Concorde. The Enola Gay. The Lockheed SR-71A Blackbird. Up, down, all around. It was all there. And it was overwhelming. This picture is just one side. There’s a whole bunch more behind me.
Going through this hangar took most of the day. But wait, there was a second hangar in the back. Remember this is the Air AND Space Museum and what we just took hours to traverse was the Air portion. The Space hangar took my breath away because THE SPACE SHUTTLE DISCOVERY WAS THERE!
I so wanted to touch it but it was cordoned off. Argh.
I walked around it, looking at the black heat shield pieces that made up the sides and underbelly. They were scraped and pitted and scratched and for just a moment I felt a bit of fear because those little black tiles were the only thing between the astronaut’s survival and annihilation upon re-entry. If just one of those failed it would be the Columbia tragedy all over again.
Also in that space hangar were exhibits of the first computers. The IDEX II Workstation, the UNIVAC 1232 Computer and the CDC 3800 Computer. The UNIVAC had a 30-bit word length and was initially supplied with about 123 kilobytes and the CDC 3800 had 48-bit word length and supplies with 128 kilobytes. We’ve sure come a long way since then.
The next day we visited the American History Museum where I took gobs of pictures. I’ll try not to post them all here but there was just so much that all I could think was “Look at that! And that! And that!” all day long. Good thing I have a husband who just smiles and let’s me be my excited self.
Now isn’t that neat? A counter top that is lower than the rest of the counter tops to facilitate safe cutting. We all should have one of these in our kitchens.
Check out this 1904 Columbia Electric Runabout, one of the first electric cars. The accompanying sign says that low mileage between charges and the absence of electric power in rural areas limited the market for electric cars. Just imagine what our transportation would look like today if those rural areas had enough electricity to power the cars back then.
Factoid: The United States of America actually fought two wars of independence. The Revolutionary War from 1775 – 1783 and the War of 1812. The War of 1812 was Great Britain’s second attempt to crush the colonies’ rebellion. In 1814 the British burned Washington hoping the destruction would have a negative psychological impact on the will of the Americans to continue the fight.
The next day we were going to visit the Museum of Natural History but it was raining and we just didn’t feel like going all the way into DC so we decided to pay a visit to the book store.
On Friday morning we left to come back home. We went northwest out of town where we jumped on Interstate 66 then when we reached Interstate 81, we followed it south until it joined Interstate 40 just east of Knoxville, Tennessee. After stopping for the night in Jackson, Tennessee we continued on until we reached Interstate 30 in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Green, green. Everywhere it’s green. Isn’t that just beautiful?
From here to Dallas it was kinda sorta a new route to us because even though we’ve driven it numerous times, it’s always been in the dark. Outside of Sequoia National Park, I’ve never seen trees as tall as these.
Hope you enjoyed the trip! See you next time!