By Tracy Edwards: “OMG, what a day . . .”

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Redding Rancheria CEO Tracy Edwards and her Rancheria travel companions joined an estimated 2 million people at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., for Barack Obama’s inauguration. 

OMG, what a day.

It didn’t turn out exactly like we planned, but I think it was meant to be. Besides, from what I can tell, thousands and thousands of people — even people who had tickets — didn’t get in. We started our outing as planned at 8 a.m. We were advised to walk 3-4 blocks and then down Independence Avenue until we reached the museum. Our group split up because Jack and Myrna opted to take the subway instead of walking.

When we walked out of the hotel and a cab was right there, we thought it was a blessing. Wrong, He took us as close as he could to the museum, then dropped us off in the middle of the mass.

What we didn’t account for was at about 6 a.m. they had already shut many of the streets down that led to the Mall.

So we proceeded to walk with thousands and thousands of people from block to block. As we reached the block that they told us we could cross, it would be shut down. We kept getting further and further away from the Mall.

About the time we were giving up hope, we jumped into a bike taxi and the poor man bicycled 20+ blocks, with three average-sized women (lol) in the back.

As he let us off we could hear the music starting and we, along with thousands of people, found ourselves in the masses of people in the middle of the Mall watching from a giant jumbotron.

Estimates put 2 million people in the Mall. We were three among those 2 million.

It was AWESOME, although crazy in some ways, there was a real calm, also. The crowd cheered when Obama came out. They quieted down when the he took the oath and gave his speech. Some people were crying, some were happy. 

It was freezing and sunny, but still freezing.

It was so worth it. We, unlike many others, were lucky and made it back to our rooms in relatively good time.

Jack and Myrna made it to the museum, and their story is one to tell. They had a great view. It took them 5+ hours to make it back to our room.


Redding Rancheria representatives at the American Indian Inaugural Ball Tuesday. From left to right: Brian McCain, Rancheria Tribal Council member; Stacey Carmen, Chief Operating Officer; Jack Potter Jr., Tribal Council member; Patty Spaulding, Tribal Council member; and Tracy Edwards, Chief Executive Officer.
(Photo courtesy of Tracy Edwards.)

Later that night we went to the American Indian Inaugural Ball: fun, exciting, packed, beautiful dresses; but a lot of sore feet and tired people.

I could write so much more but I am tooo tired. So I will send a picture and sign off.

Click here to see Tracy’s previous story and photos.

Crowd photo, above, by
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2 Responses

  1. You are so right, Tracy! It was an "OMG", amazing, incredible, unforgettable day!

    The mass of people in the Mall was overwhelming. I couldn't stop thinking about how that massive number of people is less than 1% of our nation. I was humbled to be among such a small number of people there to witness history, and I was in awe of how much power we have as a nation if we pull together.

    It took my son and I five hours to get back to our hotel as well, but I still think it was relatively smooth considering the astronomical volume of people trying to leave one small area all at once. I'm going to try and get more pictures up on my blog site today as well.

    I'm glad that you and your companions were able to be a part of the day!

  2. Avatar pmarshall says:

    Sounds like a wonderful day! I know you all won't regret going. Hope no one got frostbite.