See Mud Season in VR!

    Visit Vermont in its "undiscovered season". It's a time of great introspection for there is not much to do. The countryside is in limbo, ready for a sudden rebirth (which comes surprisingly quickly), the trees are bare and there is this drizzle that hangs and then drips from everything. People are grumpy, sick and tired of winter with its slush, snow and freezing pipes The skiing is over, the frost is out of the ground, and buildings, cars and even garish gas stations are looking tired and ravaged by winter. If they could afford it, most Vermonters would go south in mid March, early April, and yes, even in May, but they can't, so they stick it out in the mud, which tracks into their vehicles, homes and offices. Sometimes referred to mirthlessly as "beef stew", mud's dampness permeates everything including  boots and shoes that, due to the ravages of winter, have lost their sealant ability

 City types should beware -- especially those of you with GUCCI footwear or spiked, bird-like heels. You may easily forfeit your expensive acquisitions in the mud if you should dare to venture off paved highways onto the many unpaved ones that abound the Green Mountain state. The mud has a great habit of splattering your nylons. And, oh yes, this is definitely not for tendy Saabs and other low slung conveyances. This expensive and trendy vehicle has a rather low undercarriage which is apt to get caught in the ridges of the  rutts. But, don't worry, if you have one of these vehicles and get stuck, you can always flag down a "Mud Bogger".

     Mud season is also an auto mechanics delight. Around this time of year garages are flooded with complaints about front ends that are "shimmying" so badly that it seems one's wheels are about to come off. The problem is caused by mud building up in the inside of wheel rims. The mud "unbalances" the wheels. Spraying the inside of the wheels at a car wash makes things worse because one never gets all the mud and the "unbalanced" situation becomes more pronounced. No, the only solution is a trip to the garage, a hoist and a mechanics time to scrape it all off!

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Some Mud Comments from the past:

For the past year, my family has been building a house in the town of Stratton, VT. My experience with the Mud Season was just a couple of weeks into the project.

We had just started clearing the land, so we didn't have a driveway yet. My father decides to put some tools in the bucket of his backhoe/loader and drive across a 3 foot deep ditch (which had at least 2 feet of mud,water,etc. in the bottom), to get to where he wanted to work. Mind you, the tractor is 2-wheel-drive, and the climb out of the ditch is quite steep.

Well, he made it into the ditch, but driving out wasn't going to happen. The tractor got stuck in the ditch almost sideways, and a front tire came off of a rim. And to make things better, the hydraulic pump was weak, so the loader couldn't lift the front of the tractor out of the mud. We tried to pull it out with our truck, which was not heavy enough, and we tried to pull it out with the tractor's own backhoe. Problem here too: Dad only brought some light duty chain

(Quote of the Day:"Aw, we won't need that heavy stuff!") It broke 3 times. So we finally found a very strong tow strap and a good tree (after breaking a smaller tree) and pulled it out with the backhoe. That made for a day of brush and tree clearing turned to a day of digging and frustration. By the way, I also drive a smaller version of the proverbial "Mud Boggers " mentioned on the page. :)

petere2@rpi.edu


I've lived in Vermont most of my life and mud season is one of the best times of the year! When we were younger mud season was the time of year when the sand box would over flow and you would come inside every eveing coverd with mud. Now that I am in high school at North Country Union High School in Northern Vermont Mud season is the time when everyone piles into someones car after school and we struggle to make it down the old dirt roads. Many times we have to get out and push allowing ourselves to be coverd from head to toe with mud. All true Vermonters love mud season!

Liz Hurd vhurd@together.net



A
s a native Vermonter, currently living in the state of Georgia, my first recollection of "Mud Season" was the spring of 1952. I lived in Winooski, on Bellevue Street, which, at the time, was not paved. On this particular Sunday morning a 1950 Ford got stuck, up to its doors, right in front of our house. The young U.S. Army soldier, in full dress uniform, complete with highly polished shoes knocked on our front door and asked to use the phone to call a tow truck.

