Vermont Photographer Benjamin D. Bloom

A photographer in Burlington, Vermont

Here are a few quick photos from a backcountry excursion with Tawny. For those that aren’t in the area, Vermont just got crushed with our first big storm of the year. This isn’t to say we haven’t had snow, but 18″ in Burlington had been hard to come by this year. There were a couple good days of skiing Thursday and Friday and then the temperatures rose into the 30′s which gave us some mixed precipitation on Saturday. At higher elevations it may have all been snow, but below 2,000 feet or so it definitely included some rain. We decided to head out and see what the snow was like anyway.

Picking a spot that had a quick approach and easy exit should the snow prove to be too crusty, we were happy to see 3-5″ of new snow on the ground. We followed a group of five in from the trail head but were happy when their tracks peeled off right where we wanted to go left. Up we went weaving in and out of a skin track laid down on Friday or Saturday. At times the old skin track was helpful and at times the icy crust made for difficult travel so we broke trail in fresh snow.

 

20140316 benjamindbloom 131854 A quick backcountry ski

The wind was brisk and while the sun was out, it still wasn’t all that warm. We quickly changed over (well, as quickly as you can with a split board) and headed down hill. The new snow skied beautifully, but you had to stay on top of things to prevent getting thrown by the crusty, thick snow below.

20140316 benjamindbloom 124505 3 A quick backcountry ski

 

 

20140316 benjamindbloom 124505 4 A quick backcountry ski

 

 

20140316 benjamindbloom 135400 4 A quick backcountry ski

 

 

20140316 benjamindbloom 135400 A quick backcountry ski

 

 

It was a great day skiing made even better by the fact that I could spend it with my wife.

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Since moving into Burlington again, I ride my bicycle just about everywhere. The Burlington Bike Path (aka the Burlington Recreation Path, aka The Island Line Trail) is a regular part of my day for at least some of my commuting. When it’s nice out, I’ll often add a few miles to my commute and get some extra exercise. All this time, I’ve ridden past the old, faded “Cycle the City” signs posted on the bike path and side streets without a second glance. So, when Local Motion announced that they were hosting a guided tour of the path to celebrate its 15th year, I thought it would be good to join in on the fun.

About 150 people showed up at Maglianero Cafe for some refreshments before at 10:00 ride. The group broke up into 4-5 smaller tours (Kid friendly, less talking, more talking) and we were on our way. Tawny and I joined the “more talking” tour with Chapin and I’m glad we did.

The first stop on our tour was the Burlington Waterfront Park. I had remembered playing here as a kid in the 80′s, but I don’t remember the area before it was turned into a park. I mostly remember that my parents thought it was great to have access to all of this waterfront land. Chapin gave us some of the history of the railroads and the transition from a rail yard into real centerpiece of Burlington.

Burlington Vermont Cycle The City Bike Ride 1 Cycle the City: Burlington, VT

 

 

Burlington Vermont Cycle The City Bike Ride 2 Cycle the City: Burlington, VT

 

Next stop, Leddy Park where we heard about the “string of pearls” plan and the dueling chainsaws.

Burlington Vermont Cycle The City Bike Ride 3 Cycle the City: Burlington, VT

 

 

Burlington Vermont Cycle The City Bike Ride 4 Cycle the City: Burlington, VT

 

In Ethan Allen Park, you have to stop at the tower and take a look out over the city. Especially if it’s warm, sunny, and clear.

Burlington Vermont Cycle The City Bike Ride 5 Cycle the City: Burlington, VT

 

 

Burlington Vermont Cycle The City Bike Ride 6 Cycle the City: Burlington, VT

 

In the Intervale, we stopped at the Ethan Allen Homestead to learn about Ethan Allen’s large family (and small house) as well as his belief that the Intervale contained “the best farmland [he had] ever seen.” We’re pretty luck that this farmland is still in use and provides vegetables to many residents in the city.

Burlington Vermont Cycle The City Bike Ride 7 Cycle the City: Burlington, VT

 

 

Burlington Vermont Cycle The City Bike Ride 8 Cycle the City: Burlington, VT

 

We continued through the Intervale and up past the old dump. I’ve passed this hill regularly and never knew it was a dump — it just looks like a nice grassy hill. I’ve actually been meaning to come back here to take some portraits because it has some interesting sight lines. Maybe I’ll leave out the fact that we’re going to a dump to take photos until after we’re done with the shoot.

Burlington Vermont Cycle The City Bike Ride 9 Cycle the City: Burlington, VT

 

 

Burlington Vermont Cycle The City Bike Ride 10 Cycle the City: Burlington, VT

 

 

Burlington Vermont Cycle The City Bike Ride 11 Cycle the City: Burlington, VT

 

 

Burlington Vermont Cycle The City Bike Ride 12 Cycle the City: Burlington, VT

 

 

Burlington Vermont Cycle The City Bike Ride 13 Cycle the City: Burlington, VT

 

The Cycle the City loop goes right past Old Spokes Home, which was kind enough to host a refreshment table staffed by The Skinny Pancake.

Burlington Vermont Cycle The City Bike Ride 14 Cycle the City: Burlington, VT

 

If you’re going on the loop, stop by this shop to go see the museum of old bikes. They’ve got some hanging in the main showroom and a bunch more upstairs. While you’re there, browse around for your next steed. They have a collection of new and used bikes for just about every use.

Burlington Vermont Cycle The City Bike Ride 15 Cycle the City: Burlington, VT

 

 

Burlington Vermont Cycle The City Bike Ride 16 Cycle the City: Burlington, VT

 

 

Burlington Vermont Cycle The City Bike Ride 17 Cycle the City: Burlington, VT

 

Past the half-way point, we stopped at Mary Fletcher’s house (not pictured.) She’s responsible for starting Burlington’s hospital — the first in Vermont — which opened in 1879.

Burlington Vermont Cycle The City Bike Ride 18 Cycle the City: Burlington, VT

 

After a stop on the UVM green to learn about John Dewey and Ira Allen, we continue on to our last stop. A house that has been reclaimed by the university from a fraternity and is undergoing renovations. It turns out, the owners of this house were involved in the Burlington cycling club and would throw parties that would begin with a ride and end with a long dinner party.

Burlington Vermont Cycle The City Bike Ride 19 Cycle the City: Burlington, VT

 

In order to keep with tradition, after the tour ended back at Maglianero Cafe, we ventured up to Church Street for lunch and a beer at Halvorson’s.

Burlington Vermont Cycle The City Bike Ride 20 Cycle the City: Burlington, VT

 

 

Burlington Vermont Cycle The City Bike Ride 21 Cycle the City: Burlington, VT

 

It’s hard to argue with 75°F, sunshine, no wind, and low humidity. Thanks for the great tour, Chapin!

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