Last weekend I was exploring the backroads of southwestern Vermont. I scouted many excellent sites for future visits through the coming seasons, met some really interesting people (best meal: Eggs Norway Style at Bob’s Diner), and had a great time shooting the Brubeck Brothers Quartet concert at Manchester’s Southern Arts Center.

As I was looking back through the images from this outing, I realized that a handful of them – when taken together – might go a long way to breaking down some pernicious stereotypes about Vermont for those not familiar with the complex subtleties of living in America’s second least populous state.

Vermont is so misunderstood. Outsiders think we only eat Ben & Jerrys ice cream, ski at least 25 weekends a year, make all our own clothes, and only vote liberal. Clearly, we have some image-repair to do, because most everyone I know here is extremely ice-cream agnostic…

So, as a public service to help orient non-Vermonters, I offer this quick, instructional photo tour, based on images from my southwestern jaunt.


Where we live

This is pretty much what all our houses look like. Yep, everyone has their own silo.


Back 40

And this is what everyone’s backyard looks like (we call it the Back 40). It’s where we store our shredded wheat, for when we get tired of eating only granola.



This is where we all get our mail. And our corn. Sometimes both in one trip.



This is the road we all take to work. If, of course, we don’t work on a farm, in a silo.



This is what almost every church in the state looks like. Every town has one and everyone goes every Sunday, without exception.



Here is where we do all our grocery shopping. Luckily I stopped in during a lull, or else the aisle would have been packed. (Note scanner on the counter. And you thought we were backward here.)



Finally, this is how we clean up, once a week. Very economical. Look, there’s a soon to be pristine Vermonter now!


So, there you have it: stereotypes expunged. You’re welcome.



Representative photo locations: Pawlet, Middletown Springs, Dorset & North Shrewsbury.



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