Predictably, the trail got busier and more urban as Manchester drew near. Fantastically, the trail brings you straight into the city, which means if you live here, you could walk out your front door and jump on a trail that’ll take you halfway across the state.
Of course, the trail doesn’t take you straight into downtown Manchester. Instead, it leads into what seems to be the warehouse district in South Manchester. That would make sense, considering the old rail line would have gone where there was freight to be loaded.
It’s not the best part of town; I saw one sign in the window of a bar & grill that said “No Colors (i.e., no street gang insignia) … No Attitudes … No Exceptions!” I didn’t go in. I was afraid I might accidentally say something attitudinous. What they would do to you, I wondered, if you forgot to say please?
Speaking of attitudes, almost half the road crossings today were posted with an official orange sign that said “Stay On Trail Or Stay Home.” At first, I found that statement to be a tad curmudgeonly. But the more I saw it, the more it seemed wildly inappropriate.
I am grateful that this rail trail allowed me to spend the last two days away from traffic. I’d love to see more trails like this one, connecting one community to the next. But until that happens, let’s remember that it’s not illegal to walk alongside most roads. I won’t stay home just because there is no trail that leads to my destination.