Points Of Interest

Point #1
Directions

Unnamed Road, Washington, DC 20230, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Directions

Hey there! I found you. Or you found me. However you want to think about it. So from where we are standing now you can see the Washington Monument in front of you and the White House behind you. We are going to be heading toward the Washington Monument. Carefully cross the street and then make your way to the main path that leads to that super tall pointy monument in front of you. I’ll meet you over there.

Point #2
Directions

Unnamed Road, Washington, DC 20230, USA

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  • Attraction : Directions

You should be heading toward the Washington Monument now, am I right? Good. Keep going. Oh, off to your left there is a huge building with inverted pyramid steps and bronze screening. It’s the National Museum of African American History and Culture. UCPlaces has a tour that includes that museum along with many of the other Smithsonian Museums and different memorials and monuments. It’s called National Mall-DC. Check it out later!

Point #3
Directions

Unnamed Road, Washington, DC 20230, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Directions

Keep walking and when the path splits, please stay to the right.

Point #4
Washington Monument

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Monument
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washington_Monument

So, the pencil-shaped white building in front of you that juts up into the sky is actually the Washington Monument. Feel free to walk on over there and get a good look. Just be sure to come back to this spot and then follow the curved trail that heads back toward Constitution Avenue. Follow your navigation if you have trouble. Ok, the Washington Monument was constructed in honor of the first President of the United States, George Washington, obviously. If we are talking about structures built mostly out of stone, this is the world’s tallest. It’s made of marble, granite and bluestone, and there’s actually no cement holding the bricks together. Yup, just gravity and friction. Well that seems a little unstable, doesn’t it? It does have an elevator though. The first elevator ride to the top took a long 20 minutes back around 1888. Also, rumor has it that back in those days people thought that the elevator was too unsafe for women and children, so only men were allowed in. So way up top you can see the pointed apex of the monument. The original design was for it to be flat, but the engineers changed their minds and went with an aluminum pyramid shape instead. There are lightning rods up there as well. Here’s a fun fact - One of the main engineers requested that the US Treasury supply his workers with hot coffee daily while they worked on the apex of the monument. The US Treasury said “yes” to that request. If you are wondering why there are different shades of white on the memorial, that’s because when funds ran out for the project, it sat untouched for two decades. When construction began again, the quarry stone couldn’t be matched. Bummer. The Washington Monument is 555 feet, 5 ⅛ inches tall and has 50 flights of stairs. I think I’d rather take the elevator. How about you? Please follow your navigation to the next point of interest.

Point #5
Directions

Unnamed Road, Washington, DC 20230, USA

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  • Attraction : Directions

Did you make it onto the right path? Looks like ya did. Keep going!

Point #6
Directions

Constitution Ave NW + 17th St NW, Washington, DC 20230, USA

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  • Attraction : Directions

We are walking toward 17th Street so we can visit the Lockkeeper’s house.

Point #7
The Lockkeeper's House

Constitution Ave NW + 17th St NW, Washington, DC 20230, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Historic House
https://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/wash/dc34.htm

Believe it or not, this small building across 17th Street to your left is the oldest building on the National Mall and represents a time when the geography of Washington, DC was significantly different. In the 1800s, the end of 17th street was a wharf, while Constitution was actually a section of the Washington City Canal that connected the Anacostia and Potomac Rivers. Built in 1837, this house served the canal lock keeper, who collected tolls, recorded commerce, maintained the canal and managed traffic. The building was recently moved 30 feet back from the curb to avoid 6 lanes of traffic flying by, which was taking a pretty severe toll on this old historical structure. Keep walking the way we’ve been going. Are you enjoying the beautiful cherry trees yet? We will talk about some of the different varieties of the trees soon.

Point #8
Directions/Constitution Gardens Pond

Constitution Avenue and 18th Street NW, Washington, DC 20245, USA

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  • Attraction : Directions

It’s time to turn left toward the pond and then right. That is Constitution Gardens Pond over there, and I have a random story about it. Back in 2003 there was a crazy standoff between a tractor-riding tobacco farmer and the FBI. The farmer dug up part of the island there, and claimed he had explosives which of course then prompted an evacuation of the area. Two days later the tobacco farmer surrendered. He must have gotten hungry or something.

