Public Lands and Capitol Hill, Washington, DC

A Teddy in Washington…

All eyes are on Washington DC between Obama’s farewell and Trump’s inauguration. We went to Washington, DC in May. With only one full day to see the capital, we spent it all on the National Mall. Lucked out with parking on Constitution Avenue. Circumnavigated the mile-long national park.

The politics inside these offices be damned, it’s inspiring to visit The Hill. Standing at Washington Monument, you see a full 360-degrees. The Lincoln Memorial is on the west end. The preeminent leader against systemic race in the US. The Capitol Building is on the east end. The appearance of checks and balance. The Jefferson Memorial is in the south transept, the White House to the north. The author of our foundational masterpiece and office of its principal advocate.

I didn’t expect Washington to have so much green space. These sites would speak to anyone who loves the outdoors and our country. …whether you love the government or not.

But in the face of all things political, these days, it was our hike the following day that most impressed me. Our friends introduced us to Theodore Roosevelt Island. This island preserve memorializes The champion of our public spaces. Up the trail, we emerged from the woods, like walking up to something in Lord of the Rings. Four pillars flanked his statue with his own quotes. The first on nature, the next on youth, the following on manhood, and finally the state.

Teddy would’ve approved, Wednesday, of outdoor industry leaders’ full-page letter in the Washington Post (here). Their summary: “Public lands should remain in public hands.”

The words of Theodore Roosevelt, engraved in stone, underscore this.

“The nation behaves well if it treats its natural resources as assets which it must turn over to the next generation increased, and not impaired, in value.” 

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