After a 16 hour train ride, we arrived in Washington this morning at around 7:30. We hardly slept at all last night. The Silver Meteor train was very warm, and after being outside at about 40 degrees for so long, it was almost impossible to sleep at the 80 degrees they were keeping the train at. Also, the ride on this route was much rougher, the train bucked and shimmied and wallowed, jerking us awake every time we fell asleep. It seems like the Empire Builder is a much smoother train. Maybe it is just because the tracks out here on the East Coast get beat up much more from all of the freight? Who knows.
Anyway, one sleepless night won't kills us. We are glad to be here. Paul and Diane, Dani's parents, met us at Union Station just in time for us to get all of our baggage. They helped us get our bikes back together and provided some needed food and coffee. Dani and I were determined to ride our bikes from Union station back to Paul and Diane's house in Arlington, so after giving us some very useful biking maps and showing us the way out of the train station, we said goodbye until tonight and rode off into Washington.
Believe it or not, riding in Washington was really fun, and very easy. Everything is set up well for walkers, and this translates into big sidewalks with nice crossings at every intersection. We rode past the capitol building and then paralleled the mall until the Lincoln Memorial. At that point we crossed the Arlington Memorial bridge and found a convoluted intersection to get on the Mt. Vernon trail. Once we were on the trail, we followed it to the Custis trail and that brought us right down into Arlington. We only had to ride about a mile on roads for the whole trip. Who would have guessed that the capitol is so nice for riding?
I am going to link a few videos from the past week that we did not have time upload until now. The biking portion of our trip is officially over, but we will continue blogging from time to time as we figure out some statistics and review all of the material we have from the whole trip.