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More Coast and a River

September 28, 2012

Connecticut – Thursday, Sept. 27

I got everything packed up, then headed for the town of Mystic. Before we got there, I drove past Mystic Seaport, and although I didn’t go in (it deserved more time than I would have today), Tula and I still got out for about a 2 mile walk. It’s overcast, and I figured I better walk while the walking was good. We got sprinkled on a little, but nothing major. i decided I would head a little farther east to Stonington, almost to the Rhode Island border. It was another pretty little town which didn’t seem to be quite so touristy. It almost seemed to have a bit of a European flavor with narrow one-way streets and small shops all packed in together, and colorful houses built right next to each other and the sidewalks. Some of the homes had discreet little plaques on them giving a bit of historical information, and as I leaned over to read another little plaque, it said “on this site in 1897 nothing happened” – haha! I walked out to the harbor there as well, and we got a mile and a half in before I went to a small restaurant and got some homemade chick pea, spinach and tomato soup and a house salad – I was needing some veggies! I planned to head inland again today, but first drove through the town of Mystic (very touristy – I didn’t get out) and then I came to Groton. I was thinking this would be a good food-pantry-donation sort of day, so I stopped to look into that a bit, and the food pantry at the Niantic Community Church caught my eye. I called them up, and the lady I spoke with said they could use peanut butter, cereal, veggies and baked beans. So I found a grocery store, and got some of all of that. En route to Niantic, we went through New London and I couldn’t resist taking the exit marked ‘waterfront area’. There was a nice walkway right on the waterfront, passing small (and not-so-small) piers. I had to cross train tracks to get there, and enjoyed watching both a freight train and a passenger train go by. I was hoping to see a couple ships or boats entering or leaving the harbor, but no luck there. There’s a submarine base and a coast guard school in the area, so a life by the sea is nothing new.

Once we finished that walk, it was just a short drive to the church to drop off the food. I carried everything in, and they were all very nice and appreciative, and wondered how I had found them. So I started to tell them my story, and one lady called another lady to come in and listen, and then she asked if she could take some pictures and do an interview! Of course I had been camping the night before and had just finished a walk by the waterfront in the wind and was a bit grubby, but I guess that’s me more often than not these days – I’m outside a lot! She got some pictures of me by the food donations, and then we sat down to talk (she took a lot of notes!) and then she even went outside to get some pictures of Tula! They might print some of it up in their church bulletin.

From there it was time to head inland along the Connecticut River, and after looking at my Triple A book, I decided to stop in Essex to finish off the day’s walking. What sold me was the statement that sea captain’s houses still stand on Main Street. It was another pretty town – good for walking, and still seems to have a busy boatyard. In the late 1700s through mid 1800’s this river town seemed to be a hub of Connecticut sea voyages, and was the start of many long voyages around the world.

Once we had walked a couple miles, I found a laundromat outside of town (a necessary evil!) and got a couple of loads in the wash, and them went back to town to walk the last mile. So I finished the days’ walking, and all the clothes are clean again, and we drove a little farther to the center of the state for the night.

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