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Day 9, Monday 10 August 1998

Yesterday was one of the longest driving days of this journey; today was the shortest yet, and the first under 200 miles. When I decided on which days to visit which cities, I set times between stops based on, first, the assumption that each stop would need an hour or so for a media event (potentially, anyway), and second, the Westerner's prejudice that the highways on the East Coast are completely clogged and you can't maintain any reasonable speed! Both assumptions were wrong today; Baltimore, MD, Wilmington, DE, and Philadelphia, PA didn't need me to help with publicity, and the highways were running at the speed limit almost the entire length of the drive. Thus I was able to spend a little while with my great-aunt and -uncle this morning before I hit the road, and then I just drove to Delaware...

entering Delaware

... to refuel at a Texaco station in Wilmington. Thanks to Paul Newmeyer of Delmarva Power, who arranged the stop, and Dwayne Olivieri and Karl Brock of Delmarva, who met me there to bypass the card reader (some gasoline stations with natural-gas dispensers will accept cash or credit cards, but others require a natural-gas-company fuel card; it's been about half and half so far on this trip).

Then I drove on to Princeton, NJ. I went to Princeton University for my undergraduate degree (1985), and I hadn't been back since our first reunion, so since I had arrived early in the afternoon I drove there to revisit my old haunts. They wouldn't let me drive onto the campus, so I found a parking space next to the FitzRandolph Gate on Nassau Street for a photo; that's Nassau Hall, the oldest building on campus, in the background.

Princeton University

I spent about an hour and a half wandering around the mostly-deserted campus (the school year starts late here), mulling over opportunities seized and opportunities missed since I arrived there at half my present age. Bah--I'm too young to be thinking like that! On the other hand, while looking at some of the construction going on at the south end of campus, I found that I have become the kind of alumnus who says "Harrumph! That was all open fields when I was here!" Oh well, at least I'm not offended by the modern architecture of the new buildings...

Anyway, this was a short day, and tomorrow will be even shorter, at least in mileage driven (the shortest planned for this journey). So I am doing laundry and catching up on the website updates; tomorrow I will go north to Jersey City, and then venture into New York City. Imagine a roomful of people saying "New York City?!?" in the tone of those old Pace picante sauce ads...

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new 10 August 1998, revised 11 August 1998