On March 28, I ventured out with the sole purpose of photographing towns that still had significant snowfall. Chasing the snow of course, leads me off my course and into some interesting driving conditions.
I get an early start since the weather forecast calls for morning clouds and afternoon sun. At this stage most of the towns still under snow cover are in the interior portion of the state, though most that are close by I have already visited. I had checked the snow report at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center the day before and saw that they still had a base of sixteen inches, so I head north east to Greensboro.
Leaving Hardwick on route 15, I’m happy to see that there has been some overnight accumulation. The trees are snow covered and there is a beautiful fog making it feel like a winter wonderland. Last year at this time I remember basking in the sun on my back deck, enjoying a freakish March heat wave. This year though I am thankful for the late snow; I’ve grown to love photographing Vermont in the winter, even more than during the fall foliage season.
I stop and explore Greensboro Bend intending to drive on to Greensboro, then Glover, Sheffield and Wheelock. Instead I wander out of the village up Toussant Hill to Norway Road, suspecting that I’m no longer in Greensboro, but not concerning myself too much with my whereabouts since the snow laden branches offer the promise of some beautiful winter landscapes.
I am not disappointed. I pass by several views that I intend to stop and photograph on my way back. The road is narrowing and the mud and heavy snow are making for more difficult conditions. As long as I have enough room to turn the car around, I remind myself, it’s ok to continue on. I reach an intersection with Stannard Mountain Road. There’s an old gray barn with a large white farm house surrounded by an expansive open field. I park the car and get out on foot to find the best vantage point which of course is far out in the field. I knew wearing my gators would be a good idea since I have frequently found myself in places with snow above my knees with little or no snow cover a couple of towns over. Today though, it’s just a little over a foot deep.
Stannard, I remember is just north of Walden. Back in my car I look at my map and find that I could just follow Stannard Mountain Road, to Lazy Mill Road to Skunk Hollow Road, and I’d be in Walden, and in a completely different part of Walden from where I was driving in circles on that day back in October trying so hard to find something to photograph. I consult the map more closely and find several points I don’t remember seeing back in October, all “easily” accessible from my current location.
But then I return to my senses, noticing that I’ve already spent over an hour in the best light of the day photographing in a town I’ve already visited. Instead I turn the car around and head back to my original course and the promise of reaching one hundred and thirty towns before the halfway point in my journey.