Day 2: October 4, 2014
Sun Up - Sun Down

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6:00 AM, when the car rental counters reopened, had been my target time when I decided to wait out the night. The station started waking up an hour or so before that as commuter and other traffic increased. In addition to Amtrak, Union Station is served by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority and Maryland Regional Commuter trains along with several bus lines including Greyhound and BoltBus. I went to the Alamo counter shortly after 6:00 but had already decided not to get a car just yet. With my Amtrak arrival time no longer a factor, I considered my rental needs from the other end of the window. By picking up a car 24 hours before a reasonable return time, I would need a car for just one day rather than the two I had originally reserved. Something in the vicinity of noon seemed about right.

Of course, that meant I had to burn some more time at the station. I walked across the street to the Columbus monument and took a picture of the awakening station in the dim light. I turned around for a shot of the capitol dome over a part of the monument then walked a little farther to get a picture of the monument itself and one of the monument backed by the station. The rain that had kept me under the station's arches for most of the night had stopped but dark clouds remained.

Lugging around my duffel was limiting my mobility or at least discouraging me from walking any distance. I temporarily checked it for a walk to the capitol where a major restoration is in progress. Note that a speck of blue is visible through the clouds.

Breakfasting pigeons greeted me when I returned to the station and passed through last night's accommodations. The plaster ceiling of the station's main waiting room was damaged by the 2011 earthquake and repairs are ongoing. A purpose built rolling scaffold provides access to the ceiling. The last picture is of the long Amtrak counter. For comparison, here is a crappy picture of the Cincinnati version that I took Friday. Washington's Union Station is beautiful and bustling with travelers. Cincinnati's Union Terminal is beautiful.

I picked up the car a little before noon and drove to Laurel, Maryland, where I had a motel reservation. To my delight, I was able to check in early. I hit the bed almost immediately but amazingly managed only another hour and a half burst of sleep. What's up with that? I completed Friday's journal entry and made it to Edith May's Paradise in plenty of time.

Owner Georgie Jessup started things off on piano but switched between it and guitar through a half dozen or so songs. Christina Van Norman joined her for a few and the two really sounded good together. Georgie sounds plenty good alone but adding Christina moves it up a notch.

Dirk came on around 9:00. I know I should have taken some notes about how many songs were played and what they were but I was too busy listening. The only "notes" I took were with the camera. I do know that he did "Billboard on the Moon" in response to a request and declined, with a smile, a request to do "Black Dog Blues". "I'd like this to be the first show in fifteen years where I don't play 'Black Dog Blues'", he said. Not even the requester was upset. I also know that three songs were played for the first time before an audience tonight but I don't recall the name of any of them. It was a great evening filled with music, stories, and general fun and I'd have loved to hung around longer but the lack of sleep was catching up with me. I bid Dirk adieu and headed to my motel within a half hour of the concert's end.

I'm sure it was anticipation that wouldn't let me sleep for more than ninety minutes Thursday night and earlier in the day I guess I was, as Dirk said in the title of his 1990 CD, Too Tired to Sleep, but not now. I hit the bed with a smile and awoke about seven hours later with a bigger one.

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