By the time I'd visited the Co-op and the bakery (for some pastries and a coffee breakfast) it was a rather delayed start to the day's cycling: 9.40 ish.
Then I met Carol at Ripton Country Store, part way up the Middlebury Gap climb. Ice cream and raspberry lemonade was consumed and we chatted for a while.
Some more climbing was had until I reached Breadloaf; an out post of Middlebury College. Where I was soon joined by Carol and we met the poet James Arthur, who was attending a conference at the college. An interesting, but prolonged, chat was had.
Finally we, Carol and I, continued our climb to the top of Middlebury Gap and beyond.
I must say that the Middlebury Gap ascent seemed to me to be a much easier climb than the Appalachian Gap.
On arriving in Rochester I stopped for lunch and was shortly joined by Carol. Some good food was consumed and more chat was had.
Wow, it is now after 3pm and I've still got in excess of 50 miles to go!
Carol's parting words to me were, "you know it is dark by 8pm?"
She is correct: I arrived in Orford after dark! Conclusion, at this time of the year, start earlier, chat less or cycle faster! It also helps if you do not get a punctures. I had a second puncture in two days, which may suggest that the new back tyre is not up to the task of touring. I have replaced the previous inner tube with one with slime. Hopefully that will do the trick.
Finally, I do like the place name road signs in Vermont, they inform you of the distance to the next town. All rather neatly:
In addition, there are strict laws on advertising signs, so what you do not see is just as important as that which you do!