Many places have four seasons—did you know that New England has 5?
It's called Mud Season and it coincides with the spring season.
|New England's 5th season is Mud Season|
Maybe you're wondering if Mud Season is a really big deal. If you live in New England, it's a way of life for several weeks as venturing out on unpaved roads by foot or auto is a slushy mess. It's worse on hiking trails, and there's a lot of those in the White Mountains of NH and the Green Mountains of VT.
|A hiking trail in Mud Season: online source|
|Walking in mud: online source|
Oversaturated trails are vulnerable to damage from soil compaction and erosion. Water erosion and wind carry soil away leaving rocks and roots exposed; soil compaction degrades the trail by reducing its ability to absorb water, causing more flooding. It's become such an issue that some state forest trails close for a while in Mud Season.
When does Mud Season End? Sometime in mid-May to early June when stronger sunlight starts to dry things out. Mud Season usually ends around Memorial Day, which seems like a long time. It's not an exact timeframe due to climate change.
|Some New England cars during Mud Season|
|The L.L. Bean Maine Boot is available in many styles|
|Leon Leonwood Bean|
Setting up shop in his brother’s basement, he manufactured 100 pairs of a Maine Hunting Shoe and promoted it in a mailer sent to out-of-state sportsmen. Bean was so sure of his product that he offered a 100% satisfaction guarantee. While this was a good marketing concept, unsatisfied customers took him up on the offer and 90 pairs were returned.
The problem was that despite Bean's innovative design, the single-line stitching tore through the rubber and separated completely from the leather upper.
A man of his word, Bean issued refunds and borrowed money from his family to redesign the boot with a more durable rubber. It was reinforced by triple-line stitching to ensure the rubber and leather would not separate. The triple-line stitch is still a signature of the L.L.Bean Boot.
|Babe Ruth letter to L.L. Bean|
The Bean boot (Maine Hunting Shoe, Bean Boot or Duck Boot) is one of the most recognizable pieces of footwear in American outdoors history. The 8-inch, unlined tan boot is so popular that several years ago there was a nationwide shortage.
In addition to the triple stitching, another feature that has never changed is the signature rubber sole. For many, this alone makes it an outdoor must-have during Mud Season when the boot does what Bean designed it to do—keeps feet dry.
Now, after all this about Mud Season and Bean boots, you might wonder if we have a pair. The answer is No. There's an L.L. Bean outlet store in Nashua, NH, where we tried them, and didn't find them very comfortable.
|Triple stitched, rubber soled 8-inch tan Bean Boot|