I could feel the rumbling of the ground before I heard the warning horn that the train was approaching the first railroad crossing on the southern end of downtown Southern Pines. I stood on the platform in the pre-dawn morning light and waited for the Silver Star to slow to a stop at its second North Carolina stop on its way from Miami to New York. I had been wanting to take this Amtrack route for a trip to Washington DC for quite some time, so when I started arranging a leisurely trip to the DC area to visit my friend Bridie, I finally had the perfect excuse. No sitting in traffic or trying to find a metropolitan parking spot – it was a great way to travel to our nation’s capital!
I arrived on-time at Union Station in DC, where Bridie quickly swept me up and started our whirlwind weekend adventure. I’ve been to the National Capital Region several times for both work and leisure, so I had visited most of the museums and many of the monuments/memorials before. There were a couple I hadn’t been to yet that were high on my list to experience though, so Bridie wasted no time in whisking me away to the first one. Since entrance to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture requires timed passes, Bridie had planned ahead and got us time slots for shortly after my arrival.
Bridie had never been to Arlington National Cemetery, so I asked her to accompany me to visit the grave of a good friend. I returned earlier than planned from my cross-country motorcycle trip last summer in order to make it back in time for the interment of his remains. This was my first time seeing his headstone and paying my respects since the funeral. Rob Eiserman was working as a Dept. of the Army Civilian employee when I met him over a decade ago. He was instrumental in establishing THOR3 (a human performance optimization program) for Special Operations Forces (SOF) at the U.S. Army’s SOF schoolhouse, and helped to grow it throughout the Army SOF community. An avid cyclist, runner, triathlete, and surfer (among other sports), and a staunch advocate of SOF operators and support personnel, he epitomized human performance and a warrior ethos. His zest for life and sense of humor are missed daily.
Before I knew it, the weekend was over and it was time to head south again. It was so great to reconnect with Bridie and spend some quality time exploring such an historic area together. I’ll definitely be back!
What great travels you are always on. Love keeping up via the vlog
Thank you! I really enjoy the writing.