Point #9
Signer's Island

Constitution Ave + 19th St, Washington, DC 20245, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Memorial
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memorial_to_the_56_Signers_of_the_Declaration_of_Independence

If you turn left here, there is a footbridge that will take you to Signer’s Island where you will find the memorial to the 56 Signers of the Declaration of Independence. Go ahead, cross over and take a look for yourself. You will also have a beautiful view of hundreds of flowering trees here in Constitution Gardens.

Point #10
Directions

Constitution Ave + 19th St, Washington, DC 20245, USA

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  • Attraction : Directions

Keep following the trail to our next point of interest. We are on our way to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Enjoy the cherry blossoms as you walk. Do not turn off of this main trail and I’ll meet up with you soon.

Point #11
Directions

Constitution Ave + 20th St, Washington, DC 20245, USA

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  • Attraction : Directions

When the trail splits, please go to your left and then turn left toward the Vietnam Memorial.

Point #12
Directions

Constitution Ave NW + 21st St NW, Washington, DC 20245, USA

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  • Attraction : Directions

Turn left here please, and then the memorial will be just a few more steps ahead on your right.

Point #13
Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Constitution Ave NW + 21st St NW, Washington, DC 20245, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Memorial
https://www.nps.gov/vive/index.htm

To your right is the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and we are going to walk right next to it as I tell you a few things. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is actually made up of three different memorials that are within these two acres. We are at the memorial wall, which is the best known of the three.There’s also the Three Soldiers Statue and the Vietnam Women’s Memorial. The wall is constructed of two 247 foot long black granite slabs from India. It originally had 57,939 names on it when it was dedicated in 1982. More names have been added since then, including 8 women. There is a ritual that takes place here often with people taking a piece of paper and placing it over a name of a family member or loved one and then rubbing a wax crayon or pencil over the name to create a memento. So if you see this happening here, it’s totally normal. Please be quiet and respectful as you walk along the wall that memorializes so many soldiers who gave their lives in that war.

Point #14
Directions

Unnamed Road, Washington, DC 20245, USA

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  • Attraction : Directions

Please continue to follow the wall to the left.

Point #15
Directions

Unnamed Road, Washington, DC 20245, USA

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  • Attraction : Directions

Turn left here and then follow the trail to the right. You will see to your left the Three Soldiers statue. Farther down that trail is the Vietnam Women’s Memorial. If you’d like to go see them, please do. Just come back here and then continue on the trail as it curves to the right.

Point #16
Directions

Lincoln Memorial Cir NW, Washington, DC 20037, USA

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  • Attraction : Directions

Follow the path to the right.

Point #17
Directions

Lincoln Memorial Cir NW, Washington, DC 20037, USA

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  • Attraction : Directions

We are heading to the Lincoln Memorial where we can get a fantastic view of the blossoming cherry trees! Meet me at the bottom of the steps on the right hand side as you are facing the memorial.

Point #18
Directions

Lincoln Memorial Cir NW, Washington, DC 20037, USA

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  • Attraction : Directions

Hey, check it out! It’s the Lincoln Memorial! Now head up those steps so I can tell you more about it.

Point #19
Lincoln Memorial

Lincoln Memorial Cir NW, Washington, DC 20037, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Memorial
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lincoln_Memorial

Did you know that the Lincoln Memorial is the #2 attraction in all of Washington DC? Did you know however, that this huge columned structure wasn’t the original plan for the monument? Nope. Some of the first proposals included a Mayan temple and a log cabin. There was also a disagreement about exactly where the memorial would be located. The speaker of the house at the time said “I’ll never let a memorial to Abraham Lincoln be erected in that damned swamp.” Ha! Well so sorry, but that’s where it ended up. The statue of Abraham Lincoln is 159 tons of Georgia white marble. If that statue were to stand up right now, he would be 28 feet tall. Go on inside and check it out up close and personal. What I really want to show you though, is the view from here! What you see when looking out over the National Mall and the Reflecting Pool is the view that so many historically important people have seen with their eyes as well. The famous “I have a Dream” speech by Martin Luther King Junior was given right here, to a crowd of around 250,000 people. Can you even imagine? As you look around and see the thousands of beautiful cherry trees, take a moment to also appreciate the beauty and strength of people who have stood right on these steps just like you are. Ok, we are going to make our way toward the Korean War Veterans Memorial as we head toward the shore of the Potomac River where so many cherry trees are planted. Head down the steps, cross over Lincoln Memorial Circle and find the path that will take you to the right. Again, follow the navigation for help.

