Our WebXtra travel special continues today with Jim Chapman and Rick Stewart taking us along as they climb to the top of the dome at our nation’s Capitol, experience the east coast’s strongest earthquake since 1944 and watch as Jim receives his 33rd Degree Masonic honors.
Washington D.C. August 23rd, 2011
In the picture above we are standing about 20 feet below the Freedom statute on top of the dome. The mall to the Washington Monument is on the left, Pennsylvania Avenue on the right. This was taken about 3 1/2 hours before the earthquake.
The inside of the dome is about 180 feet above the rotunda floor, so my guess is that this point is well over 200 feet above the rotunda floor. The weather was clear, not too humid or hot, and exceeded the views from the Washington Monument.
On Monday Rick and I visited the House of the Temple, the headquarters of the Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite of the Southern Jurisdiction. Afterwards we hit the US Navy Memorial on Pennsylvania Ave, then the National Archives to check out the Declaration, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Sad to seem so faded. The crowds were light, so we got in and out pretty fast.
Then we hit the Air & Space Museum and checked out Gemini VII, Friendship 7 and Apollo 11. Pretty neat stuff.
Afterwards we walked up to the Capitol and the Supreme Court Building before taking the Metro back to Dupont Circle and the hike back to the hotel.
I didn’t feel the earthquake much because I was in basement of the Scottish Rite Center getting ready for ceremony. Rick was in hotel and felt it big time. He said the hotel and surrounding buildings were evacuated.
News reports are that the Cathedral suffered damage to its spires. No word on the monument. The metro is a mess and traffic backups all over area. Glad I made it back to the hotel. Rick said it was impressive.