Sep 302010

Yesterday we were up and out early, riding the Metro train back into Washington D.C. for more sightseeing. We had a great time, but playing tourist is darned hard work! After two days in a row, we are worn out!

We started the day by visiting the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, where the nation’s money is printed. We saw displays on the history of currency, and a took a free tour that was very interesting.

Engraving and Printing building

Being an old newspaper man, I’ve spent a lot of time in print shops over the years. It’s one thing to watch newspapers rolling off a press, and something else entirely to watch money being churned out. But the pressmen seemed like pressmen in every shop I’ve been in, and not at all impressed that they were printing huge sums of money every day.

No photographs are allowed during the tour, but we could take pictures in the lobby and in the gift shop after the tour. Here is a stack of $1millon in $10 bills! That’s a lot of money!

One Million dollars 3

You can even buy some shredded money to take home with you. I wonder how long it would take to paste this all back together again?

Shredded money

They also have a tall tube of shredded $100 bills and you can see how much money it would take to match your height. According to this, Miss Terry is about $1,491,000 tall, but I wouldn’t take a thousand times that for her!

Terry Money Chart

Since I couldn’t convince the folks at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing to give me any samples, we left and stopped in at the U.S. Forest Service headquarters, where we met this furry fellow.

Smoky Bear.2

We toured the Museum of American History during our last visit to Washington, but we couldn’t resist popping back in for a while, since we’re big history nuts. But I’ll save that for another day.

It started to rain, but we didn’t let that stop us as we walked several blocks to the National Museum of the American Indian. This was another very impressive place!

There were four floors of galleries devoted to Native American history, culture and folklore. Displays included everything from sculptures and artwork, to this beautifully beaded cradleboard.

Indian archer statue

Indian cradleboard

There were exhibits on every major American Indian tribe, on Indian mythology, and on how today’s Indians live in the modern world but hold onto their traditional values and culture.

We left the museum about 4 p.m. and caught the Metro back to the College Park station, then took the bus to Cherry Hill Park. We timed it just right, because we only had about a two minute wait for the train, and the bus was waiting for us when we got off the train, so we were back at the campground by 5 p.m.

The weather reports are for heavy rains today, with as much as four inches predicted within the next 24 hours. The rain is supposed to be accompanied by strong winds; the remnants of Tropical Storm Nicole. If it’s going to be that nasty, we’ll probably batten down the hatches and just sit tight today. Besides, after two hard days of playing tourist, we need a break!

Thought For The Day – I’m not a complete idiot, some parts are missing.

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

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