Day three of my annual Walk Across Connecticut started bright and early on the Litchfield/Morris town line.
Here’s a rundown of my third day:
After last night’s rain, Morris was buggy but beautiful this morning. Along the way, I passed farm fresh eggs and some pristine natural landscapes. A couple of miles in, Marsha stopped to say hello and join me on the road. She works at Bantam Tileworks — a great local artisan shop run by my friends Travis and Darin. We talked about the exciting growing cluster of design businesses in Litchfield County.
Further down Route 63, my friend Eva Bermúdez Zimmerman joined me to walk a mile in Morris. Eva is running for State Senate in the 30th district and is going to bring some fantastic new energy to Hartford. I’m thankful to her for keeping me company!
As I crossed into Watertown, a guy hopped off his lawnmower very angry about Ukraine. He told me that he thinks it’s “none of our business” and that our focus should be on issues closer to home — his idea was more domestic oil drilling. He wasn’t a big fan of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act either. Just in case folks think I only meet supporters out there, that’s certainly not always the case.
Wandering through downtown, I met a few more interesting folks.
I met Stephanie, a nutritionist who started Simply Bowls in Watertown with her husband, who is an accomplished chef. Together, they’re in the business of making meals that are delicious and healthy!
I also talked to a pharmacist from Romania about natural medicine, a high school English teacher about politics in the classroom, a restaurant owner about COVID relief programs, and a mom about school-based mental health.
With temps in the 80s this morning’s hot, sweaty 15-mile walk from Litchfield was going to get me to Waterbury just in time to join HHS Secretary Becerra in town for a roundtable on our gun violence and mental health bill. Since there was no time to shower or change I made one last important stop on my way into town to “freshen up”.
Really grateful to Secretary Becerra for coming to Waterbury to visit Family & Children’s Aid. We talked about how the $12 billion in mental health funding in our gun safety bill is going to help kids in Waterbury. Then, he challenged me to take an over-the-head-shot in the gym. Luckily, I made the shot.
Next stop was one of my favorites of the day — lunch in Waterbury at (one of) the best hot dog joints in Connecticut, Frankies. Their hot dogs are world-famous — at least according to the sign — and believe me, they live up to the hype. I was also glad I got the chance to stop and chat with folks while we ate.
As I started my last stretch of the day on Highland Avenue in Waterbury, I ran into Tori and Teri, who were offering a pretty good deal on some cold, tasty lemonade. Of course, I stopped for a cup.
These folks at the Speak Easy Cafe were nice enough to invite me to sit with them and crash their happy hour. One woman told me about how she has trouble making mortgage payments since she lost her job during the pandemic. I told her about the MyHomeCT program and some of the mortgage assistance resources that are available out there.
Connecticut is kind of the perfect state for this. About 100 miles east to west, 70 miles or so north to south. A long but not impossible walk. To be honest, my legs are starting to feel it, but tomorrow is the final jaunt. Waterbury to New Haven.
See you out there.