Senior photo season is almost over but we had one last hurrah in Waterbury. Kelly and I met up on a day that was originally forecast to be rainy and cold. Instead, we got nice high clouds mixed with sun and comfortable temps with a warm wind.
We walked around some of the roads that she runs, meandering through farmer’s fields and down past a small river. Every time I visit the Mad River Valley I’m reminded that it’s one of the most beautiful places in Vermont.
It was a lovely day with great company. You’re going to go places, Kelly! Best of luck on the rest of your senior year and in college.
A few weeks ago my family and I went blueberry picking at Adam’s Berry Farm in their new Charlotte location. With the crazy weather we’ve had in Vermont over the last few years, they were forced to leave their 11 year home in the Burlington Intervale. Well, they found a beautiful spot on a hill in Charlotte. The barn looks gorgeous, and the berries are as delicious as always.
Along the ridge of the hill is a band of wildflowers that are a perfect addition to the farm.
What do you think, do you like the photo with or without the motion blur?
I had the pleasure of meeting Amanda and Chris last summer when we connected up for some engagement photos. It was an unusually warm summer day but we had a great time walking around Stowe and the Trapp Family Lodge. Their wedding day was similar – warm temperatures, bright sunshine, and relaxed attitudes. In Amanda’s final email to me before her wedding she said “As crazy as it sounds, despite the fact it’s my wedding day… My plans are pretty low key and it’s just a day of relaxing!”
I thought that was a lofty goal given how most wedding days run, but they pulled it off. When I arrived, Chris was relaxing in a room with the other guys.
Before they headed down to the ceremony, all of the guys toasted Chris, and maybe helped take that last little bit of nervousness away, too.
Meanwhile, Amanda was getting ready in a gorgeous suite.
After some final touches of hairspray, we headed down to get the two of them married!
I love her father’s expression here. It screams “proud daddy” to me.
They guys appreciated the moment as well.
With Mount Mansfield in the background and the trails of Stowe punctuating the hillside, vows were read, rings exchanged, and two became one.
This couple looks ready to take on the world.
On out way home, I had to stop to take a photo of the big dipper over Mt. Mansfield. That little glow just below the ridge line? That’s the party at Stowe Mountain Resort.
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.
Next stop, Leddy Park where we heard about the “string of pearls” plan and the dueling chainsaws.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It’s hard to argue with 75°F, sunshine, no wind, and low humidity. Thanks for the great tour, Chapin!
2013 Stowe Derby photos are available online and indexed by bib number. Find yourself,order a print to relish the day. Or find a friend and order a print to mock their crash!
Another Stowe Derby is in the books. Congratulations to everyone involved! We were lucky enough to get some snow in the week prior to the race and conditions were nearly perfect. Warm weather on race day even made it a pleasure to stand on a mountain side for hours at a time!
My day starts with checking in and heading over to the short course start. This year, the scenery was beautiful as the first few hundred yards of the course came through the tree-lined Stowe Recreation Path. The fresh snow on the branches makes for an ideal backdrop.
While I’m shooting the start, Tawny gets settled near the end of the course. Some years, this vantage point provides a beautiful mountain backdrop, but this year we were socked in up on the hill. You can’t win them all!
After shooting the start of the short course, I head to the top of the mountain and get settled on turn one. The mountain was really quiet this year and I could clearly hear the “boop, boop, boop, boop, beep!” of the starting bell. Many of the first racers came flying around the first corner with apparent ease. You have my admiration.
Others had some trouble navigating the ice down the center, the powdery ruts along the outside, or the divots from prior competitors’ falls. You have my sympathy.
I think the photo below is my favorite position. I seem to capture one of these every year. This one scores a perfect 10.
As usual, spirits were high and most of the people that fell popped right back up with smiles on their faces. I especially liked the tutu troop’s costumes this year! A fun splash of color on a grey day.
In preparation for the classical start, I headed down the toll road a little ways to one of the more popular corners. When I arrived, it looked like many more people went over the edge than normal, but the patroller on scene said he felt it was about normal. Stowe Ski Patrol did a great job at padding the trees and saplings in the landing zone, though, and even coached skiers through extracting themselves from a difficult position. Props to them.
The classic skiers seemed to have it dialed through the corner.
Well… some did, but if you didn’t clean this corner don’t feel bad — you’re in good company.
This is Ray. He suffered some equipment issues… he broke the duckbill off of his boot while warming up at the start! Never the less, and with the assistance of a little electrical tape provided by a liftie, he started and finished the race. (Did I mention he’s skiing on his grandfather’s Bonna 1800 skis?)
Back in near the finish, skiers always round this corner and start looking for the finish. You’re almost there!
More equipment failures, apparently. This is dedication, though. He’s not walking to the finish, he was running when he passed Tawny and running when he arrived at the finish line about 1k later. How long did you run?
The nice part about being down here is that people will wander about and sometime stay to chat for a few minutes. Some people are just out to walk the dogs and others are in town on vacation, only learning of the Stowe Derby from their waitress at breakfast.
Hey wait – I recognize you!
When the action is over on the mountain, I head to the finish to catch some relieved looks as people round the last corner and cross the finish line. This guy had a mob of kids pushing him to the finish.
Careful! Just a few more yards! (He stayed upright)
See you all next year!
If you’re looking for photos of yourself, you can find them at http://benjamindbloom.com/stowederby. You can search by your bib number or just browse the whole pile of photos.