10K and a Twenty
Sojourneying one step at a time
For my first mini-10K journey, I decided to visit the city of Nashua, NH located southeast to our town and considered one of the “big” cities in New Hampshire (it’s more like a winding and very-active town.) Nashua is right above the Mass border. At it’s furthest end, it supports a large shopping mall where many come to take advantage of our “no-sales tax” merchandise (Live Free or Die) and at the end closest to our town, it simply looks like an extension of what we already have. Houses, land, trees.
The center of Nashua proper is the main street that runs through the old mill, downtown section, it’s where the major commerce is – restaurants, boutiques, bars, – The city has done a lot to revitalize the shopping area and by all accounts, Nashua has it going on. Very cool, very hip.
When Griffin and I completed our border to border walk this summer, we passed through Nashua, but as we were talking to the mayor, we didn’t have much time to look around. This time I took my time – that’s what walking allows you to do.
I parked my car at one end of main street and decided to walk up one side for about 5K steps and then turn around and walk back on the other side. Although I had high hopes of stopping for a lunch along the way (there are some FANTASTIC restaurants in Nashua), the sickness I’m still getting over still prevents me from being much in public for now. Someday I’ll stop coughing.
A river runs through Nashua – literally right through it – the mighty Nashua River on its way to joint the Merrimack. Several businesses (that yellow building is a restaurant) love having a river right outside the window. Who wouldn’t? In the summer, Marc and I have had many lunches overlooking the water.
This river, of course was important for the history and economic vibrancy of the town. Supplies came in, good left.
At one time, due to the manufacturing from the mills (which ran primarily from the water’s power) there was a lot of money in this town. Enough money to include extra ornamentation in the construction of buildings. If you look overhead, you can still see some of the architecture important to this area (and you can clearly see additions that were later added.) In Nashua you’ll find has castle-like turrets, Italian influence, and lots of red brick made from our rich New Hampshire clay.
Some of the old mill buildings have been turned into apartments and a few small businesses, while other sections of the mills are still waiting to be awoken from their long slumbers of disrepair.
The city of Nashua has kept a lot of its history alive by making sure that small details are maintained, from using ornate art-deco lampposts,
to having a stately street clock – there is a sense of time and honor and you walk these streets.
See these ornamental leaves on the sides of the rock planters? They are used as a deterrent to skateboarders. Nothing like a hard stop to get you to change your behavior.
Winter in New Hampshire is gorgeous, unless, it’s a melty kind of day and everything has turned to puddled grey (and of course melt on ice makes for a slippery pathway, more than once I slid on the sidewalk – becareful.)
In front of the Nashua City hall, you’ll find this small monument which you’d never see if you were driving by. Most of you know that New Hampshire is the first in the Primary state but do you really know how deep our political roots go? The answer is deep – very deep.
Here and there you can still see some leftover decorations from the holidays. A majestic wreath on the side of a building,
A multicolored Christmas tree in the lobby of the local hospital, trying it’s hardiest to spread what little cheer it has left.
And even though the snow is melting, in the corner’s of parking lots, you can find mountains plowed onto themselves, just waiting for kids to discovery and climb upon. Not to worry, it’s only January more snow, much more snow will be on its way.
At one point during my walk, I ducked into the Nashua Public library. Large, spacious, and quiet, I go there often to find a corner in which to write. Today, I just checked my phone and contemplated the incredible desire to take a nap. (I didn’t.)
Nashua has invested in art. Everywhere you look there is another mural bringing enjoyment and positivity to those who walk by.
But even in a city, you can’t escape that you are still in New Hampshire. With time, the land will always remind you that you are just a visitor here.
Down by the river, you can find this gorgeous statue honoring the French-English families that helped to settle and establish Nashua.
And of course, along with a river, like any good manufacturing town, Nashua has railroad tracks. It’s how manufactured goods were shipped and delivered. Not used as much anymore but still filled with a rich history.
The sky, which had shown bits of blue when I started, had turned to a gunmetal grey. Damp chilling mist was starting to spit and it was time for me to begin heading home. Walking over to a local coffee shop I ordered a small black coffee – beans from South America transported to and sold all the way in Nashua, NH so I could feel warmed.
Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com
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