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Detour

May 2024
1min read

Reading Richard F. Snow’s article on Yorktown (“History Happened Here,” September/October), I found myself sympathizing with the author’s difficulty in getting where he was going, as the occasional unplanned side trip is far from unknown to me. Americans have long been notorious for their difficulties in geography. Indeed, my native Maryland was literally shaped by geographic imprecision, and by the time Messrs. Mason and Dixon settled the matter, we seem to have misplaced much of what is today southern Pennsylvania and the state of Delaware. However, I was startled by Mr. Snow’s route to Yorktown and Williamsburg. After a much delayed flight to Norfolk, the author says, “I made my way over and under the Chesapeake via the Bay Bridge Tunnel and headed for Colonial Williamsburg, where … a mile and a half away from the biggest tourist attraction on the Eastern seaboard, I got lost.”

If this was, in fact, Mr. Snow’s route, he was more lost than he realized, for his travels would have taken him across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, through the spectacularly scenic eastern shores of Virginia and Maryland, past Annapolis and Washington, D.C., and finally south into the York peninsula, more than three hundred miles out of his way. Is it possible the author, fatigued by his travel, mistook the Hampton Roads for Chesapeake Bay?

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