The Capitol, From Such Great Heights

The Poetry Out Loud festivities ended at The Governor's Mansion. And so afterward, I walked down to the capitol building to visit my student Ashleigh. Ashleigh is interning under one of our gracious representatives. As a perk of her job, she was just authorized to give dome tours of the capitol. Feeling adventurous, I asked if we could go to the top.

Most of the time when I visit my student interns, I look through microscopes or see physics displays. With Ashleigh, I rubbed elbows with legislators and did the most extreme stair master in heels.  To be fair, everybody warned us. "It's quite the climb." "Are you ready." "Leave your purse."

Our first stop was the highest you can go inside the dome. It was beautiful. 

And it left me feeling a little over-confident. That wasn't too bad a climb...

Then, we took a turn and started climbing up the underbelly of the capitol, on tiny metal stairs, around the scaffolding. It takes three keys to get to the top. Three keys, that we had to get from three different offices.

We noted the dozens and dozens of names scrawled along the concrete walls. Who wrote them? Some were in impossibly high places. And we kept climbing until, as warned, our thighs started to feel like jello.

Then we made it to the door and climbed out into the sunshine.

The view was, lovely, as was my poised and confident tour guide.

My friend Ross, a backpacker, taught us that the best views are just off the beaten path. It seems that is true of indoor tourist hikes as well.

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