left behind along route 100

I like Vermont because there is no ocean. I appreciate the beauty of the sea, and that humanizing feeling of insignificance when standing in front of the vast ocean, but I like to avoid the beach. I am quite pale, and I also don’t like crowds of people. Instead of an ocean, Vermont has mountains, lakes, and the cleanest air I’ve ever breathed. This is mostly why Vermont is so appealing to me.

Having lived in New England for my entire life, I have spent plenty of time visiting all of the region’s states, except for Vermont. I never even stepped foot into the Green Mountain State until a couple of weeks ago. I had the last view of quaint Vermont before Tropical Storm Irene ravaged it. Yeah… Vermont has no coastline but still suffers the most from a tropical storm? Okay, ocean, this is why I don’t like you very much.

Oceanic weather conditions aside, I had a great experience in Vermont. I love mountains, and Vermont is very much shaped by them. In the valleys are the curvy back roads that bring you through the farms and fields, past old barns and herds of cows. The mountains are the perfect backdrop to the quintessential New England elements. Mountains can also be climbed. I work out regularly and have a hard time sitting still in general, so when I go on vacation, I like to stay active (another reason the beach is not for me). I like hiking under the shaded canopy of the green tree-covered Vermont mountains. We hiked a small section of the Long Trail, and made it to the peak of one of one of the mountains. Being able to look down to the valleys where we were driving through earlier, a bit light-headed and bug-bitten, was our reward for reaching the top.

Aside from the mountains, I really appreciate the pride I sensed Vermonters felt for their state, much more than the residents of other New England states feel for their own. In Vermont, they are all about using locally-grown products. Farmers will gladly let you come to their farms to pick crops and buy them. Barns and covered bridges that look like they are as old as the state are still being used, but next door to these charming relics are fields of photovoltaic panels. This image of is why I love Vermont. Old New England traditions are preserved here, but it’s not like stepping back in time.

Long Trail

Sunset over Lake Champlain, Burlington