Unfortunately, while exiting the car through the window, since the car was buried up to the bottom of the doors, he lost his keys in the mud! My sister Judy and I immediately went out to the car and began looking for the soldier's car keys. Well, much to our surprise we managed to locate his keys after 30 minutes digging and falling in the deep, "quick-sand-like mud." About that time the tow truck managed to get to the car and with great effort managed to haul the car all the way to Main Street. The soldier said "Thank You". He had a smile on his face that warmed our hearts. We had done a good dead and had helped "conquer the mud." Soon after that Spring, the city paved the street.
MIKEALLEN@gsvms2.ccgasou.edu


Well, I'm one of those dreaded "summer people"...and I don't actually live in Vermont. I live in Houston! ....so forgive me if this posting doesn't belong here...but I DID experience a Vermont mud season a few years ago...and I must say...Vermont, even at its worse is better than Houston at ITS best! Enjoy the mud! I did!

S.A. Alexander
stertours@earthlink.net



I may live in New Zealand now, but a quick visit to the Mud section on the internet and it feels like I never left. New Zealand does an interesting thing to its dirt roads to prevent mud and that is to cover them with loose gravel known as "metal roads". While this does solve the mud problem it makes driving on them in dry times a lot like travelling on ball bearings. This kind of road often catches the unsuspecting tourist and they end up in the weeds on sharp corners. My regards to all the fellow Vermonters up to their axles. T.Barton@irl.cri.nz



Mud season gives me a chance to test my driving ability. I learned to drive two years ago, and had to drive during my first mud season shortly after. My father kept telling me how to avoid going into the ruts by staying on the edges of them. Well, I successfully managed to do that, and not sink my car in too deep. Mud season is bad on the back roads where I used to live in Tunbridge. However, I enjoyed walking down the road as a child, hopping over the ruts and puddles and smelling the sweet air. hiltsm@badger.jsc.vsc.edu



I hadn't really thought much about Vermont having a "Mud Season," but I do believe you are right. It does get muddy after the snow has begun to melt and the weather warms up. I remember as a child wallowing out in the mud and getting my shoes or in many cases boots sucked off me, and standing there hollering for daddy to help me. I have lived in Texas for the past twenty years and guess that we have got mud too. But, I was born a Vermonter and always will be a Vermonter.

falcon2@flash.net

 


I can remember when all the roads in the northern part of
the state were mud from April 'till June.Because all the
Governors were from the southern part of the state.So they got the paved roads first!
nmrh40a prodigy


Being a Native Vermonter stuck here in the state of Florida, I still see a whole lot of mud, but none of it like the mud back home. I fondly remember going to Vergennes Union HighSchool and experiencing the traditional senior outing called "Mud Bowl". That is where we would venture to the house of one of the teachers and roll around in the mud in his backyard. This was our time for our revenge against the other students and the teachers who would accompany all of us. It is one of the best times I can remember having in high school. I still pull out the year book on occasion and check out the pictures of our "Mud Bowl", they still make me laugh!
wallaced@728acs.eglin.af.mil


I grew up in Vermont in the late 60's -early 70's. As a teenager and having a brand new license I took Dad's new blazer on some of the worst Vermont roads known to man. One day my buddy dared me to try a seasonal road and I gave it a whirl. It all started out fine until it started to got steep. I gunned the blazer and flipped it onto it's side. It was stuck so badly that we had to hire a skidder to pull it out. A few hundred dollars later and it was almost good as new. Needless to say I walked from then on!!! Dad didn't have a very good sense of humor.
fishon@gci.net


Mud Season is sure interesting in Vermont, actually I'm Canadian and live near the border in Quebec but had an aunt that lived in the small town of Franklin which is very close to the border. I remember visiting her sometime in April in the mid 80's. I was traveling with my mom and sister and were trying to find her house, she lived just outside Franklin on this little farming road. It was on a Saturday afternoon and it had just stopped raining and we somehow managed to miss her driveway and kept driving down this little tote road hoping to find somewhere to turn around, my mom and sister were getting nervous and the road was getting very muddy, we were driving a huge stationwagon and our wheels kept spinning in the mud, this road was getting smaller and only enough room for one car, finally we saw a small opening where we tried turning the car around and as soon as we drove onto the field our car sunk to the axles in the soft mud, it was funny we couldn't budge. We walked back half a mile to my aunts and her neighbor pulled our car free and it wasn't easy especially that heavy Olds. Good thing he had a 4x4 Tractor, what a nice neighbor he was. One thing I'll remember to bring if I visit Vermont in the spring is a good pair of boots, a tow rope or 4x4 :), the tow truck companies must also love mud season.
S.Sanders


 

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