A trip to the National Cathedral

Last weekend a Cub Scout hike took us to the National Cathedral. We had been before but it had been awhile and even John didn’t remember it very well. The hike was a self-guided tour of the gargoyles and grotesques that cover the outside of the cathedral.

We spent most of the time squinting up at the building and shading our eyes from the sun. This was a very fun tour, but the next time I’d bring binoculars and avoid very sunny 90+ degree days. The gargoyles are fun to find though. Our favorites were a crocodile, a cat sleeping on a branch and a snake curled on a tree limb.

But that’s only because we didn’t see this one. Apparently, this is very difficult to see with the naked eye, but next time we’ll definitely bring binoculars and look for him.


I think the thing I enjoyed the most about this activity was the reminder that no matter how long you’ve lived in an area or visited a particular site, you can see something new or from a different perspective. We’ve been to the Cathedral many times over the years and we have our favorite things to look for (the moon rock in the space window, the children’s chapel, the favorite Tex-Mex place across the street.) It can feel like something we’ve “checked off the list”. Been there, done that. But I’d never taken the time to really look at the gargoyles even though I knew they were there.

A lesson worth a little bit of sweat and a stiff neck.

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