During the long drive from Montreal to Maryland WCKA decided to stop, take a short detour, and a few days off of paddling to have class and go explore our country’s capitol. The lively city was enormous and left endless opportunities for wandering and new discoveries. Many of the students and teachers had never been to DC and those who have, had never been there during a time like this. The two days there were spent during the thirteenth and fourteenth of September, the following days of 9/11. This brought huge numbers of people that were on marches and parades for those lost.
We found ourselves surrounded by some of the most political extreme people you could imagine. When crossing busy intersections the students would look up at the corners to see people holding up signs with comments like, “Obama is a Nazi”. While packed onto the metro students listened keenly to these people’s views, despite often sounding ridiculous.
View of Lincoln Memorial and Reflection pool
When the students and teachers were off the metro and on their own exploring they were able to forget about the current politics and enjoy some of the long standing national monuments. Some of the monuments visited were The Washington Monument, The Abraham Memorial, The Whitehouse, and many more. Students stood and looked out at the city while standing in the exact same place as Dr. King when he made his ‘ I Have A Dream’ speech.
Photos of the Whitehouse with teachers Capo and Ben
Natural History Museum
They also went to some of the city’s best museums. They visited the International Spy Museum, The Smithsonian Natural History Museum, and The Air and Space Museum. Surprisingly, both students and teachers found the Natural History museum to be the most interesting of the three. Hours were spent in the museum looking at things from soil in the states to gigantic hippos seen on the rivers throughout Africa. The Spy museum was also very interesting. The artifacts were some of the craziest things you would imagine. Weapons ranged from the traditional umbrella gun to bombs that would go off if a girl tried to open her lipstick.
Hudson Moe, Kleve Peaslee and Capo Rettig anticipating a tarantuala feeding demonstration
Evolution of Man exhibit
While the students and teachers all had an amazing time exploring the city, they are also all ready to go explore the rivers on the east coast. The next few river destinations will be the Youghiogheny, the Gauley, the Tygert, and The Green. Theses rivers will make up the creeking and river running portion of the quarter. The playboating that was done so far was epic and some of the biggest waves students had surfed. Both students and teachers showed rapid improvement and the majority of them are now able to throw blunts and backstabs (vertical front/back 180). The group is getting along well and are all looking forward to the rapidly approaching trip to Peru (less than a month).
Emily Allen, Susan Hollingsworth and Ohiopyle friends getting ready for a trip down the Youghiogheny
Words: Griff Griffith
Photos: Susan Hollingsworth