Even though they are a thousand miles apart, Vermont and Minnesota might as well be the same state. They’re both landlocked states that nobody really cares about. They’re northern states with cold, snowy winters and some very fine weather in the other five months. They are very GREEN states in that they are very ecology-minded and they have a lot of trees. Vermont and Minnesota are also very BLUE states in that they have blessed us with such great senators as Bernie Sanders and Paul Wellstone, respectively, and they both did their part to ensure our country doesn’t have to endure another four years of the Trump administration.

Both states also have problems with rusty cars and trucks (as BobinVt recently reminded me) and they both have electricity and indoor plumbing. They both make a lot of maple syrup out of the sap that comes from those millions of maple trees. Another similarity is that Vermont is the home of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream and lots of people in Minnesota like to eat Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream.

So,” you might ask, “why in the world is there even such a thing as a neighborhood in YOUR Town called ‘Vermontisota’ and why do so many Vermonters (Vermontians? Vermontiolios? Vermontoids? Vermontaficianados? Vermontheads?) relocate there?

My answer to those questions are: “I don’t know.”Shut up.” And “I’d go with Vermontheads.” (I’m pretty famous for such intelligent answers.)

Did you know the aimless jam band, Phish, is from Vermont? Phish fans are called “Phish-Heads” and Vermontheads have adopted Phish as their favorite rock group. Here is a Phish song you can listen to while you read about the rest of my excellent tour through Vermontisota.

Personally, I think Phishheads are a younger version of Deadheads.

The Phish connection is only one of the things I learned about Vermont in my pre-tour research. I also learned that the great Minnesota author and Nobel Prize winner, Sinclair Lewis, also lived in Vermont for a while. He’s always been one of my Minnesota literary heroes, but now I get why he’s a literary hero of so many Vermont expatriates.

Here’s a picture of Mr. Lewis himself, enjoying the tranquil beauty of Vermont’s Green Mountains.

I am a super-smart reader. Here, you can see I am studying my favorite Sinclair Lewis book, Babbit, at a frosty table beneath the tranquil Green Mountains of the Vermontisota neighborhood.

Then I rode into the farm country of Vermontisota. It was pretty frosty out there too. Even at 10:00 a.m. the air temperature was only 24-degrees (F).

My reason for riding into farm country was to take a picture of a John Deere tractor or combine or harvester. That’s because I just learned John Deere himself was from Vermont. And I guess that’s why John Deere farm equipment is so popular in Vermontisota. Unfortunately, most of that equipment is stored away for the winter. The best I could do was to dig up this photo from earlier in the year.

A John Deere mailbox.

Like Vermont, Vermontisota has a Walmart to take care of the shopping needs of Vermont expatriates.

And a McDonald’s too. It is truly astounding how similar our states are.

As mentioned before, our winters can really break down a car by attacking it with rust, high winds, huge potholes, and snowball-throwing teenagers.

The rust isn’t that great on bikes either. See why I need that new Ogre?

See why I need that new Ogre?

My research doesn’t indicate whether Vermont has many nuclear mushroom clouds, but just in case, I thought I’d show this one.

Hi. My name is Greg and I ride my bike a lot. That is to say, I ride my bike almost every day. I go on long rides and short rides. Sunny rides, cloudy rides, and rainy rides. I like commuting, errand-running, day-tripping, overnighting, and touring on my bike. I ride on city streets, highways, gravel, single track, and snow with equal enthusiasm. Sometimes I ride fast and sometimes I ride slow. I try to keep my feet on the pedals at stop lights and I do not dismount when I hop up on a curb. I have a roadie bike, a mountain bike and a touring bike. I try to accept any challenge a bike ride can throw at me without complaint. But I don't like bugs.

7 response to "Vermontisota"

  1. By: BobinVT Posted: December 2, 2020

    Ah, Vermontisota looks very similar to Vermont. As to the question of why so many Vermonters (aka Vermontheads, Vermonsters?) moved to Vermontisota, I’ve read that there was a great migration of farmers moving west in the late 19th century, tired of trying to farm Vermont’s rocky, hilly land. I’m sure that accounts for many of those transplants.

    A few other points. We do have Walmarts, but only three in the entire state. And we do have McDonalds, but not all that many of those either.

    We did also have a nuclear power plant, although it was recently decommissioned. It was never very popular, even though it was a major employer in the area. There were protests ongoing pretty much the entire 40+ years it was operating.

    • By: BobinVT Posted: December 2, 2020

      Hit the reply size limit, so had to do this as two replies…

      I did not know about Sinclair Lewis. I’ll have to read more about that. The visiting author most frequently talked about was some guy named Rudyard Kipling. He actually lived fairly close to where we live now. He lived in Vermont for four years, but then got into a feud with a neighbor, which turned into a pretty big tussle. Story has it that Kipling and his family snuck out of the state during the dead of night, never to return. Once the weather is warmer I’ll have to do a ride past the Kipling house.

      • By: gregblood Posted: December 2, 2020

        Only three WalMarts in the entire state???!!! That’s not only unbelievable, but it’s also admirable. Besides Lewis and Kipling, I seem to remember reading that J.D. Salinger also lived (as a hermit) somewhere in the hinterlands of Vermont. Or maybe it was New Hampshire. Or maybe Maine. I just can’t remember for sure.

  2. By: Lednar De Nalloh Posted: December 2, 2020

    You DO need a new Ogre, buy one immediately, it could be a matter of life and death if your rusty bike snapped in two, Green and yellow would be a nice colour combination for the new bike I reckon.

  3. By: Suzanne Posted: December 2, 2020

    Glad you included that interesting mushroom cloud, just on the hunch that Vermont has the same.

  4. By: Rich-Illinois Posted: December 2, 2020

    Very good comparison.
    The Trek is showing its years of great service — a new Ogre is certainly in order.
    Lednar suggests green and yellow, I’m (almost) certain he is referring to John Deere colors. 😉

  5. By: Rocky Posted: December 3, 2020

    Are you copying Trump in having your book upside down! It looks like you have upsidedownlexia.

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