In case you missed it, I decided to walk across Connecticut. I started in Hartland near the MA border and will be ending in New Haven. Check out my recaps from along the way — Day 1.
In the three years I’ve done this Walk Across Connecticut I have been VERY lucky when it comes to weather. I was worried that my luck had finally run out when I saw the forecast for today — hot in the morning and thunderstorms all afternoon — but it ended up being another great day on the road, full of good conversations.
Here’s what I saw along the way on day two of my walk across the state:
Halfway down Albany Ave it starts pouring rain. Luckily, I’ve got a big umbrella and there are plenty of businesses to stop in to talk with people. I visit a laundromat, a barbershop and a bank before making it to the Wilson-Gray YMCA for a meeting with local students.
The kids take me for a tour of the YMCA before our sit-down and I’m blown away by all of the services they offer — childcare, fitness, camps for kids of all ages, career readiness — it’s amazing.
One of the perks of today’s route is the chance to walk through Wethersfield, the town where I grew up. I pass by my childhood best friend’s house, our old sledding hill and the fields where I played little league as a kid. I even get to walk by the house I grew up in, where my parents still live.
For all of my fear about the weather it ends up being a beautiful day. The storm earlier in the afternoon doesn’t last long and it finally breaks open the heat wave we’ve been experiencing. All of a sudden it’s a great evening for walking.
As I end my day, I can’t stop thinking about one guy I met this morning in Hartford. Glenn had just finished a shift at KFC at 2 am and was getting ready to start a 9 am shift at a restaurant in the North End. He’s working 60+ hours a week and still can’t pay the rent each month.
It’s a story I heard a lot today, and it’s one I’ve heard every single year I’ve done this walk. People are working hard, they’re doing everything we ask of them, and they are still struggling.
It’s not enough to just have a job. We need to make sure that these are good-paying jobs that pay the rent and put food on the table. Jobs that have benefits like health care and that allow people to save for retirement.
Talking with Glenn reminds me exactly what I’m fighting for in Washington. And it leaves me feeling ready to hit the road again tomorrow.