Three weeks from today, Carole and I will visit heaven for the 6th time. But unlike Paul, I am able to tell you about it. I first became interested in Vermont after seeing some foliage shots in a 1970's-ish coffee-table book. I decided this was something I'd have to see for myself, but with three small kiddos and all the expenses that go with a young family, I didn't see it happening.
But in 1982, I entered a contest on KRLD radio that offered two round-trip tickets anywhere American Airlines flies. I flooded the station with entries and managed to win. So, it was off to Vermont with Carole for 5 days of chasing color throughout the state. Two years later, we went again and had the thrill of having our rental car break down on the quietest of backroads in the most gorgeous valley I'd ever seen. In '88, I won another contest but this time, only one free ticket was the prize. In an act of total selflessness, I left Carole at home and went solo to the Green (should be Orange) Mountain State. Twice more in the '90's, we took in Vermont's colors, once even sneaking Brooke out of high school to drag her along. She was not a believer until she saw for herself the incredible reds, golds, and oranges that make eyeballs ache and adjectives strain.
We were going to return in October of 2001, but 9/11 happened and the fear of flying was palpable enough to ground us and our trip. A couple of trips to British Columbia in '02 and '05 allowed us to see God's majesty in a different way, but Vermont keeps whispering to our subconscious and reminding us that there's gold in them thar hills.
The last time we went, I knew nothing about photography and had a very average camera. Now, I've got at least a modicum of picture-taking experience and, thanks to Al Gore, the opportunity to share pix via the 'net and this blog. Rest assured, a few of our shots will touch down on "Jets and Life". Hope you like 'em.