by Jennie

While spring is arriving at top speed around the country, I am at home in Vermont, awaiting my drive to Canadian Nationals, and watching the weather forecast of the next two weeks for Craftsbury (Spring Nationals) like everyone else. The 70 degrees and raining doesn’t look good, although I must say their 2.5k loop is holding strong. Over the past two years, the East hasn’t received the best luck while hosting National events. We DO have snow…at times….I swear!!

Sunset on Lake Champlain in Burlington

I love the sights, smells, and sounds of Vermont in the spring. We went to visit my neighbor down the rutted dirt road (it is mud season after all) who has a large sugar house currently in full swing. As we walked up their driveway, two very large work horses behind a thin wire fence greeted us. You better feel comfortable around horses, because you have to duck under the fence and walk through their domain to get any farther. In the background, the many cords of wood are piled next to the sugar barn, steam billows from the roof opening, and the forest has a web of blue veins carrying sap.

With only two people running the show, the sugar house process must be a continuous flow, literally. It’s actually quite amazing, not to mention mesmerizing, as the sap travels through many stages such as reverse osmosis and boiling before it comes out as Maple Syrup. It takes 35-45 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of maple syrup, and the yearly preparation with setting lines, cutting wood, clearing trails to get to the taps, is a tremendous amount of work. A short spring with only one freeze/thaw is not good for the business, as it is this weather pattern that keeps the sap flowing.

Meanwhile in other news,  I have now seen my first (completely) naked nordic skier on a public trail, WELCOME back to Vermont!

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