The morning of July 15th was uneventful. At lunchtime, I stopped at a gas station/grocery/post office, the only business I had seen since I left the church that morning. When I headed towards the exit, Dobby put both paws up on the door and peered inside. It seemed Dobby had figured out how to free himself from the trailer. I consequently had to figure out a new way to tether him to the trailer but still allow him the freedom to move about comfortably and safely. While we were stopped it poured rain. Again.
Later we saw a coyote, who watched us go by just as much as we watched him.
I saw my first covered bridge! So of course I stopped to take Dobby's picture. A woman was stopped as well and she offered to take a picture of us both. I learned that her name was Jenna and she lives in her van when she is not dog-sitting. I had only recently learned about people who live the "van life" so I was very interested in her set up.
We crossed the Vermont state line!
The next time I stopped was sometime in the late afternoon, this time to get my ice cream fix for the day. While stopped, two separate people asked me if I intended to bike up the "Sharon Hill" with all my gear. Since Sharon was the next town on my route I surmised that, yes, I would. Both people smiled and shook their heads while walking away, so I was able to deduce that my evening would be a long one, since my next campground was just past Sharon, VT. As predicted, the hill was one I got the pleasure of walking up, pausing every 30 or so feet to rest my aching... everything. It was nearing 5pm when a car pulled over ahead of me and a woman got out. She walked down the hill towards me as I continued up the hill. She told me she and her husband were Warm Showers hosts and lived just up the hill from our current location. Warm Showers is a website much like Couchsurfers, that consists of individuals offering places to stay to cross-country bicyclists (if you're reading this and think meeting cross-country travelers would be interesting, consider signing up. Even if all you have to offer is yard space to camp in). Barbara and Wally Smith, along with their two Whoodles (Wheaton Terrier/Poodle crosses) Mulligan and Finnegan, opened their home to Dobby and I. Dobby enjoyed romping in the yard with the two other boys and I was regaled with tales of Barbara and Wally's many tours over the thirty years they had been seeing the world by bicycle. They have even written a guidebook for bicycle touring Cuba, which they have done no less than four times. The book is called "Bicycling Cuba: 50 Days of Detailed Rides from Havana to El Oriente." They also raised funds in their town and had land donated to create an edible community garden, filled with fruit-bearing plants and open to all. This is where they were headed Sunday morning as I left their home to finish my trek up the Sharon Hill.
We had traveled 440 miles.