When I was introduced on the front page of The Register Citizen to the community, I was introduced as a newcomer to the area, which is of course true. I moved to Torrington in July of 2009 in search of a slower pace of life, which I’ve come to love about the Litchfield Hills region. I’ve spent many years up here, however, and have many fond memories of growing up in the region.
I had family who lived on Mountain Road here in Torrington. I can’t begin to tell you the memories that were created there. That area was such a change from where I had lived in Waterbury. Mountain Road, for those of you who don’t know, is a very rural area of Torrington complete with hillside farms and forests, as it lays very close to Paugnut State Forest. Mountain Road rises high in the sky above Torrington, which of course is the reason for its name. This was the Torrington I knew and have come to fall in love with.
One memory was a Christmas tradition which was visiting Christmas Village, which is operated by the Parks & Recreation department. Christmas Village is a family delight and is well worth the wait, which is sometimes hours long. Though don’t worry, they supply a warm fire for you to stand around to keep warm as well as offer you delicious hot chocolate which you can purchase for a small fee. Once your survive the wait, step right up and enter a world of magic and make-believe. Your first stop is a visit with Santa and if you were a good little boy or girl, you received a thoughtful gift from him made by the elves which were in the next house over. A visit with the elves always had me fascinated, though not as fascinated as my visit with Mrs. Clause was. What a charming woman she is. After your visits with these fine folks, don’t forget about the reindeer’s as well! They’ll be sure to enjoy your company.
I also have many fond memories of Winsted as well. My family owned a summer home, which was really an RV parked seasonal at a campground, in Winsted at White Pines Campsites. This was where I made the most of my childhood growing up. I got to connect with so many wonderful people who I got to grow up with. It was also here where my appreciation for life in the Litchfield Hills deepened. Wether it was hiking the many hiking trails in the region, or spending quality time at the lakes, my summer was loaded with many memories I would never forget. Our family traveled all over Litchfield County countless times over. It was always quite something to see such a change of scenery from my hometown of Waterbury.
In 2003, I started working here in Litchfield County where I discovered Mohawk Mountain Ski area, which was my first job. Unlike my fellow peers, I didn’t want my first job to be at a local McDonald’s. I wanted my first job to be at some place I loved to be, and considering I love skiing and I love the Litchfield Hills region, this was a perfect opportunity. I took a job as a cafe employee, serving food for those looking for a quick bite to eat while enjoying the skiing and riding of the best mountain in Connecticut. After work, it was all downhill from there, literally! Free skiing was in session and was one of the perks of having a job at Mohawk. I just couldn’t resist some downhill fun before heading back to the city. The best part of Mohawk, especially at night, is that from the summit, you feel like you are in the middle of no where as you look at landscape that doesn’t involve any city lights for miles.
Yes, life here in the Litchfield Hills has been pretty grand. These are just a few of the memories I have, of course, and I’m sure that there are countless of other ones that I could have mentioned, though maybe I’ll save those for a future article.
Mike Valletta can be reached for comment at: NorthwestCTMike@aol.com