So the day was all going well until ....
First of all let's just say that I enjoyed the morning in Burlington and Tyler treated me to some excellent coffee and a doughnut (and the ice cream and chocolate were also good).
Then I checked my email at about 1pm to see that I needed to be in Middlebury for 5.30pm so that my evening's hosts and I could go for a picnic down at a nearby lake.
No problem thought I given that the distance to cover was only approximately 35 miles, which gave me plenty of breathing space. At least so I thought.
.... So I'm making good time, it is pretty hot, so a pit stop at a convenient gas station seemed like a good idea and, even better than I first thought, they had mango smoothies. Fantastic.
Then it was back on the road to Middlebury. A further 8 miles or so down the road I check my cycling shirt's pocket only to discover that it lacked my mobile phone and money!
So after many a sweary word, and a little self admonishment, I turned round and started to cycle back towards the gas station only to hear the sound of escaping air from my rear tyre. And there I was only five minutes earlier congratulating myself on my recent good fortune!
So it goes! ... but not only was I not going, when I eventually fixed my puncture,I'd have to cycle in the opposite direction from that which would get me to my planned destination and, thus, it was not looking good for me to get there by 5.30pm. And I did not have my phone to let my hosts know.
So I commenced the puncture repair in the shade of some trees when a van pulls up and the gentleman inside asks me my name? Yep, Sam Barber is from the gas station where my phone and money are taking a break from me.
After I speak to the gas station owner, Sam offers to return to the gas station and return with my stuff, whilst I continue the puncture repair.
On Sam's return I am still repairing the puncture! It would appear that the pump's pressure gauge is defective as I exploded the tyre"s inner tube and was in the process of replacing it with my only spare tube ... so caution was in order!
Eventually I got back on the road at approximately 4pm and thsnks to Sam I managed to get to my host at approximately 5.15pm. Phew!
Then I spent a very pleasant evening with Debi, Bryan and thier 6 month old son Emmitt.
I am so pleased that Debi stopped to speak with me on my first arrival in Middlebury and all that has stemmed from that first encounter. Thanks to all of the wonderfully generous and kind folk that I have met in Vermont over the past few days it has been a most pleasant mini adventure.