Too much to say–The Walking Tour’s visit to Bellingham


The Walking Tour hanging out at High Street Fields in the shade

I’ve been hoping the Massachusetts Walking Tour would come to Bellingham for over three years now. The past year has been an intense time of planning, working together with Mark Mandeville and Raianne Richards. And the reality has been as fun as I could have hoped.

Raianne gave me a call in the morning to say they had already gotten into Bellingham from Medway, their previous stop in the tour, and would soon be at the High street fields, where we’d hoped to take a quick walk together down to the banks of the Upper Charles River. The day was getting warm, but was still early enough  I decided to see if it was possible. Most people sweat when it gets warm, which naturally helps keep their bodies cooler. I lack this important ability, so it is always a risk for me to go out in warm weather. But the Trail to the Charles river is probably my favorite one in town. I grabbed all my ice and water mister and headed out.


Kiosk at the trailhead makes finding the trail much easier. Unfortunate that this also made it a target for vandalism

Thankfully gypsy moths dislike maple trees, so we had plenty of shade, plus a picnic table, where we hung out for a few minutes before heading over to the trail. What we found, once at the trail head, was vandalism at the kiosk built by Eagle Scot Sean Boddy. I head the Sean is determined to repair the damage, and it is deeply disappointing to see this kind of damage after all Sean’s hard work.


Raianne tests out the bridge Sean built over the intermittent stream. A great addition to the trail

The intermittent stream that crosses the trail had a good bit of water, so I was deeply grateful for the bridge Sean built as part of his Eagle Scout project–no face plants in mud for me this time! In the past though…

We discovered that the gypsy moths had eaten most of the shade on the trai to the river–the oaks in this area are stripped nearly bare, so the trail was littered with shredded oak leaves as well as masses of pine needles, which the moths only eat when they’ve run out of oak leaves.


Hanging out on the banks of the Upper Charles River

Regardless of the diminished shade, we reached the banks of the Charles, took in the views, then headed back. DSC00989.JPGThe Walking Tour was getting hungry!


Heading in to Famous HOuse of Pizza on North Main Street

While Famous House of Pizza has no air conditioning, they do have a shaded porch, as well as ceiling fans.


Generous helpings of marinated grilled chicken on Greek salads were more than we could finish

Most of us choose cool Greek salads with marinated grilled chicken. The servings were so generous we ended up with enough to make a great second meal that evening.


Vito qualifies for the Clean Plate Club

Some of the troupe opted for a sub sandwich, and the youngest member of the troupe, Vito, the source of very gentle teasing throughout this whole trip, qualified as a member of the Clean Plate Club!


Thanks, Maria and Anglo, for the feast on your shady porch!

Onward down N. Main they went, with a quick stop at Honey Dew Donuts where folks there had questions about five people walking in, each wearing 50 pound backpacks, with instruments hanging from their packs. The quest for iced coffee turned into an opportunity to make some more friends.


Hanging out in Ralph and Carolle’s back yard

My good friends Ralph and Carolle Lawson shared their backyard, laundry facilities, shower and refrigerator with the walkers. The added benefit is that they live just down the street from the Bellingham library, so after getting a rest in the shade and getting some clothes washed, and some showers,


Headed down Blackstone Street, almost at the Library

it was an easy walk down the street to the concert.


Just outside the Library, having some fun


Walking tour groupie “Yogo Bob” hanging out with Vito and Mark prior to the concert

The Community room was full as people got to the concert early, eager to enjoy the show.


A full house in the Bellingham library community room

It was a true intergenerational event,


Bellingham Senior chorus, with sit ins, Raianne and Collete

with performers from the Bellingham Senior Chorus singing,


Ric Allendorf entertains the crowd


Not your average Joel plays his drums with his feet

along with Ric Allendorf, Collette O’Connor, Harrison “not” Ford, Not you average Joel, and of course,


The Walking tour members prepare to start the show with an accapella number

the Walking Tour members as well.


Some in the audience couldn’t keep still, which was just fine–dancing was encouraged!

Children and adults got out of their seats to dance to the lively music,


Grownups danced too, choosing to keep to the back, but moving all the same

stunning harmonies, and infectious rhythms.


Collette and a member of the senior Chorus danced after the show

The dancing continued after the show as well.


Making friends with the construction crew who are finishing work on a section of the SNETT–great work, Lawrence Lynch Corp. of Falmouth!

The morning sent the Walking Tour on their way down Rt. 126 to Center street, as they headed to the SNETT trail entrance on Lake Street in Bellingham, destination Franklin. The SNETT has been a proposed trail for nearly thirty years, but just last week DCR got contractors started on the section of trail the walkers hoped to use to easy their path to Franklin. We arrived this morning to find construction folks at the trail head. The Lawrence Lynch Corporation has already smoothed the path from Lake STreet to Prospect Street, with more gravel and crushed stone still to be added to the trail.


As always, people had questions, and the Walking Tour members take the time to explain what they’re doing, making new friends along the way

But as we talked with the crew, we found them quite willing to send us on the way, and they waited to start up their equipment till the Walking tour was safely on their way to Franklin.


LIttle ones with backpacks join in on the fun

This group headed to Franklin was intergenerational–including Bellingham Library director Bernadette Rivard, Ann Kuncewicz, and a mom and who are library patrons too.


Heading out, the Walking tour members, Library director Bernadette, plus other Bellingham folks as well

The walking tour will be at the temporary location for the Franklin Public Library, 25 Kenwood Circle, off Grove Street, tonight, 6-8PM. Just one more concert on this leg of the tour after tonight. Don’t miss out! The story isn’t over…


On to Franklin! on the SNETT

Marjorie Turner Hollman

Marjorie Turner Hollman is a writer who loves the outdoors, and is the author of Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd editionMore Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd editionEasy Walks and Paddles in the Ten Mile River Watershed, and Finding Easy Walks Wherever You Are. Her memoir, the backstory of Easy Walks, is My Liturgy of Easy Walks: Reclaiming hope in a world turned upside down.


Filed under Blog posts--Easy Walks

5 responses to “Too much to say–The Walking Tour’s visit to Bellingham

  1. auntie beak

    Great post and great pics, Marjorie! Wish I could be there.

    • marjorie561

      Yeah, so sorry you couldn’t join us–but it looks like they may be coming to the Ten Mile River area next summer, so stay tuned. Now to get the next book finished…

    • marjorie561

      Thanks for reading and commenting. Wish you could have joined us. Perhaps next year…

  2. Walking, singing, eating,and dancing together on a sunny day in June? What could be better? Wonder if the Walking Tour could manage to cross Vineyard Sound . . .

    • marjorie561

      Hmmm, this past tour put a boat to use to transport the troupe from one side of Webster Lake to the other. I can suggest it! (Of course, that puts you in line to help with housing, finding venues, plotting out a course, finding funding, writing letters of support for cultural council grants, etc.) But I’ll let them know you’d like them to visit 🙂

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