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Adventures in Washington with Jim and Rick


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.

Our travelers were given a special tour of the Capitol dome by Congressman Tom McClintock's Chief of Staff Igor Birman and Congressional staffer Cory Hornish.
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.
Looking up underneath the statue of Freedom at top of Capitol dome.
Cory Hornish describing the Apotheosis at the top of the dome to Rick and Igor. He was full of information and this tour was, by and far, the best tour I have ever been on.
The Apotheosis from midway up walkway.
East front of the Capitol taken Monday night not realizing we would climb to top Tuesday morning.
Inside Capitol dome with Rick Stewart and Igor Birman.
View from top of the Capitol.
Map shows the structure of the dome. We climbed the black boxes on left to the top. Wild!
The inside of the dome on right, outside of dome on left, with walkway going up the middle.
Rick at US Navy Memorial on Pennsylvania Avenue.

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.

Looking down on eastside and the Capitol Visitor Center and Supreme Court bldg from inside the dome.
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. 
Standing where the Sovereign Grand Commander presides over the Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite Masons, Southern Jurisdiction.
House of the Temple, headquarters of Scottish Rite on 16th Street about 10 blocks north of White House.



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