I’m sitting at a steel picnic table under some pine trees in Herndon, Virginia, about 30 miles west of Washington, DC. I’m on an assignment to a client down here, and DC is easy to reach from Wilmington, which is in turn about a 30-minute drive from my house. Surrounded, as always, by a small cloud of battery-operated electronics, I downloaded the client’s coordinates to my GPS unit last night, then rode my motorcycle to the Wilmington train station early this morning.
Things got a little hairer when I got to DC: the Metro is beautiful, but having to use your ticket to get out of the station seems scary, and always causes a moist, pocket-grabbing panic when I arrive at my destination. In this case, I took the Red line to Shady Grove, then the Orange Line to West Falls Church, because I’d read on Deja that that’s what the other Herndon commuters do. From there, I stumbled (somewhat blindly) onto bus 950 to Herndon town center and stared at the GPS unit, getting off when I was half a mile away.
I walked through a nicely-landscaped corporate park (.42 miles to go), then a less-landscaped strip mall (.3 miles to go), then ended up having to bushwhack between back yards filled with rusty mattresses and snarling dogs (.21 miles to go), before emerging (whew!) in a nice, pine-lined street. Of course, there’s no signs at all, and the gatehouses to the office buildings all have uniformed guards and bright red car-blocking deadfall traps. Land of military contractors, and I’m skulking through the bushes carrying a motorcycle helmet staring at an electronic device. If only I could somehow be wearing a wetsuit over a tuxedo, my happiness would be complete.