Walking Across Connecticut — Day 3

In case you missed it, I’m attempting to walk across Connecticut. Starting in Voluntown near the RI border and (hopefully) ending in Greenwich. Check out my recaps from Day 1, Day 2, Day 4, Day 5 and Day 6.

Today was a little rough. I walked more than 30 miles and my legs are starting to revolt. I’ve made it 71 miles so far and even though my muscles are achy, it’s been incredible to talk to so many people. Here’s what I saw today on my trek from Chester to East Haven.

Today I walked through Chester, Killingworth, Madison, Guilford, Branford and East Haven.
Muscles weary, feet blistered. So begins Day 3 of my walk across Connecticut, starting in Chester.
Killingworth is a little quiet at 6:30am. Nat was in the yard with his dogs and we chatted for a little while before I set off. Fun Fact — most of my early morning walk in Killingworth was spent on a road called “Roast Meat Hill.” Yum.

On my walk through to Madison, I stopped into a gas station and talked to a man named James. James works in drywall, he’s making about $15 an hour and he has four kids. Despite working 50 hours a week, James still needs to rely on food stamps to feed his kids. Two of James’s children have special needs — one is blind and one has autism — and taking care of them is expensive. Despite working hard and playing by the rules James is still struggling to get by. And he’s not alone. There are thousands of people in Connecticut and millions across the country who work hard and still struggle just to get by. We need to do more to make the economy work for everyone, not just those at the top.

My next stop was at the Madison Boat Center to hear from advocates about how boating plays a big role in the local economy.
Andrea and the Friends of Hammonassett are selling mums on Rt. 1 in Madison. Come on down and buy some for a great cause!
I stopped for lunch at The Marketplace on the Guilford Green. I chatted with some of the customers and refueled with a grilled cheese with bacon. Not going to lie — my legs are hurting.
Met with the Guilford Shellfish Commission at spectacular Shell Beach. People come from all over the state to go clamming here in Guilford.
Back on the road. I have 3.5 hours to walk the last 10 miles of the day to my town hall meeting in East Haven. I’ve already done 20 miles and my legs are asking for a divorce. Body in revolt.
These ladies were using full chicken legs as bait to catch crabs in Branford. They weren’t catching any crabs.
Incredibly, I ended up running 2 minutes AHEAD of schedule for my pop up town hall. So I rewarded myself for the home stretch with a McFlurry.
Tonight’s town hall was at the East Haven Senior Center.
We had a great crowd come out for a discussion on topics like creating opportunity, foreign policy, and the changing economy.
During the meeting I got a surprise from the head of the Connecticut Trolley Museum, which is one of my kids’ favorite places to visit. The museum suffered serious damage after Hurricanes Irene and Sandy hit Connecticut just a few years apart. One of the caseworkers in my office, Kathy, worked with the Trolley Museum and fought on their behalf to ensure that they got they funding they needed from FEMA to rebuild after the storms. In recognition for all of her hard work, the head of the museum created a plaque for Kathy and asked me to give it to her. I’m lucky to have people on my staff like Kathy who are working day in and day out to help advocate for Connecticut families and companies when they need help navigating federal programs.
Shanice, a single mother from East Haven is working full time and going to school. We talked about how hard it is financially to balance work, school and trying to find affordable childcare for her seven year old daughter.
I ended the day with some sweet and sour chicken from Foliage Chinese Food on Main Street.

Today was not easy on my legs but the more I walk the more I am convinced that I’m getting exactly what I hoped for from this project — a chance to see the state in a new way, and hear directly from the people I represent about the issues that matter most. Tomorrow I officially trade in country roads for city streets as I go from East Haven to Bridgeport. I hope you’ll continue to follow along.