Remember the dream? We were going to fly to Florida in February and experience springtime in Florida. Then we would slowly ride north and track the coming of spring to Vermont.
Looked good in the beginning despite the naysayers. A few people suggested we cancel our plans because of the snowstorm. We told them that the storm in Atlanta was actualy 600 miles away and we weren’t particularly threatened. As we biked north, we remained content that we could stay south of the many winter storms, and we saw what we in Vermont have learned to call the signs of spring. You know, when you’re desperate, even the lawns with your dog’s winter mess can be viewed as hopeful. So we gloried in the many beautiful flowers and flowering bushes and trees in Florida. And then coming into Georgia and the Carolinas we enjoyed the tremendous variety of camillias and other flowers. But even then there were signs that this Spring was going to be different. We hit our first frost in southern Georgia and talked with the innkeepers about the damage done to all of the buds this year. Wherever we went, people were talking about this extraordinary winter. In Bath, NC they are opening the schools on Saturday to make up for the many days of school that have been cancelled. We received a message from our friend Gary declaring this the most brutal winter he has ever experienced in Northampton, Mass. And he has lived there a long time, maybe even before they kept measurements of this sort of thing.
We were still biking south of the trouble. But the signs were diminishing. Lots and lots of daffodills but when you looked at the trees, it seemed that they all had their flower buds ready to open but no, they were going to wait till they were sure. If you looked into the natural forests, no signs of spring, no flowers, no flowering or leafing trees.
Today, we meet winter. We get to participate in a Fredericksburg snowstorm. We participate by staying in our room and recovering from the previous day’s ride from Richmond. We figure three days before the roads are rideable. Shelagh draws a clear line in the snow. Snow or ice on the road and we wait. So we wait.