Monday, August 3, 2015

Rolling Hills Challenge for the Lake Ontario Trekkers

Blog Another tough day for the Lake Ontario Trekkers with rolling hills one right after another. Right outside of Oswego we stopped at Ontario Orchards to grab healthy snacks and some fresh apple cider donuts. On our journey to the campground we found a stray kitten. And yes, we tried to have a new addition to the trek though it did not like tight spaces. So we just played with it and feed it for some time before we had to keep on trekking.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

New England Shore Trekkers Enjoy Provincetown

This morning, Yotam woke up early, soon followed by Andrea, and they cooked pancakes! Everybody ate up, and Yotam hopped a taxi to the airport after goodbyes. We all then went back to sleep! After waking again and hopping on the bikes we went to the beach! After the beach we walked around Provincetown and visited many interesting and new shops after a lunch of dumplings, frozen yogurt and ice cream! After more shopping, we came back to camp and made henna tattoos and relaxed over saltwater taffy, which was delicious!!! After a short-ish rain, we went back on our bikes and got a very nice dinner of great variety and good music, too! We enjoyed our dinner then got dessert next door, then pet dogs and walked to the end of the pier to look at the moon and enjoy our last moments in Provincetown. Fun fact: squids are attracted to moonlight! By Trekkers Andrea, Adam, and Willem

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Lobster Rolls on the Beach for the New England Shore Trekkers

Today we woke up in our cozy campsite and enjoyed a breakfast of bagel chunks and expensive peanut butter. After packing up our gear, we hit the road with our sights set on Provincetown, making sure to enjoy ourselves on yotams last day. A beautiful bike trail led us to the classic Cape Cod Gull Pond, where we had lunch and swam in the beautiful clear water. We were then halfway to our new campsite, but had one more stop to make: the Atlantic Spice Company.
After hot hills on a main road, we rewarded ourselves by admiring bulk spices and buying candy galore once we arrived. We then packed up again and headed out on our last home stretch, which should have been short, but was a little longer than expected due to a dropping mishap. We soon all reunited at the campsite though, and got pumped (even more so than we were before) for our awaiting dinner of lobster rolls! A short ride through the busy, colorful streets of P-town, various lobster rolls, and searching for crabs along the shore after our moonlit dinner on the beach made for a beautifully perfect night to end off our trip as a full team. Of course we couldn't go back to the campsite without enjoying our fix of candy shopping (typical) and ice cream. Soon after we headed back to the campsite where we took showers, reminisced over pictures, and explored the area, making the amazing day we had even better.

Quotes of the day:
"I didn't make up those lyrics though"
"Yotam isn't leaving"

(Yotam will be very very missed and he was the perfect puzzle piece to our group of misfits. We miss you!!)
-- Written by Trekker Lauren

Lake Ontario Trekkers Have a Relaxing Day

 We woke up early at the hostel to see our counselor Stephanie hard at work making us pancakes and bacon for breakfast. We left at 9:00 and made it about 3 miles before stopping for lunch. That sounds bad, but we did stop to do laundry. Trust me when I say it was badly needed. We only did a little over 20 miles today over all. One of our Trekkers, Mary has family in the immediate area and they are graciously allowing us to camp out on their front lawn. They live on a farm with three horses and some chickens. We arrived here at around 3:00 and Mary's aunt got a kick out of seeing everything on our bikes. One of her friends has a small lakefront cottage with a water slide we could swim and play on. Mary's cousins, Tyler, Claire, myself (Kyle Rifkin) and Jack hopped into a minivan and drove about a mile to the place. We jumped off the dock and slid down the slide into beautifully warm water over and over again. At one point Jack threw a bouncy ball into the water and it went really far out. Mary's aunts friend (who is a very trusting person) let take a boat to retrieve it. History is full of great captains-Ahab, Sparrow, Crunch, and Jack Davis is not one of them.  Just as things were looking grim, the owner of a different boat showed up. Whoops. Eventually I took control of the boat and safely got us out of the marina, to the ball and then parallel parked it again in the marina (take that, drivers test.) -- Trekker Kyle

