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On October 26 at 1PM, the West Hartford Public Library will host a PowerPoint presentation by author and historian Marty Podskoch and his new book, The Connecticut 169 Club: Your Passport and Guide to Exploring Connecticut.
The new travel book encourages travelers to visit all of the towns and villages of our beautiful and unique state. The 169 Club will be in the same format as Marty's popular Adirondack 102 Club.
The idea for the travel club guides began after Podskoch read about Dr. Arthur Peach in the December 11, 2005 issue of American Profile Magazine. Dr. Peach, in a story in Vermont Life magazine, suggested the idea of an informal group, the 251 Club, to veer off the beaten path “…to discover the secret and lovely places that main roads do not reveal.” He felt that every part of Vermont had its beauty, history, attractions, traditions, and interesting people.
After writing five books about the Adirondacks he decided to do a travel book to get people to visit all 102 towns in the Adirondacks. The result was his Adirondack 102 Club: Your Passport and Guide to the North Country in 2015.
Marty Podskoch was a teacher in the Catskills and came to Conn. in 2005. He decided to write a book on the Connecticut CCC camps. He traveled to over 100 towns in Conn. where he gave talks on the CCC and people shared their stories and photos. His Connecticut Civilian Conservation Corps Camps: History, Memories & Legacy of the CCC was published in 2016.
As he traveled throughout the state he marveled at the great diversity of villages, cities, rivers, lakes, mountains, and seashores. He realized that most of the residents of the state had not traveled as widely as he had and he wanted them to explore his beautiful state.
He created a book to be a guide and a passport. Podskoch got someone from each town to write a short description highlighting their town’s location, history, and interesting places to visit. Podskoch did this because local residents knew more about their town than he. The book has a space for travelers to journal about their experiences and a place to get the book stamped or signed by a resident or business. Travelers will get to know the locals and perhaps learn about a good place to eat or an interesting local attraction. In this way they get to know a lot about Connecticut and its residents.
There is no membership fee, just a desire to experience all of Connecticut. Adults and children of all ages can be members. What a great adventure for families, grandparents, and their grandchildren, or go by oneself. Most members will travel by car while others might use a bike, motorcycle, or maybe a canoe!
People who visit all 169 towns will receive the “Leatherman Award” patch at a luncheon or dinner held at a different town each year. The award is named after the vagabond who lived in caves and traveled a route regularly (approx. 34 days) from the Connecticut River to the Hudson River during the late 1800s.