Point #20
Directions

Lincoln Memorial Cir NW, Washington, DC 20037, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Directions

Ok, here is where you need to cross over Lincoln Memorial Circle to get to the path. Turn right when you get there.

Point #21
Directions

Unnamed Road, Washington, DC 20245, USA

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  • Attraction : Directions

Seems like you found the path. Turn right. We are going to follow this path for a little while. How are the cherry blossoms looking over here?

Point #22
Directions

Unnamed Road, Washington, DC 20245, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Directions

Stay on the trail and follow it into the trees as we head toward the Korean War Veterans Memorial.

Point #23
Korean War Veterans Memorial

600 Daniel French Dr SW, Washington, DC 20245, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Memorial
https://www.koreanwarvetsmemorial.org/the-memorial/

We are coming up on the Korean War Veterans Memorial, and I have to say, it is one of my favorites. One aspect of the Korean war, that not many people realize, is the significance of the number 38, which was included in the design of the memorial. To start, the Korean War lasted for 38 months, and when the fighting stopped and peace discussions began, the boundary line between the warring parties was approximately latitude 38 degrees north, or known as, the 38th parallel. Whether it was amazing planning or an insane coincidence, the Korean Memorial’s latitude coordinate is also 38 degrees north. And even though there are only 19 soldier statues, when you look to the south of them, you will see how the granite wall was designed to incorporate their reflections, making 19 statues and 19 reflections, equaling 38 soldiers. As the central focal point of the Korean memorial, the 19 larger-than-life stainless steel soldiers are spread out across a triangular plot of land, referred to as the Field of Service. They are surrounded by patches of juniper bushes, which symbolize the rice patties of Korea. Their weapons and equipment are covered by rain ponchos, which conjure up the image of the cold winds of war blowing around them. Let’s keep walking until we reach the Pool of Remembrance.

Point #24
Korean War Memorial Pool of Remembrance

10 Daniel French Dr SW, Washington, DC 20245, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Memorial Pool
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean_War_Veterans_Memorial

Here on the east end of the memorial is the Pool of Remembrance, lined with black granite and surrounded by a grove of linden trees, and benches for those who want to sit and take it all in. Near the pool you’ll find granite blocks with inscriptions listing the number of American soldiers killed, wounded, missing in action, and held as prisoners of war. Next to those numbers are those of the United Nations troops. If the soldier statues weren’t humbling enough, seeing the numbers makes it all the more real as the price of war sets in. Nearby is a plaque that says, “Our nation honors her sons and daughters who answered the call to defend a country they never knew and a people they never met." And to the south of the pool a granite wall bears the simple message, “Freedom is Not Free.” As you follow the trail away from the Pool of Remembrance and head directly west so that the statues are on your right side, you will see the last piece of the memorial. It is the granite wall to the south of the soldiers. If you look closely, not only do you see the 19 soldiers reflected on its surface, you will also see roughly 2000 images etched into the granite, all of which came from photographs taken or donated of real Korean War Veterans. Such a beautiful and haunting memorial. Keep following the path and I will meet up with you soon.

Point #25
Directions

600 Daniel French Dr SW, Washington, DC 20245, USA

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  • Attraction : Directions

Go ahead and turn left here. We are going to make our way down to the Potomac River where there is a beautiful stretch of Cherry Trees that I’d like to show you.

Point #26
Directions

600 Daniel French Dr SW, Washington, DC 20245, USA

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  • Attraction : Directions

Please turn right here and then stay along the path as it curves a bit to the right. We want to be walking next to Independence Avenue. Don’t take the path that curves back up to the Lincoln Memorial. We already saw that. That huge bridge that is crossing over the Potomac River in front of you is the Arlington Memorial Bridge. If you like bridges, UCPlaces has a really cool driving tour called Bridges of Arlington County and Washington DC. You should absolutely check it out. For now though, just keep following this path.

Point #27
Directions

John Ericsson Memorial, 2912 Independence Ave SW, Washington, DC 20418, USA

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  • Attraction : Directions

Let’s turn left here and take the crosswalks over Independence Avenue.

