If you’re a Sugarbush regular, around this time of year you’re bound to have heard talks of mud season. Even with visiting the Mad River Valley since I was a child, it wasn’t something I fully grasped until living here. After a full year here, I could easily testify that Vermont does see 6 seasons a year. Winter, mud season, spring-ish, summer, fall, and stick season (shout out to Noah Kahan). Mud season isn’t just a time of transition, it’s truly it’s own season that actually kind of takes over spring. Snowmelt and spring showers saturate the ground leaving mud just about everywhere until the sun can help dry it up.
I can’t say I’m speaking for everyone, but I love this time of year. The Valley quiets down, well, becomes a little bit of a ghost town really. But that’s what I love about it. Our secluded little town gets a reset. It has the same energy that spring typically brings. More sun, fresh air that smells a little bit like dirt, buds forming on trees, and the excitement for summer. After a busy winter, everyone gets to take a break. With less people in town, businesses take hiatuses, locals fly somewhere warm for a week or two, and people like me get to explore.
This time of year isn’t suitable for long hikes or swimming, but more so appreciating the little things. It’s my favorite time to go on walks and take notice of everything that begins to come back to life. Crocuses popping out of the ground, the endless sound of snowmelt trickling, a 50 degree sun that somehow feels warm. The reason I love living in the North East is because I get to experience all the seasonal changes this region has to offer.
So maybe it looks a little bit brown this time of year, or maybe you live on one of those roads that becomes impassable. Nonetheless, spring brings something to appreciate. Short creemee lines, less traffic in the Mehuron’s parking lot, the start of planting season. Whatever it may be for you, I hope you can choose to appreciate the refresh this valley gets every April!