The Tunnel is OPEN.
Here’s the proof.
July 8 came and went in dreary rain without the anticipated Grand Opening of the newly constructed tunnel connecting the Rail Trail with the Mascoma River Greenway in downtown Lebanon, now rescheduled for July 15 from 4:00 to 6:30 pm. If you’re itching to get on with the festivities before then, you can create your own personal celebration simply by walking, or biking, or scootering through. (Even saw a skateboarder.) Pause just inside the entrance to play something—maybe an inspirational Sousa-type march—on the community piano there.
The tunnel is beautiful and bigger than expected, bathed in light throughout, with what seems like acres of wall space that will someday host well-chosen public art. And there are clearly marked lanes separating those on foot from those on wheels.
A high-tech covered bike rack at the tunnel entrance in the lower parking lot will communicate with you if you’d like. It asks questions and posts answers.
Just through the tunnel from the parking lot heading toward the Greenway, a small pocket-ish park appears with a bench and picnic tables (below).
The Greenway holds its own attractions, like the found art or fairy garden (below),
as well as the offer of painted rocks. We can hope that Oliver will be inspired to restock the inventory.
A 45-minute stroll on Saturday was about my limit. I replenished the calories spent on the Greenway with two tacos from Lalo’s Taqueria on the pedestrian mall. Afterwards, I was persuaded to add a few more steps in the direction of Lucky’s Coffee Garage. It was a fortunate move. Once there, what could be better than snagging the last two rose-lychee-raspberry macarons?
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And in case you are wondering . . . Susan B. Apel shuttered a lifelong career as a law professor to continue an interest (since kindergarten) in writing. Her freelance business, The Next Word, includes literary and feature writing; her work has appeared in a variety of lit mags and other publications including Art New England, The Woven Tale Press, The Arts Fuse, and Persimmon Tree. She connects with her neighbors through Artful, her blog about arts and culture in the Upper Valley. She’s in love with the written word