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Am I safe caching on the mall in Washington DC


ILuvscience
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Hi

I'm going to be in Washington DC, arriving Sun evening and leaving Tue morning. I'm in a meeting all day Monday so the only time i will have to caching is in the evening on Sun or monday. How safe is it to visit the virtual caching on the mall at night? Can one attempt it alone? I'd love to get some while i'm there but won't risk my safety. Please advise.

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More security per square inch then 99.99% of the earth.

 

Some years ago, my schedule put me on the mall in the small hours of the morning. I had a couple of hours to kill and was sleepy - so I went to the Summer House and stretched out on a bench (this will mean more to you after you do the virtual there)(about as secluded a spot as there is on the mall). Every 20 minutes or so, a dark suited, very polite gentleman walked through (a couple of different gentlemen) and wished me "good morning".

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The first time I visited DC we asked that same question (without the caching angle as I didn't know about caching then) to our server at the restaurant. She said the Mall is very safe because of all the cops.

So we toured the mall til about 0230h. (Including a side track to the white house). At no time did I feel unsafe.

 

As for searching for caches? LEO may hassle you, I don't know.

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Yes it's safe - well lit, constantly patrolled. You may encounter a homeless person or two, but they are generally not persistent. Have fun, the Virts on the Mall are some of the very best I've ever done...and there are a bunch of them!!!

 

Bill

P.S. Go Packers!

Edited by 2Wheel'in
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By all means. I've been there, both daytime and at night. The Memorials are very well lit and feel fairly safe. I didn't notice a preponderance of a Security presence, but I imagine they probably have a host of surveillance cameras in the most popular locations.

 

The WWII Memorial at night is particularly breathtaking:

 

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Have a great time!

Edited by Touchstone
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I've been there at all times of the day and felt completely safe. I think that night time is best for viewing most of the memorials, especially WW II and Lincoln's. But do read up on the requirements as some are less obvious than others. That way you can spend more time enjoying the sights when you are there.

 

PS-since you are from WI this should be second nature-but it can get pretty chilly down there at night. You are closer to the river than you think, and the winds can be brisk.

Edited by wimseyguy
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Even if you don't go geocaching (I don't really mean that) , get out on the Mall. It's a wonderful experience from the Capital to the Lincoln Memorial and looks quite nice at night, something we can all be proud of. I have also ventured far from the Mall after hours and never had any trouble. As others have mentioned, the caches are almost all virtuals so make sure you have your data ready and bring a discreet flashlight. We'll be there at the end of this coming week, it's a shame you could not plan for more time in our Nation's Capital. After you see it, though, I bet you'll want to come back. Enjoy!!

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all the touristy areas are fine, just don't wander too far off the beaten path, and you'd probably be best off if you don't cut through one of the parks filled with homeless people, but the mall and memorials are fine, and around the white house is crazy secure. I stopped to take a picture through the fence at 10pm and had 2 bike cops stop me within a couple minutes to ask what I was doing.

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Sorry but I'm lost - what is this Mall you are all referring to? Sounds like no 'mall' I have ever visited... Thanks in advance for a little clarification from our friends from the south :mad: DC is on my bucket list, but I feel very uneducated right now...

 

Basically it's the big stretch of land from the capitol building to Lincoln's Memorial (and the surounding areas).

 

http://www.nps.gov/nacc/index.htm

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Sorry but I'm lost - what is this Mall you are all referring to? Sounds like no 'mall' I have ever visited... Thanks in advance for a little clarification from our friends from the south :mad: DC is on my bucket list, but I feel very uneducated right now...

 

Basically it's the big stretch of land from the capitol building to Lincoln's Memorial (and the surounding areas).

 

http://www.nps.gov/nacc/index.htm

 

And it was called "The Mall" long before anyone thought of putting a roof on a shopping center.

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There have been times when I've been in DC at night. There are neighborhoods where you would be unsafe. None of them are near the tourist areas. I can recall one time returning from an Orioles game. My ride dropped me near our office at 9th and G and I walked to the subway at about midnight to grab the last train home. People were shying away from me. I'm kind of a big guy but nice (I think) and wouldn't hurt anyone. Yet because I wasn't in a suit, I was the scariest guy on the street walking past the bars towards the train.

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The first time I was in DC with a GPS I found it a little hard to locate what I was looking for and found I had to rely more on clues. Weary Traveler for instance, I was on the wrong level. When I found it though I was tickled.

 

Not sure how true it is but I heard the signals over DC are a little scrambled to make it harder to target.

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There have been times when I've been in DC at night. There are neighborhoods where you would be unsafe. None of them are near the tourist areas. I can recall one time returning from an Orioles game. My ride dropped me near our office at 9th and G and I walked to the subway at about midnight to grab the last train home. People were shying away from me. I'm kind of a big guy but nice (I think) and wouldn't hurt anyone. Yet because I wasn't in a suit, I was the scariest guy on the street walking past the bars towards the train.

 

I guess like many large cities there are good and bad parts of town. I used to go to DC a couple of time a year before I started geocaching because I developed a system for the USDA and often took the subway from my hotel to the Smithsonian stop on the mall. I don't think I've been in any areas that didn't feel safe (even late at night walking back from the Brickskellar) but I know that there are some places that aren't safe. I've been asked by my boss to make a presentation at a conference that'll be in DC in August so perhaps I'll finally get a chance to find a cache or two there.

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Only visited the Mall once. Broad daylight. Absolutely no problem. Found ten virtual caches (and a few benchmarks.) Two were excellent. Secret Garden (Stop sleeping on the bench at night, Palmetto!) and Last Stop for the Weary Traveller. I liked Neighbors. The rest? Boring smileys. Sometimes, I wonder "Why bother?" Oh, well. Had a great time, as you will as well.

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My how times have changed. Probably post 9/11.

 

I was on The Mall, back in the early 90's and police were almost non-existent.

We spent a lot of time at night around the mall last summer, and I don't remember seeing any police. There was a ranger at the Lincoln Memorial, but that's all I can remember.

 

Maybe they were around, and I didn't notice, or can't remember by now. :)

 

But at no time did we feel unsafe. There were usually people around, even in the more remote places like the Vietnam memorial, we'd see someone every so often.

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Not sure how true it is but I heard the signals over DC are a little scrambled to make it harder to target.

 

No, you are thinking of the "Truth Distortion" rays emitted by politicians and pundits in news studios downtown. Depending on which one you are near, your GPS readings will be way off to the left or to the right.

 

HAHA! Excellent! :blink:

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