ABOARD THE WASHINGTON METRO (CNN) – By a few stops in, it was standing room only on the second red line subway train in to Washington. A trained filled with bodies, with the added density of many layers.
Benica Tripleti and Cole Campbell were among 54 from Eastern Kentucky University who started the day with a 2 am bus ride from their Gettysburg, Pennsylvania hotel to the first subway stop in the Washington suburbs.
The group was planning to plant themselves on the Mall. They professed the temperature was colder than these Southerners were used to but were undaunted by the anticipated crowds.
"We are Southerners, so we don't say anything 'can't do'," said Tripleti.
"We are expecting chaos," said Campbell.
Tripleti's goal, she said, was "to see Obama's head."
Standing near them were Kathie Easom and Christine Hannon. The couple, from upstate New York, weren't fazed by the cold.
"It will be 50 degrees warmer," than they are used to, joked Hannon.
The two were looking to watch the proceedings on a screen from the Mall.
"It's a once in a lifetime event," said Easom.
More ambitious were Corey Waters and his two sons, Thad and Matthew. The three had driven from their Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania home starting at midnight, and were the "third or fourth" car in line when the subway parking lot open at the Shady Grove metro.
Waters said they hoped to get a spot near the Capitol and then find a second spot later to see the parade.
"We want to be close to the swearing in," Corey Waters said as they walked with the crowd to the Mall.
The family had tickets for the parade route for a Clinton inauguration, and were dismayed tickets were hard to come by this time.
Waters said they were looking forward to the "good camaraderie with others."