Rhode Island State House
Trip Start Mar 02, 2011
192Trip End Oct 14, 2011
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I checked out of my hotel and then went to a Toyota dealer to see if I could get my car serviced. Fortunately, they could take me. I then headed for the Rhode Island Capitol or, as they prefer to call it, the State House.
I had met someone who worked in the State House when I was at another capitol. He had told me that with an advance reservation you could go up to the top of the dome. I asked him if he could make the reservation for me and he said he could. I picked a time of 1:00. With the delay of getting my car serviced it was getting near 1:00 so I headed directly for the tour office.
The person at the tour office told me that they used to offer dome tours but they had stopped recently. I explained what had happened. She called the person I had met, the person who used to give the tours and the security people, who now have the key to the dome. Since I was told I could do it everyone agreed that I should be allowed to go up. I may be the last person to ever get a dome tour.
I went to the library where I met the person who was going to escort me up. He got the key from the security people and off we went. The key was for the door to the stairs that eventually lead up to the top of the dome. The door can only be locked from the outside so we left the door open and headed up.
The first stop was a roof near the base of the dome. We went back inside and climbed between the inner dome and outer dome, eventually reaching a spot where you can look down through the circular hole at the top of the inner dome.
We continued climbing until we reached a hatch that lead up onto a small walkway around the top of the dome. We spent some time admiring the great views and then headed back down.
When we got to the door we were in for a surprise; a guard had noticed that the door was open so he locked it. Since there was no lock on the inside we were locked in. Fortunately my guide had brought his cell phone. He called the library. There was someone in the library who was just starting a tour so she came to get us out. We slipped the key under the door so she could unlock the door. After we got out we joined her tour.
When the tour was over I went back and took some pictures. Then I headed for Hartford, CT and found a room for the night.