Capitol Crypt


The white stone compass star in the center marks where the city’s four quadrants meet. 

Yes, you read this correctly.  There is a place in the U.S. Capitol called the Crypt. 

For a long time the term has referenced the space below the main floor of a church or a chamber in a mausoleum.  We often think of a crypt as a place for burial, right?

Why the capitol then?  It is something different. The Crypt contains 40 smooth Doric columns of sandstone, which support the arches holding up the floor of the Rotunda,  the large, domed, circular room located in the center of the Capitol on the second floor. 

The columns are modeled on the Temple of Poseidon, which were the shortest and the strongest columns that survive from classical Greece.

The sandstone floor hosts hundreds of people visiting every day from around the world.  The white stone compass star in the center marks where the city’s four quadrants meet. 

Sandstone used in the U.S. Capitol

Around the perimeter are statues of prominent individuals from the nation’s original 13 colonies.  Display cases present exhibits and historic objects.

The Crypt was associated with a proposed interment even before it was built. After the death of President George Washington in 1799, Congress resolved to honor him in the Capitol.

A chamber for the remains of the first president and his wife was added to the plans for the center section of the building and constructed two stories below the Rotunda. Directly above the tomb, where the center of the Crypt is located, was to be placed a marble statue of Washington.

A 10-foot circular opening was left in the center of the Rotunda floor so that visitors could view it from above. However, Washington’s grave remained at Mount Vernon in accordance with his wishes, and no statue of him was ever placed in the Crypt.

Because the 10-foot opening allowed persistent drafts and dampness into the Rotunda, it was sealed in 1828.  https://www.aoc.gov/blog/how-crypt-got-its-name

George Washington truly represented our nation and its values well.  He didn’t want to become a king but simply wanted to return to his civilian life after his term was over so others could be elected president. 

Maybe our political leaders should revisit the ideals of President Washington in providing selfless service for the people. 

Blessings and love along the way,

Ron

Days of Political Civility?

U.S. Capitol Old Senate Chamber
Old Senate Chamber at the U.S. Capitol

One of the best tours I’ve had in Washington, D.C. was recent at the U.S. Capitol.  It’s always nice to go back and hear of the efforts, struggles and successes of our democracy. 

U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

I especially enjoyed seeing the legislative seats from the past.  I tend to ponder how civil they were back years ago compared to the debates (mostly bickering and arguing) of today.  I’m sure there were some heavy discussions back then but maybe they accomplished a lot, ensuring the best interest of the nation.

Old Senate Chamber in U.S. Capitol

To me, there is something special about the old senate chamber.  Can you imagine the conversations and debates in this respected meeting place? 

During the senate’s residence in this chamber from 1810 to 1859, the it grew from a small advisory council to the primary forum for the great national debates of the mid-19th century—an era known as the Senate’s “Golden Age.” Here the “Great Triumvirate” of Senators Daniel Webster of Massachusetts, Henry Clay of Kentucky, and John C. Calhoun of South Carolina fiercely debated the issues of slavery, territorial expansion, and economic policy affecting the new nation. The Senate became the sounding board for the nation, and its galleries were packed with visitors hoping to witness these memorable proceedings. In this chamber senators forged a series of compromises that held the Union together in the four decades prior to the Civil War.  (Check out more of the history at https://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/art/resources/pdf/Old_Senate_Chamber.pdf)

A good video of the senate chamber is provided by C-Span at https://www.c-span.org/video/?c4633919/senate-chamber.

Do you think the debates in the old senate chamber were different from the debates in the current senate in the U.S. Capitol?

Blessings and love along the way,

Ron

Smallcakes

Cupcakes adorn the counter at Smallcakes in Arlington, Virginia.

I thought since many of us had sufficient sweets during the past month we may have a body reaction by now – to indulge ourselves again. 

What if I just posted some images from Smallcakes near Washington, D.C. (Arlington, Virginia close to the Pentagon)? Well, sure, why not? 

I have some future posts about Smallcakes in other locations but I wanted to wet your appetite so you won’t have withdrawals.  Okay? Will that work?

Smallcakes is a sweet place to get your sugar fix; the only thing though – they don’t have gluten-free ones.  Bummer!  That’s okay, family and others sure enjoy them.  I’ll just look and smell, and photograph.  😊

Watch out world!  Smallcakes says they have a plan for “Worldwide Cupcake Domination.”  https://www.smallcakescupcakery.com/

Where’s the competition? 

Blessings and love along the way,

Ron

On track!

Tracks and trains at Union Station in Washington, D.C.
Tracks and trains assemble at Union Station in Washington, D.C. as cars, trucks and people cross over in late 2018, surrounded by offices and residences.

These are my thoughts as I looked over some images from our recent trip to Washington, D.C. 

We’re on track now, where will we go?

Check with the conductor or read the map –

Where the tracks will lead.

Or, did you just get on board to where the train stops?

