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Old 11-05-2016, 10:39 AM
 
Location: Columbia, MD
1,423 posts, read 1,980,576 times
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I recently came back from a solo VT adventure. I spent about a week traveling the numerous back roads around the state. You name a village or unpaved road and I probably drove or saw it Photographed numerous covered bridges, amazing fall foliage, etc. However, it really amazes me that away from the larger tourist towns (ie. Woodstock, Stowe, etc.) VT is much different than what most tourist and the media would have you believe. I don't mean any of this in a bad way but it was so different than what I had expected. Saw tons of mobile homes, junk on lawns, good ole' boys, Trump signs, run down shacks. In fact, most areas I saw especially in the central and northern part of the state pretty much fit this description. Couldn't even tell if I was in VT or Alabama when driving through certain towns lol. I am honestly not complaining though. Once I left the popular tourist areas, VT exceeded my expectations.

So glad, that much of the "real" VT still exist, still waiting to be discovered!
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Old 11-05-2016, 11:06 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
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"Couldn't even tell if I was in VT or Alabama when driving through certain towns lol. "

I keep telling folks that rural north Alabama is more like the Vermont I knew growing up than Vermont is now. The big differences are the lack of snow, dark days, cold weather, and high cost of living. I could show hundreds of photos where you wouldn't be able to tell which state you were in.
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Old 11-05-2016, 03:42 PM
 
809 posts, read 673,656 times
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If you read Joe Bageant's book, Deer Hunting with Jesus, you'll see where Vermont is heading if we keep listening to the "vermont-is-too-expensive-taxes-are-too-high-vermont-is-business-unfriendly-public-education-costs-too-much-government-is-wasteful-the-state-is-full-of-damned-liberals-and-welfare-cheats" crowd. We really have to work to keep an emphasis on the quality of life rather than yield to the conspicuous consumption ethic.
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Old 11-05-2016, 03:45 PM
 
Location: Columbia, MD
1,423 posts, read 1,980,576 times
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Quote:
I keep telling folks that rural north Alabama is more like the Vermont I knew growing up than Vermont is now. The big differences are the lack of snow, dark days, cold weather, and high cost of living. I could show hundreds of photos where you wouldn't be able to tell which state you were in.
Very true harry chickpea! Take the village of Waits River for example, and the famous of shot of the church and adjacent buildings. Certainly it is a beautiful (and famous) shot, but what they don't show you are all the shacks and mobile homes just outside of that shot!

Or take the famous shot of West Arlington and the covered bridge with the Norman Rockwell house in the background. What they don't show you (and always crop out) is the beat up house across from the church with junk all over the yard lol.

Lyndonville, Montgomery, Hartland, East Thetford, Newport, Norfield, etc, etc. are prime examples of towns that could pass for just about anywhere in Alabama that few tourist will ever see.

Shot out to Craftsbury Common though. Beautiful town without the hordes of annoying tourist. Lununburg another pretty town away from the crowds. And what can you say about Lake Willoughby
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Old 11-05-2016, 04:17 PM
 
Location: The Woods
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When the hill farms became unprofitable to run and the small industry took off due to free trade, taxes, etc., a lot of very beautiful towns basically lost their reason for existing and have become very hard places to make a living. Lunenburg had the Gilman paper mill, Victory had the sawmills (the mills in Gallup Mills, now long gone). Island Pond lived off the railroads and lumber. Behind this were countless farms that were once capable of supporting many families but now can't. All of this is gone, now we have people living off min. wage jobs at the gas station or walmart. People near the river just go to NH (Littleton for the NEK) for their shopping so bye bye local stores.

I could tell you a story about a part of my family from the 1860's that would rival the Hatfields and Mccoys in Shrewsbury though it only left one young man dead (the reason my great-great grandfather took off for another town as far away as possible). Victory has had some odd troubles for years in more modern times. There's a side to Vermont that never makes Vermont Life. As one neighbor told me at my homestead in Essex County, the law doesn't really exist there away from the highway speed traps. And he's right.
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Old 11-05-2016, 04:51 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
17,772 posts, read 53,945,678 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cgregor View Post
If you read Joe Bageant's book, Deer Hunting with Jesus, you'll see where Vermont is heading if we keep listening to the "vermont-is-too-expensive-taxes-are-too-high-vermont-is-business-unfriendly-public-education-costs-too-much-government-is-wasteful-the-state-is-full-of-damned-liberals-and-welfare-cheats" crowd. We really have to work to keep an emphasis on the quality of life rather than yield to the conspicuous consumption ethic.
I'm a bit confused by your post. I think of Peter Miller, the fantastic photographer that lives near Ben & Jerry's, and how he has been having to sell off his photography equipment, and turn part of his home into a B&B, and hold sales on his work just to pay property taxes at his advanced age. I don't see any quality of life or conspicuous consumption there. OTOH, Peter would cry if he knew how little property tax I have paid here in Alabama, or how my soc. security is not taxed. Peter loves the state and doesn't want to move, but he will be forced into it shortly. In Alabama, he would be fine and able to live in his own home until he was physically too weak.

