Friday, September 26, 2008

Road trip down Rt 133 on the western side of Vermont

The other day the weather was nice, so I decided to go for a little ride and explore the Vermont farm country west of Rt 7. I picked up my friend Harrry and off we went with a full tank of gas and our cameras to see what we could find. That didn't last long, heading west on Old Rt4 in West Rutland I decided to turn left on rt133 south wondering what surprise was waiting for us to find. "Did you see that?" I said to Harry as I performed a bat-turn and head back to the garage we had just passed. Sitting out front was a 1954 Mercury convertible straight out of the Fifties. Lowered in the rear, continental kit hanging from the back-end and fended skirts “Wow” was all I could say, what a nice car. The man that owned it did the restoration and turned it into a Fifties cruiser. He said that it was his fouth or fifth car project , Harry was talking to him while I was photographing . Here’s two images of the car that I came up with. Moving on, the road meanders through a valley situated between the Green Mountains and the northern end of the Taconic range. Harry wondered out load “do you know where were going”?

All I knew was we were heading south on what I think is a classic Forties era two lane highway through some very beautiful rural Vermont countryside. We drove past the original Middletown Springs grand hotel/spa , which I'm sure could keep a history nut busy for awhile. At the junction of RT133 and Rt140 is the village of Middletown Springs a classic small Vermont village with a general story, white church and a few colorful Victorian era homes. Knowing that the road ahead was a mystery we decided to get some nourishment and continue on down Rt133 south. This is Hill Farm country, some are snuggled up against the mountains while others sit along the roadside. We stopped plenty to photograph them, eventually we found the remains of a very rundown old hill farm that was post with No Trespassing signs all over the place and this little beauty.

We didn’t stay there long.

After a few more stops downtown Pawlet was the next stop. The general store has everything you could ever need out in the country and if your lucky and time your visit right ( lunch time )you can sit there on the bench with the locals and experience some great local color along with really good homemade food. The village of Pawlet provided some very interesting buildings to photograph or just look at for that matter. You couldn't tell it's Sept 2008 by looking at this image.I was in my own personal heaven, old rundown building are photographically some of my favorites and will show up on this blog from time to time. Hell theyre really what this blog is all about, plus you throw in a good dose of rusty old stuff , cars,trucks and farming equipment and a couple of good old boys to keep things interesting and life is good!
Anyhow, as you can see I was using my black and white Infrared camera because I like the contrasty images I can create with it. If anyone would like to know more about converting a camera to Infrared ckeck out this link: this is where I got my kit from.
Back on the road heading east out of Pawlet, on the Danby-Pawlet rd under darkening skies we found a old barn with great clouds in the background. So as we worked our way around this barn to get the optimized angle I walked off into some tall grass only to come up with a nail in my foot.

No great image, a nail hole in the ball of my foot, plenty of pain and tons of blood pouring out. Limping back to the car Harry starts laughing at me thinking that I had steeped into a cow pie, all the blood told a different story. Harry drove the rest of the way and I just sat there amazed, knowing full well that the hole in my foot was going to lay me up for awhile and if I was lucky it wouldn’t get infected.
Thanks for stopping in at Somewhere in Vermont, I’ll let you know how the foot works out later.

Always take time to enjoy the journey

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The start of a new blog

Today I decided that I was going to start blogging again. From time to time I will be posting stories and photos about being lost "Somewhere in Vermont", wondering the back roads of Vermont discovering the old hill farms, the old-timer’s, the people and places that make Vermont so special. This is all coming to an end of an era and is now disappearing at a very fast rate. I am trying to photograph as much of it as I can before it's all gone. Taxes and the high cost of living is forcing many old family farms to be sold because the people can no longer afford to live on the land that there families have care for on behalf of several generations. The quaint old Vermonter and his farm are being replaced, while these new Vermonters are fixing up the old farms and preserving them, gone for ever is that old rundown hill farm and the people who lived and worked them. I only hope I'm not too late to record some of what remains. And I hope you will from time to time check in, relax, an enjoy the photos and stories that I find out there in the hills of Vermont.

Peter Manship