Washington DC: Monumental City

PERHAPS the best place to appreciate Washington, D.C., is from the heights of Arlington Cemetery. Here, looking out over the city spread before me, I can see the National Mall, stretching from the Lincoln Memorial to the Washington Monument and beyond. The rows of marble gravestones, laid out with military precision around me, echo the mathematical layout of a city designed by French-born architect Pierre Charles L’Enfant to have the grandeur of Paris. Diagonal avenues bisect the grid of streets that run north-south and east-west, wide boulevards that stretch out to symbolically reach the rest of America. Of course, the reality is that they just run into the Beltway, the congested ring road that has become a symbol of Washington’s isolation. Continue reading “Washington DC: Monumental City”

Wyoming: Pony Express

IN MAY 1860, ‘Pony Bob’ Haslam was riding the Pony Express east from Friday’s Station on the California-Nevada state line (where the resort of Lake Tahoe is today) to Buckland’s Station, 75 miles away in Nevada. At Buckland’s his relief refused to ride because of Indian trouble, so Haslam carried on to Smith’s Creek – a total distance of 190 miles without rest, returning after a nine hour break with the westbound mail. The 20-year-old born in London, England, had covered 380 miles on his own during an Indian war, the longest ride ever by a Pony Express rider. Continue reading “Wyoming: Pony Express”