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I was really cruising along on my Young Adult novel about a girl traveling the length of the Farmington Canal during the 1800s, when, right around 25,000 words, I realized that I couldn’t proceed without going on that journey myself. While I knew a small chunk of the route like the back of my hand (see my first blog post), what about the rest of it? The canal stretched all the way from New Haven, CT to Northampton, MA and if my main character, Shannon McCarthy, was going to do the whole route, then, by God, so should I. So I put that draft aside, left Shannon in a sort of literary limbo somewhere between Southington and Farmington, CT, and began the CanalTrekker blog in which my kids and I would travel the length of the canal route, following in the footsteps that so many others have traveled over the past two hundred years. Sounds like a plan, right? Sounds like an adventure to us. And so the CanalTrekkers set out to explore the route, to see who we would meet and what we could discover as we follow the trail that Shannon McCarthy would courageously complete upon our return.

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