Point #28
John Ericsson Memorial

Ohio Dr SW, Washington, DC 20418, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Memorial
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Ericsson_Memorial

Ever wondered what that sandy colored statue up on your right is all about? Yeah me neither, but I researched it especially for you. It’s a memorial to honor Captain John Ericsson. He was a Swedish born immigrant who developed the screw propellor which was a huge advancement in naval propulsion. Pretty cool, right? Please continue following the path until we get to the next crosswalk and then cross over Ohio Drive to your right.

Point #29
Directions

Ohio Dr SW, Washington, DC 20418, USA

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  • Attraction : Directions

I really like this stretch of trail near the Potomac River. It’s so pretty. Relax and enjoy as you follow along the trail.

Point #30
Akebono Cherry Trees

4592 Ohio Dr SW, Washington, DC 20551, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Akebono Cherry Trees
https://homeguides.sfgate.com/characteristics-akebono-cherry-tree-55619.html

Through this section of cherry trees you will find the Akebono variety. They were developed in the early 20th century in San Jose, California. Cherry tree blossoms change color through the blooming season. They go from pink buds to white petals then to pink petals as they start to wilt. The Akebono variety typically has pinker colors during their lifespan.

Point #31
Japanese Weeping Cherry Trees

4592 Ohio Dr SW, Washington, DC 20551, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Japanese Weeping Cherry Trees
https://www.gardenia.net/plant-variety/prunus-pendula-weeping-cherry

Next we have Japanese Weeping Cherry trees. These are early bloomers and are easy to identify with their majestic cascades of pink flowers. They can grow upwards of 40 feet tall!

Point #32
Fugenzo Cherry Trees

632 Rock Creek Trail, Washington, DC 20418, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Fugenzo Cherry Trees
https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2011_species.html

The word “Fugenzo” actually means “Goddess on a White Elephant.” These Fugenzo cherry trees are one of the most anciently cultivated cherry trees in Japan. They are very special with their double flowers and curved petal tips that look like an elephant’s nose. These are late bloomers.

Point #33
Usuzumi Cherry Trees

632 Rock Creek Trail, Washington, DC 20418, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Usuzumi Cherry Trees
https://blog.gaijinpot.com/usuzumi-zakura-three-great-cherry-trees-japan/

We are going to turn left at the next crosswalk but first let me tell you about the cherry trees here. They were a gift from the Neo Mura Village in 1999. That’s in central Japan, in case you were wondering. This Usuzumi cherry tree variety can grow up to 40 feet tall and they have beautiful single flowers that range from pink to white to gray. Ok. Now we can turn left at the crosswalk and make our way over to the right hand side of West Basin Drive.

Point #34
Directions

632 Rock Creek Trail, Washington, DC 20418, USA

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  • Attraction : Directions

We are going to walk alongside West Basin Drive for a little bit. This is West Potomac Park, by the way. On any given day during good weather you will see hundreds of people here playing frisbee or baseball or having a picnic and just relaxing.

Point #35
Directions

West Basin Drive near Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20245, USA

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  • Attraction : Directions

By the way, if you need a restroom, turn right here and you will get to one. The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial is over there as well but it isn’t included on this tour. If you would like us to show you around there, check out our Cherry Blossom Tidal Basin tour a little later. If you need a bathroom break now, make sure you come back to this spot and continue following the trail.

Point #36
Directions

121 West Basin Dr SW, Washington, DC 20418, USA

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  • Attraction : Directions

How about we go see the Martin Luther King Junior memorial. Yes? Ok. Follow the path to the right and meet me at the two huge slabs of granite that look like a mountain that has been cut into two pieces.

Point #37
Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial

121 West Basin Dr SW, Washington, DC 20418, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Memorial
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Luther_King_Jr._Memorial

Here is the Martin Luther King Jr Memorial. It is the 395th memorial in the National Park Service and it is a fantastic one. There is a line from his “I Have a Dream” speech that states “Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope”. This was the inspiration for this memorial. It’s a 30 ft tall sculpture of Dr. King named the Stone of Hope, and two other huge pieces of granite that symbolize the “mountain of despair”. Dr. Martin Luther King played a huge role in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950’s and 1960’s. Inspired by Mahatma Gandhi, he won the Nobel Peace Prize for his nonviolent resistance to racial inequality. Go around and see Dr King from the front and I’ll tell you more. Interesting fact here - this statue of Dr. Martin Luther King was created to make it look as if he is gazing across the Tidal Basin toward the horizon. Every year the cherry trees here will bloom during the anniversary of his death. When you are done looking around here, why don’t we follow Dr. King’s gaze down toward the edge of the tidal basin?

