Hartford to Providence Expedition 2015
Explorers: Ken Kurland, Nancy Jonap and Loredana Delucchi
July 27 (Day 1) Hartford to Manchester:
The walk started in Hartford train station after taking the NYC train to Hartford and arriving after 11:00 a.m. Walk about a mile from Hartford station to the start of the Hartford to Willimantic segment of the East Coast Greenway. Today's walk is estimated to be about 10 miles.
Nancy started to post some Facebook pictures around mid-day and we have a collection of about 6 or so. I'm counting on Loredana to provide her usual great collection of event photos to which we'll upload at the end of the event.
I spoke to Ken at 7:00 p.m. and he said all had gone well but the heat made the going tougher than they estimated. Tonight they are staying at the Manchester Inn. The area they are in is still somewhat commercial with malls but more spread out. The trail was pretty easy to follow so far.
I told Ken of our plans (Molly Henry - ECGA, Laurel Carpenter - Waltham Land Trust, and me (PK) are planning a rendezvous in Columbia/Williamantic and walk the entire 3rd day (Columbia-Putnam) distance about 30 miles. I think they will appreciate some team support for their longest day.
July 28 (Day 2) Manchester to Columbia:
8:00 p.m. - Putnam, CT
I take off from my home in Morristown about 4:00 p.m. to head to Putnam CT the destination for Wednesday's 29 mile walk from Columbia to Putnam. Arriving here to find the Kings Inn (let's just say it in no way lives up to its name) where I sign in and head to town for dinner. Luckily, Putnam is a cute old town with lots of dinner choices and outdoor dining. 85 Main was my choice and for the most part it was a good one.
I called Ken and found that they had a very tough day walking in the heat for 23 miles. Exhausted, they nearly gave up. With that in mind, my plan for walking the next day's 29 miles with them needed to change. Talk was of some stopping altogether or limiting the rest of the walk. We knew that rest was needed but confidence needed to be re-built too. So, I changed my plan to becoming the support sag wagon for the next day instead of walking. This way, I would be around for fresh supplies and to carry a good part of their baggage.
July 29 (Day 3) Columbia to Putnam:
Laurel Carpenter of Waltham, MA (coordinator at the Boston Greenbelt Wlk) and Molly Henry (New England Trail Coordinator for the ECGA) joined me in Putnam at 7:00 am for a one-day trek with the group. We adjusted our plans so that we dropped off cars so they could leave along the way back. We met Nancy, Ken and Loredana after 9:00 in Willimantic and all began walking the famed Air Line Trail. Laurel set her own pace and stayed ahead of us for the rest of the walk.
Although all 3 of our core explorers were fatigued, they gradually found the energy to keep going to this mid-way point. Nancy and Ken took an hour or so break and moved up with the car. They decided to skip the last five miles and take advantage of a car ride to Putnam. Often motels were off the trail and the extra mileage there easily made up for a few short ones at the end of the day. I headed back at about 6:00 p.m. and made it back to Morristown abut 9:15 pm - smooth sailing on Rt 95.
Molly had assisted our explorers with a list of ECGA backup contacts all along the way in case they needed help. For Putnam and beyond, our group saw that a little help, especially between trail and lodging might help. Charlie, our contact in this area came to the rescue and helped shuttle them to Putnam for dinner, which was a couple miles away. After a long day walking 20 miles it was a welcome service and a nice element to add to planning these remote events.
July 30 (Day 4) Putnam to Moosup: