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Didn’t make it to the Rally

Kate and I drove down to the Dunn Lorring Metro to meet some friends and ride into DC to attend the Rally. The lot was mostly full, but there were still a few spaces. Found parking. So far, so good. Then we walked over to the station proper.

Holllly Toledo! There was a line stretching out of the station, across the pedestrian bridge, down the block's sidewalks near the parking lot, around the corner, and back up the outside pedestrian bridge. Easily a quarter- to a half-mile. We met our friends. “Wow,” I said. “This is just to get onto the metro. I’ve never seen anything like this.”

A guy in line said, “No, this is to buy tickets before you get onto the metro.”

(Click the pic to enlarge. See the "M" on the post at the left-hand side of the picture? That's the entrance to the station. There's a long pedestrian bridge after that. Then the station.)

AH HA! Lightbulbs popped above our heads. We had enough SmarTrip cards to go around (These are rechargeable, plastic metro passes. You load a bunch of money on them, and you don’t have to worry about having a paper metro pass, which might not have enough money on it anyway. As frequent users of the DC metro, we carry a couple on us.) So, we just strolled on past the line right up to the turnstiles—where there were no lines—and swiped our cards over the detectors. No problemo. (But those ticket machines were doomed to run out of paper tickets soon. And they would have to be shut down soon so that their moneyboxes could be opened and emptied.)

Down the escalator. Medium crowd. Usual for a Saturday.

Dunn Lorring is the second stop on the Orange Line. Only Vienna preceeds it, so we figured there wouldn’t be much of a crowd on our train.

Hmm. Long wait. Oh, they must be running the usual Saturday schedule of one train every 20 minutes. That’s not a good idea. Hmm. There goes the train opposite us, going to Vienna. Odd, it’s crowded. Why are so many people going to Vienna. Is something happening there? As a life-long commuter, my first thought was that people in stations further up the line were riding back to the start of the line and getting on there in order to secure a seat. I’ve done that. But surely this couldn’t be the case. It couldn’t be that bad.

Never call the metro “Shirley.” It was that bad. When the train to DC arrived at our station—only the second station, mind you—it was packed. A couple people on the platform managed to get on, but that was it.

Knowing when were licked, we gave up and came home. Someone was very happy to get our parking spot. I just hope they weren’t planning on actually going into DC.



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