Sunday, June 20
As Lee trekked from Windham to Andover he gave interviews by Email,
cell phone, and in person, and our hosts gave us clippings about
the walk from papers across Rhode Island and Connecticut.
As we traveled we also made arrangements for presentations
in NY and NJ, so there was rarely a dull moment during the day or evening.
We spoke in uniform every evening to forty to fifty people.
While many in the audience were aware that French troops passed
through their town, few had any knowledge of the great military,
financial, and social impact of having 5,400 professional
soldiers and a like number of professional sailors paying in silver
for their food and lodging (or ship repairs) for three years in the U.S.
A few sections of the W3R remain as dirt roads -- as they
were in 1781. It is also hard to re-create the scenery that the
French troops viewed, since at that time most of the area was
farmland and there were few trees along the roadway. However,
it is cool to walk up a steep hill in the shade on a warm summer
day and imagine what it was like for soldiers carrying a knapsack
and twenty pounds of armaments while marching in full sunshine.
=== TOP OF PAGE===
Monday, June 21
We drove back to RI so that Lee could hike down some sections
of road in RI and eastern CT that he missed on the first pass
through the area. There were few way-finding signs along the W3R,
but some erected in 1980 are still in fine shape. This one is on
a hill overlooking Plainfield CT.
Later Lee walked trail sections between Andover and East Hartford.
South of Bolton he walked several miles of a roadway
used by the French troops and now going back to being covered by
forest. I was not able to follow him there in the van,
but I got a photo as he reached the town hall in Bolton.
This evening we spoke about the W3R to about forty people
at the Raymond Library in East Hartford. Several people gave us items
related to the W3R or useful as snacks along the trail.
Later Betty and Bill Knose gave us a tour of W3R-related sites
=== TOP OF PAGE===
Tuesday, June 22
Lee started out on Silver Lane in East Hartford.
Here in 1781 eight French treasure wagons were unloaded into the Forbes home,
where the silver would be safer from thieves.
Braving scattered showers, Bill Knose guided Lee through the tangle
of Hartford bridges and streets to Farmingon Ave.
The walk ended in West Hartford.
After cleaning up for dinner, we had a tour of the Silas Deane House
In the evening Lee spoke in Wethersfield to an audience
of about eighty people, while I spoke to about forty
people at a dinner in Plainfield, where we raised our glasses
to toast the memory of General Rochambeau and the French
As part of our talks we describe the present effort to mark the trail,
to develop sites and tours along the trail, and to encourage
all-route events such as Lee's walk. Our Sponsor Recognition Board
listed a wide variety of people and organizations that supported
the Walk with donations of cash, food, transportation, or lodging.
A number of people in the audience contributed to support the trip
as we travelled.