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Old 10-01-2014, 07:12 PM
56 posts, read 64,566 times
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We've come up for lazy, blissful summers and ski-filled winters, but in order to determine if we can really hack it, we want to come up for the nastiest time of year. Even if it is just a glimpse, and we slink back South later. I think all we can manage is 6wks, though we're shooting for 3mo. I'm guessing it is mud season for many. Someone told us it was the howling winds of October/November, another said the darkness in January/February. Obviously, a very personal thing, but would still appreciate thoughts on what stretch of time this would be for you. We'd be up in the NEK. Thanks!
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Old 10-01-2014, 07:54 PM
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If you've already been in Vermont for the ski-filled winters, obviously the darkness of January/February didn't bother you. I think most people will say mud season. It would be the true test, but you can't stay in a town with paved roads the entire time or you won't get the true experience.
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Old 10-01-2014, 08:12 PM
Location: in a cabin overlooking the mountains
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Personally I don't find it's a particular time of year that is bleak. It's more like I find that April is hard to take because it follows bleak and cold November, cool and possibly snowy December (which is not a big deal because it is after all December), bitter cold and very snowy January, colder than penguin-poop February with even more snow, slightly warmer but snowy March. By the time I make it to April I am FED UP with the white **** as we call it up here. April is the month it starts to seriously melt so all the snow piles turn filthy as the dirt rises to the top. Then mother nature gets one last big snowstorm in around Easter.
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Old 10-01-2014, 09:51 PM
Location: Brandon VT
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November- all the leaves are gone, it's the first time it really gets cold so nobody is used to it yet, everything is ugly and brown.
January- freezing cold, so cold your body actually hurts, BUT usually the cold means there are more clear sunny days.
February- still cold, people are starting to get sick of winter, but not quite as cold as January.
March- mud season, still cold, dirt roads get soft, everything gets covered in dirt. If you want to really get the Vermont experience drive a sports car down Texas Hill Road in Hinesburg right after a thaw.
April- still cold, the cities get filthy because all the snow melts, leaving garbage everywhere. Nothing green sprouts until the end of April.

As a disclaimer, I love VT in spite of all this.
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Old 10-02-2014, 05:29 AM
Location: Vermont
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November for me followed by April. November is just....blah. No leaves on the trees. Usually no snow yet. Usually somewhat cold. I'm not a hunter so I don't like to go out in the woods to hike etc that time of year. I'm getting depressed just thinking about how close it is LOL!
End of March and April are "second" for me. I'm over winter by then. In March it'll get somewhat warm...like a hint of spring...then bam. Cold and snow. Torture! April is just wet and muddy.
Dec-Jan-Feb-beginning of March are OK for me. Yes its cold and dark but we get out and ski, skate/hockey, snowshoe etc. We usually take a week break somewhere south (Florida usually) to feel some warmth and get some sun.
Summer and fall? Ahhhhhh. Makes it all worth it.
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Old 10-02-2014, 07:09 AM
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I dont see a downside to any time of year/season in Vermont, they all have their respective joys.

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Old 10-02-2014, 07:17 AM
Location: Western views of Mansfield/Camels Hump!
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I enjoy the quiet and downtime of November...no crowds, no more outdoor chores (hopefully ha ha)...April is tough but at the same time, days are warming up and there's a lot more light. The dirt and mud aren't great but I just keep thinking of late May and all that come with it to get me through lol!
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Old 10-02-2014, 08:12 AM
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Have to be one of the shoulder seasons.

My choice for dreariest would be April....

Snow is melting. Sand everywhere. Mud.

But then, just when you think you cant stand it any longer...a crocus...a daffodil....and the great unlocking has begun in earnest.
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Old 10-02-2014, 09:12 AM
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If you can come for 3 months, I'd choose February 1st through April 30th.

If you only have 6 weeks, I'd choose March 15th through April 30th.

While November is dreary, it's brief and not a challenge like mud season.
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Old 10-02-2014, 09:57 AM
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
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I think it varies from year to year. A wet late fall with poor color and few leaves can be bleak. A full snowfall, followed by some rain/sleet that gets the sand trucks out can result in a week or two of mud colored snowbanks and windshields that are covered with the sand lifted by tires on wet dirty roads. The weather patterns tend towards February being more overcast and for longer periods.

When I lived in Vermont and vacationed in Florida late winter, Florida always looked "clean." Having subsequently lived in Florida, I recognize that it was anything but that and my impression was based upon the narrow dirty roads and having to constantly use wipers and washer to clean a porthole to drive.

Bleak can be a different experience if you live outside of the Champlain Valley cloud-free area and can't enjoy skiing on mountains that lift you above the drudgery.
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