I head to Temple, New Hampshire, nearly every New Year’s Day for a 3-mile walk. Most of the two hundred or so people around me see it as a 5-k race for runners, but a few of us take a slower pace. The race fee goes to charity, the atmosphere is festive, Temple’s a pretty town, and all comers are welcome. Last week, that added up to 45 minutes of New Year good cheer for me.
The route is a simple loop starting near the town green on Route 45: West Road, Fish Road, Mill Road, Hadley Highway, and back to the distinctive town hall building. Traffic is nearly nonexistent on New Year’s Day, but even on a business day, this would be a safe & relatively peaceful route.
Why would I go for pavement when there are trails with fresh snow nearby? This event is an annual tradition for me; the roads with their bucolic views are plowed and clear; there is virtually no auto traffic on a holiday; the very sight of the Sharon Ledges on Temple Mountain’s ridge makes me smile as I think of the berries I’ll be able to pick when I head up that way in the summer. All that, plus the post-race hot soup provided by the race committee, makes this trip worthwhile.