Miles Today: 79
Miles to Date: 13,085
States to Date: 33
My navigation strategy – plotting a route on goggle maps for bicycles the night before, writing it down in my small pad to cement it to memory and provide a written reference as I ride – works pretty well everywhere but in the Northeast, where traffic on the main roads is fierce and unmarked side roads twist upon themselves like wisteria vines. I left Hartford with four pages of directions, and knew it would be a day of constant reference to my pad and my phone as I missed turn after turn.
I visited several more post-industrial cities in this land of bygone manufacturing. Waterbury, the Brass City which I explored in depth for my novel, Weekends in Holy Land, is toothless as the glazed over people with bad teeth wandering its streets. The drug problems here are immense.
I rode to Newtown for the incompatible objectives of visiting Sandy Hook Elementary School and eating at the Blue Colony Diner, one of my all time favorites. Unfortunately, I hit so many snags on my route I couldn’t stall my hunger that long. I ate lunch on a bench along the bike path in Middlebury, but held out for an awesome Blue Colony dessert when I got there about 3 p.m.
A light rain began to fall by the time I got to Sandy Hook, which has been renamed and has no reference or memorial that I could decipher. A full-blown thundershower followed. By the time I got to Newtown Center, I was drenched. Then, the sun came out. I wrung everything out and dried off during my final ten miles to Danbury.
My host, Rick, is a chef. After a shower that washed away the trials of travel, we enjoyed a superb dinner, including homemade brew. Good food and good company evaporate hardship.