Sunday, March 29, 2009

Mud Season Hell and a Bad Sugar Season

Now I'm no expert on life in Vermont, being a Flatlander and real man in training, but the road leading to our house is exceptionally bad. So bad that I would go so far as to say it's borderline impassable. Granted, it's a small dirt road, but it gets a fair amount of traffic, and I don't think people realize what they're getting into. We've had to forsake one direction for fear of getting completely stuck, it's that bad.

Our neighbor and local icon EB said it's one of the worst, if not the worst, conditions for the road he's ever seen, and he grew up here. We went for a walk up the hill and found even walking on it a bit of a challenge. The mud was so thick and deep that it pulled the boots right off our feet. A woman walking along the road also commented that this was the worst she'd seen, so things are pretty crazy.

The reason I've been told this is happening is that it's become too warm, too quickly. The snow is melting so fast that the roads are taking a beating, and I've heard other dirt roads are just as bad. They just laid a layer of dirt over our road, maybe two or three days ago, and it's back to being a disaster. I don't think even the mailman is going to make it through, and we think we may have to pick it up at the post office. Crazy.

What kills me is that there's still tons of snow on the ground. I just want it to melt and for mud season to be over, but that's wishful thinking, for sure. It's only March, and we're due for probably at least one more snowstorm, if you can believe that, though now it's raining, and that might make a dent.

On a brighter note, we went for a really nice walk up our road, mud and all, and what a great time it was. We were originally going to just check the mail, but we ended up seeing our neighbors, and we walked farther up the hill than we anticipated. It's really nice up there, and for whatever reason, the road is constructed of hard pack, so it's hard, packed and solid. Why can't they do that with our road?

There is a sheep farm about a mile up the hill, and what a beautiful location it is. So well maintained, so picturesque, right out of a postcard. We'll probably take some pics for our burgeoning website, whenever that may be. In fact, I can envision it, even though I still want the pond, but we'll see.

On the walk home we saw our sugaring neighbors, and EB talked about how bad a season it's been. I feel bad, though they simply roll with it and move on. No sense in dwelling on what you can't control. The weather has just not been cooperating, compromising the quality of the sap, and I think they've closed the door on the sugaring season. Done and over, kind of sad.

Either way, EB gave us a ride home on his tractor, which is a thrill for the kids, and we got to hang with his grandkids, M and B, so it was a lot of fun. It's a good thing he's got a tractor, because he drove down our road, and I really couldn't believe how bad the mud was. Amazing, and any other car would not have made it.

In fact, last night while we were watching a movie, we could see cars trying to drive up it, and then backing back down when they realized it wasn't going to happen. It's a tough time, but that's what makes New Englanders so tough and capable.

Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to stella bogdanic for the pic

No comments: