DANBURY, Conn. — As U.S. Chris Murphy set out Thursday morning for the last 2 miles of his 105-mile walk across Connecticut, he reflected on the differences — and similarities — between the eastern and western sides of the state.
"As you're walking through Eastern Connecticut, it's much more agricultural. People there are worried about an aging population and the future of education in their towns," Murphy said as he set out from Jacqueline's restaurant in Bethel for Rogers Park in Danbury.
"When you get to the Western side of the state, the concerns are more about healthcare and cost of living," he said. "When you walk, you see the state and the people from a different perspective"
But in the end, there are "more issues we have in common," said Murphy, who turned 44 this month.
Murphy, who was making his second annual trek across the Nutmeg State, set out Sunday from Killingly, walking the equivalent of about a marathon a day for four days.
"My feet have seen better days," said Murphy, who sported a UConn hat and a few days worth of beard.
Each night, he hosted a town hall meeting with residents — "the turnouts have been incredible," said Murphy. His last meeting was held Wednesday evening in Newtown, where over 500 people lined the gym at Edmond Town Hall.
On Thursday, he trekked just 10 miles from Newtown to Danbury, with a stop in downtown Bethel along the way. He talked with Alice Byrd Hutchinson, owner of Byrd's Books; shared a blueberry with 2-year-old Autumn Shepheard of Bethel; and exclaimed his surprise to hear from the owner that Jacqueline's restaurant is open seven days a week.
When Murphy took his final steps into Rogers Park, he was greeted by a round of applause from a crowd of 100 supporters.
But it still wasn't time for a break. The senator spent over an hour greeting every member of the crowd — and posing for photos.
And he was on his feet the whole time.
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