I did the metro challenge so that you don’t have too (please don’t)

Photo by Shirah Lister

Shirah Lister

Red Line to Green and back to Red, to Silver to Orange to Blue to Yellow and back to Green, to Blue to Red and again to Green to Orange to Silver to Green to Red. Eleven hours, zero pee breaks, and three transfers at L’Enfant plaza later, I had completed the Metro challenge and had only one thought on my mind: thank G-d it’s over.

When I first heard about the Metro challenge, in which one attempts to ride every stop in as little time as possible, I was genuinely excited. Not only do I love the Metro, but I spend a good portion of my time there (an hour each way, twice a day, at least five days a week). So spending what should have been around seven hours (according to the many records set by other Metro riders) on the train seemed like nothing, especially since it would be less than my total weekly ride time. 

And thus began what I would argue was the worst day of my life. I woke up bright and early on a Sunday morning, and officially began the challenge at 8:11 a.m. Starting at my native land of Silver Spring, I then rode to Fort Totten and transferred to the Green Line headed towards Greenbelt. A trip that should have taken only 20 minutes became an almost hour-long ordeal because of the lovely mess that is single tracking.

Besides reworking my plan to fit the single-tracking, multiple stops on the Orange Line were also closed. But that didn’t stop me, the self-proclaimed queen of the DC Metro: I took the shuttle, got off at Vienna, and got right back on going towards West Falls Church.

Besides the gorgeous Metro sun, I saw stops I didn’t even know existed, like Kings Street (stunning) and Greensboro (beautiful). I met people and gave them my email address, which arguably was a huge mistake on my part. I also learned that if it’s in Virginia, it’s definitely going to be the best stop ever. All of the stops are so spacious, putting our measly Tenleytown-AU station to shame (not like that’s hard). 

Some other highlights were the painful fact that there is no bathroom on the Metro, which I was luckily reminded of about six hours and one sip of water into my trip. I also was lucky enough to breathe in the scent of weed my entire Green Line journey. On top of that, I saw deer!

You’re probably wondering, ‘what did she do for 11 hours?’ Not quite sure as I blocked out most of this experience, but I do remember looking out the window for a good part of the 11 hours, eating granola bars, and of course, doing my homework. 

Now, if I were to classify my entire Metro extravaganza with a singular song, it would have to be “You’ll Always Find Your Way Back Home,” by Hannah Montana. The sole reason is that, no matter what stop I was at, from Huntington to U Street to Eastern Market, I still found my way back home, 11 hours after I left.