Point #38
Directions

121 West Basin Dr SW, Washington, DC 20418, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Directions

Go ahead and turn left so we can continue our walk through the cherry trees. Stay along the trail and watch your step!

Point #39
Directions

Independence Ave SW, Washington, DC 20006, USA

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  • Attraction : Directions

Don’t you just love how the branches of the cherry trees cascade overhead? So pretty.

Point #40
Japanese Lantern

9810 Independence Ave SW, Washington, DC 20024, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Japanese Lantern
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_Lantern_(Washington,_D.C.)

Ahead on your left there is a path that heads toward Independence Avenue. That’s where you will need to go. Before you get to Independence Avenue though, look for a path that turns left into the trees. That will take you to the Japanese Lantern statue. You will find it nestled among some of the cherry trees that were first planted in 1912. The statue was given to the United states from the governor of Tokyo back in 1954. There is a twin lantern statue located in a beautiful cherry tree lined park in Tokyo. After you see the statue, come back to the path and continue heading toward Independence Avenue.

Point #41
Directions

9810 Independence Ave SW, Washington, DC 20024, USA

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  • Attraction : Directions

We need to cross over Independence Avenue, but let’s do it safely. Please turn left. There’s a crosswalk nearby. Cross to your right, and then cross again so you are back on the trial. Turn left at the trail. The Tidal Basin will be on your right and the street will be on your left.

Point #42
Directions

9810 Independence Ave SW, Washington, DC 20024, USA

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  • Attraction : Directions

I’d like to finish this tour up at the World War Two Memorial so let’s head on over there. Follow the path along the Tidal Basin. You will come to a bridge and there will be a crosswalk. Follow the crosswalk over Independence Avenue and then across 17th Street as well. Then follow the trail to the right. Don’t worry, I’ll remind you of all this when you get to the crosswalk.

Point #43
Directions

Homefront Dr SW, Washington, DC 20245, USA

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  • Attraction : Directions

Here’s the crosswalk I was telling you about. Before you follow it, look out over the beautiful Tidal Basin. Off in the distance is a large domed building. That is the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. We talk about that one in both our Tidal Basin and our Hains Point Cherry Blossom tours. Ok, now you can carefully cross over Independence Avenue and then 17th Avenue. After both crosswalks, please follow the path to your right.

Point #44
Directions

1750 Independence Ave SW, Washington, DC 20024, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Directions

Ok, let’s get up to the World War Two Memorial and finish this tour. You are probably getting hungry at this point and need a break! Follow the path to the right, then cross over Homefront Drive and continue to the right.

Point #45
Directions

World War II Memorial, 1750 Independence Ave SW, Washington, DC 20024, USA

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  • Attraction : Directions

Here we are at the World War Two Memorial. Go on in. Follow the navigation and meet me at the last point of interest.

Point #46
World War II Memorial

World War II Memorial, 1750 Independence Ave SW, Washington, DC 20024, USA

  • Distance : 0
  • Attraction : Memorial
https://www.nps.gov/wwii/index.htm

There is so much to see here at the World War Two Memorial. It is the first memorial dedicated to honoring the 16 million who served in the United States armed forces during World War Two, plus the millions who supported the war efforts from home. Walk around and see if you can find the things I am about to talk about. There are a couple of important arches here. The northern arch is inscribed with “Atlantic” and the southern arch says “Pacific”. Between the two are 56 granite pillars. Each pillar is inscribed with the name of one of the 48 states as of 1945, as well as the District of Columbia, Alaska Territory, the territory of Hawaii, the commonwealth of the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, and let’s not forget the beautiful U.S. Virgin Islands. As you walk around the monument, you’ll see two walls with pictures depicting war experiences. On the west side of the plaza is the Freedom Wall which has 4,048 gold stars. Each star represents 100 Americans who died in the war. In front of the wall is the message, “Here we mark the price of freedom.” This really is a beautiful and touching memorial to all of those who served. And now it’s time for me to say goodbye. Goodbye for now anyway, because I’m sure you will be taking another UCPlaces tour very soon. I hope you had a fantastic time with me today, seeing the beauty of the cherry blossoms and learning a little thing or two about some of the memorials here in Washington DC. I know I had a great time showing you around and I can’t wait to hang out with you again soon. Until then, so long and happy touring!