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One of Those Days…

September 27, 2012

Connecticut – Tuesday, Sept. 25

Southwest Connecticut – ugh!!! Heavy traffic, construction, too many people, hard to park, can’t see anything good because it’s so built up and commercial. Spent too much time in slow traffic…I KNEW the ocean was out there, but could barely get anywhere to see it!

My plans in the morning had been pretty simple. Since I was already in the middle of a small state, I thought I would head to the southwest corner of the state, on the Atlantic coast, and make my way east across the south end of the state. The most efficient way to get down there was the freeway, and that was probably my first mistake. I knew that the area I was headed for was a corridor for NYC traffic, but figured rush hour would be over by the time I got there. I now believe rush hour is never over in that part of the state, ever!

I got off the freeway several times to try to find a place to walk, but couldn’t find anything that looked semi-interesting, or safe for that matter. Just too much traffic! I got off again somewhere near Saugatuck, where a walk by the river looked okay, but I could only see the river for the first 100 yards or so, then it vanished behind more commercial buildings, people and traffic. The sidewalks got skinny (apparently nobody walks anywhere in some of these places!) and although I did get 2 miles in, they will be pretty far down on the ‘enjoyable walk’ list. Although I was going to go all the way down to Greenwich, I had had enough of the traffic, and decided to head inland. That was a bit better. I came to the town of New Canaan, and although that was at least a nice place to walk through, it was still crowded with lots of traffic so I didn’t go too far. I headed north out of town to the New Canaan Nature Center, and that was a welcome refuge after the morning’s chaotic mess! This was a place that welcomed dogs (even had water dishes out for them, and treats on the front desk – how quickly Tula learns!) There were 2 miles of trails and we walked on all of them, and some of them were nice boardwalk trails. They often host school and scout groups for nature events, although only a few other people were around today, which was fine by me! It’s an environmental education and sanctuary sort of place, and I was very happy to give them my donation today! They definitely provided a sanctuary for me!

Feeling recharged, I decided to end the day as I had originally planned with a long walk around Yale and its town. Considering some of the neighborhoods I went through on my approach to Yale, I began to wonder if my map was correct. It was. Two very different worlds seem to live side-by-side. Since it was after 5 (bad traffic again to get there) I was able to get a nice parking spot right in front of the School of Music (still had to pay the meter-which takes credit cards!)and we spent over an hour and a half walking all around the campus area and a little bit of town. We walked all around the blocks and quadrangles of buildings, and then when gates were open, we went into the quadrangles – so grassy and peaceful and so much pretty architecture. We walked on all those sidewalks too. There were lots of foreign students – I heard several different languages. I think I walked by everything twice as I was wanting to finish my miles, but didn’t want to venture too terribly far from the campus. By dusk security officers were coming out and just standing around in numerous locations. I asked if there was some event going on, and he said they were just there as a deterrent. I knew it was time to leave. Traffic was still pretty heavy, and I just headed east a ways to get out of all the congestion, and called it a day.

Ironically, my brother had sent me a message about southwest Connecticut and to avoid it if possible – he has apparently had the same experience that I did – but, I got the message the morning after I’d already been there. Thanks for trying, Erik!!

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