Well, last night was the coldest night of the year but I had to try to capture the meteor shower. I brought out extension cords and plugged my camera in after trying a number of shots. The first part is still light while the moon is setting. I’d say the time is from ~ 2:30am to 7:30am.
A few of the streaks are airplanes, and one gets the sense that if we had had one more hour of darkness, we’d have been able to see a ton more meteors.
I finally got to sleep around 5 am, glad I wasn’t still out there changing batteries. So here’s what an all-nighter in sub-zero can get you. Thirty seconds of this…
Yesterday was a day of action. Many people contributed efforts in removing all of the belongings from the house that were either untouched or recoverable. Family members came to help, along with co-workers and new found friends from the neighbood.
Also, as you can see from the photos, the house has been jacked up on wood trellises with metal I-beams to top it from going down anymore, and yesterday (not shown) a carpenter covered up the open side of the house.
Kevin and Jess are amazing people who are dealing with this in such an admirable way. There is no easy solution to their problems, but they’re moving one step at a time trying to keep their chins up. I have the utmost respect for them.
Thanks to all who helped and continue to help and we’ll keep you updated. A special guest may be making a visit today so stay tuned…
You can contribute to a fund to help them get through the next few months here.
Well, the weather is sunny, but the situation isn’t any better. As you can see, they’re dumping stone to fill in the hole where the yard and foundation were. I was just there in the beginning yesterday, but as of today, there is enough support for them to get their goods from the second floor and the artwork and other things that were either undamaged in the first floor flood or recoverable with some heavy duty washing.
As you can also see in the photos below, the part of the foundation that originally appeared solid is actually subsiding. As of yesterday morning, it looked like it was around six inches. Hopefully I’ll get back there tomorrow to get some more photos and help them however possible. They’re keeping smiles on their faces in light of this devastating development and I’m continually amazed by their strength and outlook.
Please check here tomorrow for the link to a site where you can donate money to help them through this crises. And if you’ve tried to contact them and they haven’t been able to respond, just know that they really appreciate all the support and are just unable now to respond to all the calls, texts and emails.
We here in Vermont got hit hard by Irene’s fury. The already saturated ground and ~6-10 inches of rain that fell in less than a half a day turned the tranquil winding streams of Vermont into killer torrents. When a bridge fills with debris and turns the path of the river, the immediate impacts can be devastating.
The White River is the longest undammed river in Vermont. My friends live right next to the river, next to a bridge. Last night I spoke with them and they thought their house was in jeopardy when the were forced out by rapidly rising water. They slept in their cars higher up on the hill.
What we found this morning was devastating. I was able to get to them in 4wd this morning before they closed the road. They are safe and that’s the most important thing.
I think the pictures speak for themselves. My thoughts go out to you.
More photos after the break…
Well, we did this almost two months ago, but think it’s high time to share it. My in-laws gave my wife and me a hot air balloon ride as an engagement gift a number of years back. We finally decided to do it this winter, and I thought that since I’m working on the Kickass Guide to Skiing and Riding Vermont we might as well use the ride to get good aerial shots of one or multiple ski areas.
We decided to choose Balloons of Vermont out of Quechee. We met Darrek our pilot and Jeff our balloon chaser early in the morning at Quechee, VT. We climbed into his big extended cab pickup and drove over to Killington, then Rutland and back to Killington before the weather finally cleared. We drove up the Killington access road to an empty restaurant lot. Quickly, we pulled out the basket and the balloon, as well as a generator, big fan, burners and propane tanks, which all fit in the back of truck.
Within ten minutes the fan and propane had filled the balloon (I actually think it’s called the envelope), we jumped in and were off! They skies had cleared, and even though it was in the teens that day, with very little wind and a ton of sun, and the propane burners going off intermittently, it was actually pretty warm.
Interesting tidbit: Darrek says most people are surprised at how calm balloon rides are because the balloon is traveling at pretty much the same speed as the wind, so in effect there is no wind chill!
We slowly floated up towards Killington peak and the K-1 gondola. There was ample time for photographs and shots of Middleton’s Irish Whiskey, which at $150 per bottle, is a purchase that we treat ourselves to once per year. While we were serenely floating over Vermont’s second highest peak, Darrek maintained communication with Jeff in the chase vehicle.
As we were floating over Killington, we noted that they had stopped the Superstar high-speed quad chair as well as the K-1 gondola. Soon a snowmobile chased us up the mountain and yelled “what are you doing?!” Darrek yelled back “we’re flying!” which we thought was pretty clever. Apparently Killington was nervous about us being so close and they actually shut down the lifts for over ten minutes. According to Darrek, we need to be at least 500 feet above buildings or things on the ground in rural areas, and it seemed to me that we were. Oh well.
My experience self-publishing has been very positive. It’s true that many people think self-published books will automatically be of a lower quality than those produced by a major publisher with a substantial amount of funding behind them. Personally, I couldn’t disagree more. Self-publishing allows one to create a product exactly how the writer/photographer/artist wants it. True, we are limited by financial considerations, but having the freedom to produce something without sacrificing quality in the name of “marketability” will almost always result in a better outcome. In the end, I believe the quality of the product will drive long-term sales while at the same time providing a much more positive experience for the creator.
My next self-published book (Fresh Tracks Publishing) I hope will be the first in a series of books entitled The Kickass Guide to Skiing and Riding ______(you fill in the blank). I grew up skiing in Vermont, currently live here, and believe that the best skiing and riding east of the Mississippi can be found here in the Green Mountain State. So it makes sense that my first book in this series is going to be The Kickass Guide to Skiing and Riding Vermont. Fingers crossed, I hope that this book will be published in August of 2012.