George Washington Trail
Day 1: August 21st, 1999 Munich — Washington D.C.
The departure from Munich is on time at 12:10. My neighbour in the plane is Martin, who has visited some relatives in Germany. The arrival at Washington D.C. is on time at 3:08 pm. First, I have to travel with a bus, which looks like a platform with a top, to the main building. For “docking” to the building, the bus can lift his platform around 7 feet. Here I said goodbye to Martin, who is now travelling on to Chicago. We have exchanged our addresses and I hope I will see him some day again. The next step is the Immigration. Because of my long stay (6 weeks!) the officer has a lot of questions. But eventually he allowed me to pass. I am getting my luggage, which is as usual one of the last peaces. Then I am heading to the rental car company. A shuttle bus takes me to this place. After a short time of waiting, it’s my turn. The guy at the counter plays the usual game of selling a higher priced vehicle. But he has no luck with me. Eventually he gives up and gives me the parking lot number. I went out of the office and after a short walk I reached my car, waiting for me with the engine running. It’s a champaign colored Ford Mercury Mystique, which is quite comfortable for a journey like this. I throw my stuff in the trunk and start my journey. At first, I have to get used to the automatic again. It wouldn’t be the first time, that I try to press the clutch pedal with my left feet and the only pedal I can reach is the braking pedal....
The next challenge comes with a road construction, which blocks the direct way to my Motel 6. It forces me to drive a bigger detour. But despite jetlag and 6 pm (which is midnight in Germany) I make it. First of all, I buy a prepaid phone card at the Motel to have a chance to call home. Then I mount my carpod and the GPS mounting frame in the car. Slowly I am getting hungry, so I hit the Interstate again to find a nice restaurant. But I have no luck and instead of finding a restaurant, a heavy thunderstorm finds me on the Interstate with sights close to zero. On my way back to the Motel, I find a little shop, where I buy some coke and snacks. I am not really hungry after this long day, so that’s ok for today.