One Saturday morning this summer our alarm clocks rang at 4:30 am. It was dark outside, but we still got up, dressed quickly, put our bikes on the car, and drove off.
We were going to see the sun rise over the Capitol from the Lincoln Memorial. The sunrise time that Saturday was 5:55.
Driving into DC so early was so nice—there was no traffic at all. We made it 15 or 20 minutes quicker than we usually do. Our plan was to park on Ohio Drive, and then bike over to the Lincoln Memorial. And when we got to Ohio Drive, there were plenty of spots—but you weren’t supposed to park there until 6:00 am (it was about 5:35). So we kept driving. We drove to a couple of parking areas where we often park with our bikes off of Ohio Drive, but you couldn’t park at those spots until 8:00! So again, we kept driving. By now it was about 5:40, and we were starting to feel like time was getting tight. We wanted to make it to the Memorial by at least 5:50.
We finally ended up parking in the tennis lot out on Haines Point. We met another biker there who assured us we’d be okay parking there for a few hours. So we trusted him, since he had been parking there for years, and scooted off on our bikes.
Since it was now 5:45, we had to bike fast—and the greatest thing was that we could. There was very little traffic and hardly any people,. The sidewalks were empty. It felt great biking along so quickly in a place where you usually didn’t get to go so fast.
We made it to the Lincoln Memorial in time, and sat on the steps to wait for the sun to come up.
Sadly, since it was cloudy, we never really got to see it. But we’ll go back.
We decided that even though we didn’t get to see the sun come up, it was well worth the experience of being in DC in the early morning. In my post on Eastern Market, I’ll tell you another reason why it was well worth being there in the morning. Sterling said it was the first time he’s gotten to stand inside the Lincoln Memorial with just he and Abe.
And it was just peaceful being there at that hour, with so few people there. It felt like DC was ours and only ours. It is our new favorite time to be there.