Back to Vermont

Today, Debbie and I made a short trip to Vermont. We hadn’t been there since New Year’s weekend. Vermont just can’t catch a break. It’s mud season now, so it’s pretty ugly. Debbie went for a long run in Quechee and Woodstock. I went for a short ride. It’s more enjoyable/bearable to run in 45 degree Fahrenheit rain than it is to ride. I was afraid that I might not emerge from some of the potholes that I rode into. This wasn’t the kind of Vermont ride that you read about in one of those fancy bicycle touring brochures. There was no epic foliage…no picnic lunch with a great vista…no sunshine..the covered bridges…well most are washed out. It was nasty, but it was a ride.

The state is still suffering from the effects of Tropical Storm Irene, which devastated the landscape last August. The flooding was terrible. Bridges remain out. Roads are still washed out. Debris and mud are everywhere. We only got a glimpse, but the Ottauquechee River valley was one of the worst hit areas. It became a raging torrent during the storm and it wiped out nearly everything in its path.

Last October’s snowstorm and power outage wasn’t a major event for Vermonters. Southern New England was harder hit. Vermont is used to snow, and they rely on the white stuff to drive the economy, but not this winter. The extremely mild winter was horrible for the ski industry and all of the other industries that it supports. Now, all they have is mud. The folks in northern New England are resilient, so I’m confident that they will rebound when the economy and weather turn better.

I’m looking forward to our next trip north and I hope to see more improvement.

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