Fieldtrip Reports

Remembering the Cherry Blossom Festival by Randal Lathrop

Andy and I left from Giant in Camp Hill for the Cherry Blossom festival, hoping for somewhat decent weather during the day.  I was looking forward to trying out a brand-new Tamron 18-270mm Di-II VC lens.  In case anyone is wondering, Tamron has rebates on their lens through the end of April.  The lens I bought has a $150 rebate which helps immensely.

We arrived in D.C. and headed over to the Washington Monument and Jefferson Memorial around 9am.  The weather was overcast with a few broken clouds.  The crowds were light, mustly because of the weather.  After shooting a few customary shots of the Washington Monument and Jefferson Memorial, Andy and I decided to head over to the World War II Memorial and the Vietnam Memorial.

We stopped along the way at various locations taking pictures of monuments and cherry blossoms.  I was hoping to get a nice picture of the Lincoln Memorial from the WW II Memorial with the reflecting pool in the foreground.  It was not to be – the reflecting pool at the Lincoln Memorial is being renovated and probably will be for the remainder of this year. 

We eventually made it over to the Lincoln Memorial and by then the number of people sightseeing had increased significantly.  We moved around to the back of the Lincoln Memorial to take some more pictures of the statues at the start of the bridges to Arlington and Georgetown.  Andy noticed a rain squall moving in through Roslyn and Georgetown and tried to get some shots of it.  We got caught up in one and had to seek shelter next to the same statues we were taking pictures of.  The wind was blowing so hard, we got only a few drops of rain on us as it passed.

We eventually made it back to the Vietnam Memorial and decided at that point to just grab some lunch, see a couple of museums, and then head home since the weather wasn’t cooperating.  On the way back to the car for lunch, we stopped again to take some more pictures of the Washington Monument.  I attempted a few macro shots of cherry blossoms in a small grove of trees.  This was the only time I swapped lenses all day.  By the time we got done, we looked up and noticed the weather had changed again.  So we modified our plans again – get lunch, drop off all our equipment except the cameras, and then press on.

We had lunch in the Ronald Reagan Center (parking is $10/day on weekends).  We noticed on our way to the museums it had rained pretty good during our lunch.

We eventually made it to the National Gallery of Art – fortunately we didn’t have any upset patrons to deal with (http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/national-gallery-visitor-attacks-gauguin-painting-officials-say/2011/04/03/AFoATUXC_story.html?hpid=z4) on this day.  Andy and I visited an exhibit by Lewis Baltz (http://www.nga.gov/exhibitions/baltzinfo.shtm) while we were there.  Then it was off to the bookstore and peruse the stacks of books on art and artists.

By now it was close to 4:30pm when we came out of the National Gallery of Art.  And the weather had changed again.  Clear skies and the sun was shining – so we decided now was an ideal time to head back over to the Jefferson Memorial.  We stopped along the way to take some interesting pictures of a tent and I was able to get a nice shot of the Capitol Building from the Washington Monument.

We eventually headed back to the car at 6:30pm.  Total walking distance for the day – 11.2 miles (21272 steps – my cellphone has a pedometer built into it in case you’re wondering).  We headed back home, listening to the Butler vs. VCU basketball game and the start of the Kentucky/UCONN game, arriving in Camp Hill at 9:30pm.