The inauguration as seen from the masses

We survived.

Which, is about as much as one hope for when you go fish with a few million of your friends.

We walked a lot.

About 7 or so hours worth of walking, standing, walking, more standing, and more walking.  We took Metro from my nearby stop towards the city and by time we were a few stops away people were attempting to get into the Metro trains via mosh pit tactics.  It was a little crazy.  I just treated it like a mass swim start, it works well that way.

(The commemorative Metro (subway) ticket, from this morning) 

It was amazing to see how many people were wandering around the city – and without cars.

Despite our nifty purple tickets that the Girl scored, we could not get into the purple area.  Somehow they closed it down.  The purple area was located directly in front of the capitol and would have been spectacular…but alas it was not to be.






Given the demise of the purple plan, it was time to put together a new plan.

We overheard some folks saying they were letting people in on the opposite side of the mall, so we made a big ole loop around the Capitol (around the secured area) and attempted to get in there.  But alas, the line at the blue gate was enormous (thousands of people) and with only 20 minutes until noon (the time of the swearing in), we decided to head down the mall and find a spot near a jumbotron.

Here’s the re-enactment diagram overlaid on a satellite image taken today about 40 minutes prior to the start of the inauguration.  The start is actually after hours upon hours of transit and waiting in a massive line (tens of thousands of people long filling a tunnel under the city).


As we were wandering down the mall (towards the left above) in a semi given-up state, the silver area randomly opened up like a gushing river, and we got swept into it.  Which…worked out quite well!  I was really worried that we’d be stuck somewhere without any view or TV, especially after all the long morning.  But it worked out…and that’s what counts.

So, here’s some photos I captured today.




Note the folks up in the tree…





At the end of the day, no matter where you were on the mall – it was amazing.  To look back or forward and see millions of people, all standing to watch one man make history is astounding – regardless of which side of the aisle you are on.

Oh, one cool little food note.  You may have heard about the inaugural lunch they have.  They published the menu – and all the recipes here!  Sweet!


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  1. Awesome pictures!!!

  2. nice report It was to cold for me i just went to the concert on Sunday .. thanks for the menu

  3. Pictures are great! I particularly like how the snipers stand out from the dome on the first one.

    I was in Silver – funny I didn’t run into you :)

  4. Nice pictures. The purple ticket issue was widespread… we did a story about it last night on the news.

    I’m supposed to ask what you were wearing yesterday. My mom (who is obsessed with your blog) SWEARS she saw you and some girl on TV last night.

  5. Well, I guess I should’ve included this before. She said, “He was wearing a black or navy blue hat, and girl he was with had a brown hat with the fur flaps that come over the ears and the bill turns up.”

  6. I was wearing a black hat, with a blue ski jacket. She was wearing a pink wool hat, and a white ski jacket…

  7. Thanks for sharing the pictures! It’s too bad you weren’t able to get into the section you had tickets for.

  8. these are great pics. sorry ’bout the purpleness!

  9. Very Cool! I was stationed in front of the TV most of the day. I am going to go take a look at those recipies now!

  10. heard the lunch menu was all the rage……what!! you didn’t prepare the feast for the pres….

  11. Thanks for the great pictures and the link to the recipes. Are you planning on making any of them and putting pictures on your blog?

  12. Wow thanks for sharing the awesome pictures! :)

  13. Very nice, Ray. Thanks for sharing your POV.

    What really amazed me was that by 12:45, that place had all but cleared out. I guess standing and walking for hours and hours in the freezing cold pretty much ensured that no one hung around.

  14. Your pictures are better than some of the networks’ shots! I’ve been on the mall with 250,000 folks for 4th of July and THAT felt crowded. Couldn’t even imagine what it would be like to have 5 times that many people around. Once again – living vicariously through you!

  15. What an amazing opportunity to be a part of the crowd! Great pictures!

  16. Thanks so much for the photos and the report!!

    Dianne Feinstein is looking into the situation for you:

    link to

  17. My building (6th & Penn) had a lottery to see who would occupy the offices overlooking Penn Ave. for a choice vantage point of the parade. Trouble was, no one could get to the building on Tuesday, no matter what, because no one could cross Penn Ave. there (route from the north) or Constitution (route from the south). Some people got in by going east around the White House, then coming up the north sidewalk of Constitution, but only if they started that trek before 7 a.m. before that little window closed when new closures went into place mid morning. Crazy! No one seemed to take it too hard though, although many weren’t really dressed to be outside.

  18. Nice shots! That farecard looks awfully familiar… oh maybe its becuase I have one of them to!

  19. what a day! great save! see what triathlon does for you? we were aiming for purple but thank god got stopped at 15th so ended up at the monument. i think you have a pic of me and the kid there, in the back, i have the purple jacket on….

    It was a long ass day…and then i had to go home and put my high-heel sneakers on for a looong ass night!

    aww ya shoulda just told kelly yep that was you! dude!

    Also, in the future, i advise metrobus. no waiting, straight shot down wisconsin…oh wait, you live in va. nevermind! :)