- 1,802 miles driven in all
- 30.5 hours spent in the Inauguration Roadster between Iowa City and Washington, DC
- 24.37 miles walked in Washington, DC
- 20 degrees, the reported wind chill temperature at the time of Obama's swearing-in
- 8.5 hours gone without GOING on inauguration day for yours truly
- ~2 million people gathered in and around the National Mall on inauguration day
- 69 blog posts uploaded on this site
- 49 comments left by blog followers
- 10 different states logged on to the blog
- 67 minutes spent trying to get from DC city limits to by brother-in-law's house upon our arrival to the metro area
- 7.5 hours spent in the cold on inauguration day
- 2 Obama motorcades that we witnessed up close
- 10.5 hours of sleep I got between Saturday morning and Tuesday morning
- 10.5 hours of sleep I got on Tuesday night
- 7 layers of clothing I wore on the day of the inauguration
I'm sure there are more that escape me at this time.
I want to thank everyone who has followed along on the blog as I made my journey. To have folks show an interest added a layer of legitimacy to my trip that would have proved otherwise difficult. I wish, more than anything, I could have hitched all my students, present and past, to the Inauguration Roadster and brought them along for the ride. As much as I tried to be their eyes and ears, there is so much I now reflect on that I wish I would have shared (like the wave of inauguration-bound cars we encountered at every stop between here and DC as we set out last week, among others). It's hard to describe a "feel," and I fear I may be best able to do so long after these posts have been read.
I think, though, as I had mentioned in a previous post, the entire experience can be crystallized by my singular moment of entering the 3rd Street tunnel on the morning of the inauguration. We had been walking over an hour, and had encountered more people than we could count. All were ambling about in their own directions, though, each as unsure as the next about how to get where they needed to be. We were disparate emotions at that point, representing everything from annoyance to confusion and all points in between. When the hundreds of thousands of people, though, converged on that tunnel, all squeezing through to the same place and with the same shared purpose, those negative feelings were left behind, as though the tunnel were some kind of filter. I think, in retrospect, the sinking feeling I had in my gut in that moment, when I saw what I was joining, was that annoyance leaving me. What happened on stage that day was scripted and predictable, and nothing I can't watch over and over again on TV. It's why I stopped caring about how close I would get to the stage when we got in. Not that it wasn't powerful, of course, but rather secondary to the other things around me- laughter, some tears, cheering, overheard phone calls, and so on. Those are the things I'll try to never forget, because they're the things that can't be rewound and reviewed, unfortunately.
Also, I survived Ricky the Cat, which is a triumph in itself.