Union Station mall
Union Station stores and restaurants are part of the walkway to and from trains.
Metro station transfer point
Metro Station transfer – looking for which route to take.

The year began, and yet where did it go?

The scenery passes, and we tend to look back.

Metro station boarding in Washington, D.C.
Riding new Metro in Washington, D.C.

With the right ticket and watching the signs,

We’ll know we’ll get there, because we’re on the right track.

The flurry of travelers come and go;

It seems like no one notices the other.

I watched as humans seemed like bots,

Heads down, eyes on devices, no one speaks a word.

Watch out! The door is opening – in an out they go;

Better not get in the way or you’ll toss to and fro.

Now the holiday break is done,

And the routine is back.

Those robotic travelers back at the grind;

I hope they pay attention to life all around.

It’s safer to be aware, though we know the track;

The track for work, play, where we live.

Don’t let life pass – like scenery along the route.

Without a thought of life – or whether the track is right.

Blessings and love along the way,

Ron

Beauty to and from

Traveling south along U.S. 50 highway in Colorado.

The trip to the Colorado Rockies was a very enjoyable one.

I had some thoughts though while looking at the images on our trip toward home.

Does one enjoy the trip to the destination of plans more than the return journey home?

Is the view different when traveling back; do we anticipate the trip, or do we just have a ho-hum attitude – like I’ve seen it before already?

Why not enjoy every bit of the journey – to the destination and beyond? 

The mountains are the same – I mean they didn’t change in just a week.

The sky is still adorned with the majestic blues.

Why, even if gray clouds pop up the sky is still the same above.

One could take a thousand photos of a location and each image is unique.

I think I shall never tire of beholding the beauty surrounding us.

We may have a thousand look-alikes that look and act just like us;

But! We are individually unique and made special for this time.

We too should continue enjoying the beauty within us and the beauty all around.

Quarry along U.S. 50 in Colorado.
Quarry along U.S. 50 highway in Colorado that has its own beauty and purpose.  

Take a breath, pause – behold!  Absorb the scenery. 

Enjoy life!

Blessings and love along the way!

Ron

Journey to Crested Butte

2018-09-27-18-28-2 - Drive toward Crested Butte - dash camThe final leg of our destination in Colorado is now close.  We saw the Aspen trees in their yellow glory while at Pikes Peak and now we’re seeing more of their beauty traveling within an hour from Crested Butte.

2018-09-27-18-28-22_Moment - Drive toward Crested Butte - dash camMy next few posts will discover this beautiful, quaint town nestled among the gigantic Rocky Mountains.

NORMAL2018-0I thought I would give you a little windshield tour with my dash cam as we travel toward Crested Butte.  I’m glad you are coming along.

 

Blessings along the way!

Ron

Salida’s local flavor

Travel to Salida, COTraveling U.S. Highway 50 from Canon City to Gunnison presents a another picturesque opportunity.

Travel to Salida, CO with train and river

K89B3293 Rocks point to sky opening near going to Salida

K89B3270 Rock jet going to Salida

K89B3259 Road, river and rail
Road, river, rapids and rail create unique views along U.S. 50 highway traveling toward Salida, Colorado.  

We stopped along the way and enjoyed some of the peaceful flow of the Arkansas River near Salida, Colorado.

K89B3348 River before Salida
Arkansas River flows parallel to U.S. 50.

K89B3364 Yoga pose at river before SalidaFollowing our little respite from the travel we continued on and were surprised by a wonderful little town called Salida. K89B3412 Home of hi-altitude cattle sign at SalidaK89B3222 Salida entrance sign - creative districtWe decided to travel to the historic section and were greeted by some wildlife grazing around residences and businesses.

K89B3439 Salida hotel and mountainI enjoyed the quaintness of the town and the older structures.  I wanted to research Salida a little further and discovered the town has the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area – considered one of the United State’s most popular locations for whitewater rafting and kayaking on the Arkansas River.  (Wikipedia)

 

Salida has also been called one of the best mountain towns in the U.S.

Known as the “Heart of the Rockies,” this mountain town has long been a hub of tourism, transportation and industry in the region.

The city sits at an elevation just over 7,000 feet, but it is surrounded by a number of 14ers (mountains exceeding 14,000 feet).

History of Salida

What is now Salida was first named South Arkansas.

K89B3437 Salida building and main historic streetIt was one of many mining towns in the region as gold, silver, copper and iron.K89B3441 Salida and Rio Grande cabooseIn May 1880, the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad bypassed an existing settlement just to the south, in Cleora, and arrived in the town.

It was renamed Salida, which means exit, as it was at the gateway to the Arkansas River canyon. The town quickly prospered. More information is available at https://on9news.tv/2RAbsBA

So when you’re traveling some of the mountains in Colorado, take a respite in Salida for a unique experience.  You may not want to try the Arkansas River during the winter months though.  😊

Blessings along the way!

Ron