And let's face it, there were people coming from all over: Canada, Alaska, Texas, California, etc. It would have been a crying shame if we, who are already here, did not take advantage of the opportunity.
To be honest, we had originally planned to take the Metro and, hopefully, find some of our friends there. However, as we were on our way to the Metro Station, we got a call from thanate, who told us that the lines at the Metro were three blocks long. At that point, we turned around, ditched ballistabob's truck, and switched to my car. The one with the workplace parking sticker. Did I mention that my office is right across the Lincoln Memorial? Yeah, a bit of a walk all the way to 7th and 3rd, right by the Capitol, but better than standing in line for blocks and dealing with overcrowded trains and broken down ticket machines.
Anywhoo, because everyone was taking Metro, the drive Downtown was way smoother than my everyday commute. Man! I wish my drive was that easy every day! To make a long story short, because we had left before 10 a.m., we were able to be at the Smithsonian Metro Station before 11 a.m. And because grauwulf and thanatehad also driven, parked and walked, we were able to meet them too.
Sadly, we were not able to meet with the rest of our party, although we did keep in touch by text and cell phones, until I lost signal in the middle of the field. Go figure.
At any rate, because we were there early, we were able to find a really good spot, between the second and third mucking huge screens. Even better, the sound was great from our vantage point, and we didn't miss anything. In fact, had I been taller, I would have been able to see the stage. I got a bit of a glimpse of it with my camera.
But just to be there, standing with a gazillion million like-minded reasonable people, all with the most amusing handmade signs (one of the best parts of the rally), and enjoying one of the best shows ever, was an experience I will not forget in a hurry. In reality, in the words of grauwulf, this rally was comprised mostly by moderates, who by our own nature do not rally. However, we will if you give us a good reason to. Like comedy.
As for reports of fringe groups on a recruiting spree at the rally, I have to say that I saw exactly one guy with a clipboard asking questions to people, and one other person with pre-printed signs bearing their organization's logo. That is exactly two people. If you take into account that there were about 200,000 people at the Mall, depending on whose estimates you follow, two people are a very tiny drop in a bucket.
As for pre-printed signs, no one paid any heed to, and there were barely any. Most of the time, people were showing off, celebrating and taking pictures of theirs and everyone else's handmade signs. Some of them pretty awesome.
And I was very happy to have people making me raise mine above the heads of the crowd a couple of times so they could take pics. It was actually a two sided sign. One side said "I Vote 4 Sushi," and the other "What's in Ur Ballot?" It was the second one that grabbed the most attention.
As for ballistabob, he also had a sign. And although he was supposed to be on the side of sanity, I believe that his was one of the scariest ones out there. It read "I don't have any strong held political beliefs ... and I might vote."
If that's not scary, I don't know what is.
At any rate, here's the link to my pics of the Rally. I had already posted them to Facebook, but no everyone is there.
Have a happy Monday!