Walk Across Connecticut — Day 1

Senator Chris Murphy
4 min readAug 14, 2017

Last year, I spent six days in August walking across the state, seeing Connecticut in a new way, and hearing from constituents about the issues that matter most to them.

Today, I laced up my same pair of sneakers and hit the road again. The route is new — I’m starting in Killingly and ending in Danbury — but the goal is the same: to meet people where they are, to listen to their stories, and to hear directly from the folks who sent me to Washington about what they want me to be doing there.

I’m walking for five days, 108 miles, through 22 towns. I hope you’ll follow along for all of it. Here’s a recap of my first day on the road:

Update: Want to see more from my walk across Connecticut? Check out my recaps from Day 2, Day 3, Day 4 and Day 5.

No slow start here— I dove right in today with 24 miles. This is my route from Killingly to Willimantic.
I kicked off my walk bright and early at 6am starting at Killingly Town Hall
Stopped for a bagel at Baker’s Dozen Bakery in Brooklyn. The staff gave me a little inspiration on my to-go container.
Ella’s siblings slept in, but she (and her mom Jennifer) got up early to say hello as I walked by her house.
Steve has been farming his whole life. He’s concerned about the increasing price of farming, especially land acquisition.
I made great time heading through Killingly, Brooklyn and Hampton. Here I am thinking about what I’m going to eat for lunch once I made it to Scotland.
The most glamorous part of walking 100+ miles in five days? Blister prevention.
Had a fantastic lunch at the newly reopened Scotland General Store — a ham and salami grinder and a Diet Mountain Dew.
A well built stone wall is a piece of art. There’s a lot of great art in eastern Connecticut.

After the tragic events that unfolded in Charlottesville this weekend, I was looking forward to getting out on the road and talking to people face to face and hear how they were feeling.

It just so happened that there was a demonstration planned in solidarity with Charlottesville on the way to my town hall in Willimantic. I was able to stop by, talk to the crowd, and hear from people one-on-one.

Yesterday’s events reminded us that racism, anti-Semitism and homophobia are tragically alive and well in this country. The moral arc does not bend toward justice on its own. It will take each and every one of us speaking out and acting — not just in Washington but right here at home — to create the kind of country we want to live in.

With just a few hours notice, more than a hundred people assembled in Willimantic for a demonstration against racism and in support of the community in Charlottesville. It warmed my heart to be a part of it.
Signs on display at the rally.
The last mile or so before my town hall at ECSU was almost all uphill — luckily I had the view of “Victorian Willimantic” to distract me.
I wrapped up Day 1 with a town hall at Eastern Connecticut State University in Willimantic. Hundreds of people came out to ask questions on everything from foreign policy to the foster care system.

Hearing from constituents is the single most important part of my job. Folks tonight brought up so many issues that are weighing on their minds — some of them I’ve worked on extensively, and some of them are new to me. Some of the questions tonight allowed me to talk about the things I’ve helped accomplish in my four years in the Senate, but so many of them illustrated just how much work there is to do.

People put their trust in me when they sent me to Washington. It’s a responsibility I don’t take lightly. Town hall meetings like the one tonight help me make sure that I’m honoring that responsibility.

I ended the night at a local favorite — Willimantic Brewing Company. In case you’re wondering, I got the wings.

50,679 steps later and day one is officially over. I can’t wait to do it all again tomorrow in Columbia, Hebron, Marlborough, East Hampton, and Portland.