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Day 10, Tuesday 11 August 1998

This was another short day; I must have failed to update the distance estimates on my itinerary, though, because I ended up driving a little farther than yesterday instead of a few dozen miles less. Anyway, as was the case yesterday, I had allotted more time than necessary for the two brief stops and for fighting traffic; however, I had not allotted enough time for getting lost! Twice, that is--first in Jersey City, then across the river in New York City.

Shell in Jersey City

I was 25 minutes late for my stop at the Shell station in Jersey City, NJ; it wouldn't have been a problem with regard to refueling, since they accept cash for compressed natural gas as well as gasoline and so I didn't need somebody to meet me there with a fuelcard. However, David Kronick of the North Bergen Economic Development Advisory Commission (with me in the photo above) had stayed to greet me; thanks for your patience, and thanks also to Ellen Bourbon, Coordinator of the North Jersey Clean Cities Coalition, who steered me there.

Then I went over into New York City and promptly got lost again attempting to get onto the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway to head east. I have been using maps from the Alternative Fuels Data Center and in the 1995 "Pocket Guide to NGV Fueling Stations" from the American Gas Association for "terminal guidance" to my stops, but for the broader picture I make use every day of the 1998 North American Touring Handbook from the Harley Owners Group. Though they'd probably be embarrassed to see me using it on a four-wheeled tour, I have found that the maps of major cities (including New York City) are both detailed enough and wide-scale enough to get me back on my way when I get turned around.

I then stopped at Marketspan, the natural gas utility company on Long Island, and took on some fuel; fortunately, Ron Gulmi had advised me to allot an extra hour, so I was fifteen minutes early instead of 45 minutes late after I got lost! He met me there and topped off my van; there was going to be a public-affairs person there to take photos, but he or she had been called away to something else, and since they didn't really want photos of their installation on the WWW without at least a little quality control (I'm very much an amateur-grade photographer, in case you hadn't noticed), I didn't take any shots either. Thanks for the fuel and good wishes, though, and thanks also to Barry Allen of Marketspan, who set me up there.

During today's driving, I noticed at least one transit bus and one government vehicle with CNG markings, in addition to the Marketspan vehicles. Also, yesterday as I was driving through south New Jersey I was passed by a CNG Ford Contour, probably one of the recent bi-fuel OEM jobs, going like the proverbial pipistrello fuori dall' inferno... No performance problems there! In addition, a recent series of Ford environmental ads has talked about the fact that their alternative-fueled vehicles are so real-world that you can hail one in New York City, referring to their CNG Crown Victoria taxicabs (though I got lost in a part of the city where not many taxis appeared to go...). So, just from casual observations, it's clear that the two Clean Cities whose territories I visited today, and the neighboring White Plains CC, are doing a good job of encouraging adoption of alternative-fueled vehicles.

Next I drove back to I-95, then crossed into Connecticut and took CT Route 8 to Waterbury, CT, where I'll spend the night. Sorry about the paucity of pictures; I didn't have time between scheduled stops to go to Liberty Park in Jersey City and photograph the Statue of Liberty, though I saw her from the road. Also, what I said a few days ago about the difficulty of shooting state-line signs where the borders are on bridges across rivers goes double in the traffic of the New York City area!

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new 11 August 1998, revised 12 August 1998