Vermont is a place of revelatory coldness – at least for a California boy who decides to visit friends in January, having never been there before. The water that has leached through limestone has formed pure and grand pillars of ice. The Maple trees stand gray in their icy landscape waiting for Spring when they can deliver their syrupy goods. The sun weakly pierces the horizon with a strange silvery quality that never happens in the West. Where it not for the welcoming call of the wood stove and the coziness of a promising sketchbook and tasty whiskey, I might categorically call this place forsaken – but, because of those two things, I’ll probably go back.