For those not flush with money, there is very little quality of life other than scenery in Vermont. Another friend was wanting to try a Mexican restaurant on Dorset Street in South Burlington and the online menu showed a burrito at over $6.00. I hope that is not representative of costs, as I remember entire meals at Tortilla Flats for that price, and a couple of bucks more will get that same meal today at a Mexican restaurant in Alabama.

For the record, I see both states as having some major failures that are largely based on the paths chosen. I don't have good answers for either, as I think a lot of the problems come from the Federal level, and some of Vermont's are geographical in nature. This isn't a pi*sing match AFAIAC.

Appearance-wise, a lot of people don't understand rural living and priorities. Mowing a quarter acre and tending a couple of flower beds is a lot different that the time and expense of cutting four or five acres and having wildlife digging holes, eating plantings, and shedding ticks. Things that are stored in plain sight are less likely to be stolen by scrappers, especially if you can't afford a locking barn.
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Old 11-05-2016, 09:51 PM
 
Location: IN
20,789 posts, read 35,852,107 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
"Couldn't even tell if I was in VT or Alabama when driving through certain towns lol. "

I keep telling folks that rural north Alabama is more like the Vermont I knew growing up than Vermont is now. The big differences are the lack of snow, dark days, cold weather, and high cost of living. I could show hundreds of photos where you wouldn't be able to tell which state you were in.
The intensity of the sun angle would be an easy way to tell the areas apart. As I get older, I find the intense sun angle of most of the southern areas of the US to be nearly intolerable at best.
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Old 11-06-2016, 02:01 AM
 
Location: Vermont
1,008 posts, read 1,413,017 times
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Between my Jeep and motorcycle I travel a lot of vermont's back roads. I like the adventure of roads less traveled. Ive gone down roads with some pretty run down homes with what looks like a perpetual yard sale, only to find plunked in the middle some beautiful home that is probably worth more than they will make in a lifetime. There are a lot of working poor in this state and they have to live somewhere. There are also a lot of wealthy individuals with second homes here. You'll see those homes out in the sticks too. A friend caretakes property and has a number of second homes he cares for. Many are way nicer than most people's first homes.
But like my mom used to say, don't judge a book by its cover. That diversity is in every state if you go look. You got to see the real Vermont, not just the touristy stuff. That's real adventure and sometimes way more interesting and surprising than sticking to the road more traveled.
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Old 11-06-2016, 09:20 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
17,772 posts, read 53,945,678 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GraniteStater View Post
The intensity of the sun angle would be an easy way to tell the areas apart. As I get older, I find the intense sun angle of most of the southern areas of the US to be nearly intolerable at best.
Yes, during the summer months the sun is higher. I think that we each have our comfort zones. I was at a convention in Miami where a German participant was taking photographs of his shadow to show folks back home that the sun was almost directly overhead. I rarely have seen a German freak out, but he was doing a good imitation. Once you get towards the equinoxes and winter, the effect fades some.

I don't particularly miss the long shadows of winter and the short winter days, but I did appreciate that the "golden hour" for photography in Vermont was often much longer than an hour. I do like that Alabama is usually nice and green (this fall an exception).

Oh wait... the winter photo is from out back here, and the summer one in Vermont. Sorry.
Attached Thumbnails
VT just blew my away!-little-river-below-dam-l.jpg   VT just blew my away!-img_4818.jpg  
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Old 11-06-2016, 10:02 AM
 
5,820 posts, read 13,283,561 times
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We spend time in VT as one of our children lives there. We are 30 miles west and IMO, VT is beautiful. East Arlington, Shaftsbury, Manchester, Westin. Drive Rt. 100 or Route 7a. When the hurricane hit a couple of years ago, neighbors were helping neighbors. No one looked down on someone who had a less nicer home, food, hygiene items, clothing, etc. was gathered for those who had loss.

Our grandchildren were born and being raised in VT. They are well-educated, encouraged to be leaders and help others. They don't mind the cold and love outdoor sports, no matter what the weather. They will hold a door for someone or ask if you need help. You can't judge a book by it's cover.
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