The road home

Litchfield county, for me, is always a hard place to leave. Four nights a week, a work along the Connecticut shoreline which is a highly urbanized area of the state. Hustle and bustle is everywhere compared to the laid back atmosphere we have around these parts. Every morning, I look forward to the road home. It’s a long commute, but along the way theres a variety of things to see. As I travel through the city it’s like a different world, everyone running here and running there. I often find myself asking why and what all the rush is about. Life is too short to rush.

Route 8 through Beacon Falls

As I escape the city and head west into the Naugatuck River Valley, a different culture emerges. This is western New England. Laid back starts here, or at least is supposed to. In recent years, the city culture has taken  over the valley. As I make my way north on Route 8, elevations start to rise in Beacon Falls and Naugatuck. This is my half way point. I’m almost in Litchfield County now! Passing through Route 8 in Beacon Falls is amazing.  Here, you drive through a ravine where the Naugatuck river whimsically winds it’s way though the winding valley as the hills peak high to the sky.

Continuing on my journey north on Route 8, I finally come to my

Waterbury's Union Station clock tower

old hometown of Waterbury. Waterbury is a great city. A more relaxed city than that of the shoreline cities. Waterbury is located in the central Naugatuck river valley. Here the hills are rolling and aren’t as dramatic as the hills of Litchfield county. Driving through you see old brass mills as Waterbury was once the brass capital of the world, hence it’s nickname “The Brass City”. Besides all of the brass mills, Waterbury is now a thriving city. Hotels, retail outlets, first class resteraunts make up this valley city and former mill town. Though one land mark still amazes me to this day. The clock tower.

As I continue north and start the climb into Litchfield county, I finally hit Watertown. I’ve finally made it! I’m back in Litchfield county! From here, the speed limits rise to 65MPH and traffic is practically non-existent on this two lane highway. The hills continue to rise and become steeper the further north you go. One thing that welcomes me home is being able to turn on our local radio station FM 97.3 WZBG and listen to Jeff Zeiner (correct me on spelling) and his “Northwest News” updating me about news I might have missed overnight while I was out of the county. Here’s a hint: Not a whole lot happens, though I still listen.

Driving through Route 8 in Thomaston is an amazing scene. Church steeples rise and against the mountainous backdrop. This is New England at it’s best. Simple yet sophisticated. Continuing on my journey north through Thomaston, I finally escape the blacktop in exchange for the white country roads. It is here that elevations really begin to rise and forested land dominates the landscape. Climbing north, pine trees also dominate the landscape more so than any other tree it seems.

Relaxing at Burr Pond in Torrington

Finally, over an hour later through cities, valley’s, and forests I reach my destination:  Torrington. A small, quiet, country city nestled in the Berkshire foothills or otherwise known as the Litchfield Hills. I love living in Torrington, and I love living in the Litchfield Hills. Though my commute is long I love it for how much I get to see along the way. Would I rather work at home here in the hills? Sure! Absolutely! Though for now, it’s great to come home to a place of less hustle and bustle…

Mike can be reached for comment at: NorthwestCTMike@aol.com

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