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Wednesday, March 28, 2001

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On into Washington DC

We took I-85 from Atlanta Ga through South Carolina and into North Carolina. I dozed through most of Georgia and all of South Carolina. We had to get off the bus at Charlotte for about an hour at 3:45 in the morning for a cleaning stop. Our driver from Atlanta, who had greeted us with thanks from him and his four children for riding Greyhound, left us at Charlotte NC with blessings from the lord. That came in handy as our next driver was a beginner and his trainer sat beside me in the front seat. While trying to still sleep I heard “take those turns better” and “here, here turn here”. The trainee didn’t look old enough to be out of highschool.

I listened to the bus stop at small towns between Charlotte and Greensboro where we left the interstate to follow US-29 on into Virginia. There was a note on the Chatham VA bus station “Working in lower greenhouse” so we drove past to the greenhouses where the lady waved us on.

US-29 wound us gently through rural Virginia from Greensboro NC to Charlottsville VA. Most of the trees were still bare but there were several covered with white blossoms. Quite a few are covered with bright red buds that look ready to burst open. It's nice to drive through towns instead of just stopping at a convenience store on the interstate. We stayed on US-29 to Charlottesville. The bus squeezed through a very tight bus station that made me hold my breath. I know they're good but sometimes I just don't see how they make it.

The Drug Enforcement had their dogs sniffing our luggage at Charlottesville, which seemed like an unusual place for it. A european's bike box seemed to be of interest to the dogs so the officers had the guy open it. It just had a bike and packing. The boxes are reused a lot so there's no knowing what it's touched.

We left Charlottesville with a short trip on I-64 then we got off on US-250 for a quick stop at Shadwell, then we headed north on VA-231 to Gordonsville then US-15 to Orange. Then it was VA-20 and VA-3 to Fredricksburg. We passed the Wilderness National Military Park and Chancellorsville National Military Park. This was a great ride through some beautiful country with farms and horses everywhere. It's hard to believe that such bloody battles were fought in this area but the map shows Civil War battlefields all over. At Fredricksburg we got back on the interstate, I-95 and then I-395 at Annapolis. From there it was a quick drive into Washington DC. It was nice to see it again. We squeezed through the streets to the bus station. At the bus station I tried to get a taxi but none of them wanted to go anywhere, probably because it was rush hour by then. Finally the security officer at the bus station said one of them had to. I guess they do what he says or don't get to wait there.

It was good to get to the hostel and get settled in. There were a couple of women from Australia in my room. One of them was an engineer who had quit to go to art school and was now trying to make a living selling art. We discussed the difficulty of making your living off your art. They were on their way to Arizona to visit some relatives they had never met in Phoenix.

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© Rachel Aschmann 2001.
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