Across America Trekkers Cross The Mississippi

7/31 Today we biked down the Mississippi River from La Crosse to Prairie du Chein, then turned east and made it to Fennimore for a whopping 88 miles. We woke up in La Crosse outside the Walmart, where we ate a fresh breakfast of bagels, OJ and fruit. We sped through our first 33 miles to Sugar Creek Park where we had a big lunch and continued on our way. Twenty-three miles later in Prairie du Chien we visited the historic St. Feriole Island Park, where we discovered that Prairie du Chein was founded in 1673! After a warm swim in the Mississippi and a quick second lunch we began a climb eastward and entered the rolling hills of Wisconsin, ending the day with traditional Friday fish fry at a friendly local restaurant in Fennimore.

Friday, July 31, 2015

New England Shore Trekkers Make the Bend

We woke up ready for another exiting day. We ate Matza Bry that Yotam made for us. We packed up and headed out. Exactly 20 seconds into the trip Andrea skidded off the road. As Sarah and Elazar checked on her the rest of the group sang Hebrew songs. After understanding that it would be better to be safe than sorry, Andrea was taken to the hospital. We later found out that everything was fine. The rest of the group continued without Sarah or Andrea, and decided to make the trip longer by making a wrong turn. After we got back on track we headed for lunch. We ate chicken nuggets, fries, and some donuts before heading to our final destination. We biked on another bike path right before we got to the beach. The views of the Cape Cod Bay from the path were incredible. We had aimed to get to the beach at low tide, so we could walk out for a long time without reaching the deep water. It was great to play in the sand and look for crabs. After about an hour at the beach we went to the camp site, where cook crew made us pizzas. After eating, talking, and walking around, we cleaned up and went to sleep as the rain started coming down.
--Written by Trekker Yotam

Quotes of the Day:
"Fly little monkeys coming to me though."
"What have I done?"
"I have straight teeth too.

D&R Canal Trekkers Make it to Bethlehem!

Woke up to a breakfast of cereal and orange juice today.  Almost ready to take off at 9am when we realized we had a missing key to a u-lock!  After contacting the local NJ police, the rescue crew arrived to cut the lock.  An exciting way to start the morning indeed!

On the trail, we stopped at a farm market where we bought a fresh peach blueberry pie which was delicious! Continuing on, the heat forced us to stop many times for water breaks.  A few of us also enjoyed the refreshing Delaware waters once again by either dunking our heads in or going for a swim!

The path changed from the D&R canal path to the Delaware trail and then the D&L path. Attempting to stop in a town for lunch, we were greeted by a torrential downpour.  We quickly found cover under the awning of a furniture store where we sat and played riddle games until the rain stopped.

Back to the path we made our final push to the next hotel in Bethlehem, PA. We got to see a canal boat being pulled my mules which was very interesting.

This last part our ride proved to be most difficult because of the many many MANY hills we encountered!  With some pep talk between us all, we were able to make it!  I am so proud of all the riders for making it.

We stopped for a very early dinner in town for Italian food and subs, and enjoyed one big long hill down to the hotel.

We took time to rest and clean up before heading into the college town (Leigh High University) for some fresh ice cream! Definitely a well deserved treat!  Final day of biking complete!
-- Trip Leader Jamie

Lake Ontario Trekkers Cross Back into New York State

Today we crossed into New York! After a long day of riding to Kingston, Ontario the group shared Poutine before heading out on the Ferry to Wolfe Island. We had very strong headwinds crossing the 14 km to the other side of the island where we boarded the ferry to Cape Vincent, NY. Once we arrived in town the group descended upon the supermarket to buy food for the cookoff between team Claire/Kyle and team Jake/Mary. The judges (Stephanie and Jack) declared a winner the former, with their chicken corn chowder, beef Wellington, and Apple Pie desert! The group enjoyed an evening at the scenic Tibbets Point lighthouse hostel at the point where Lake Ontario meets the St Lawrence River.

Across America Trekkers Get a Welcome Push

July 29- We woke up to wind and bright sunshine at the fairgrounds this morning. We had a huge breakfast, much of which was eaten by Tyler and nibbled at by Branton (he's not a breakfast person). We rode out of the city with a huge tailwind which carried us on our way, despite the handful of wrong turns and construction obstacles we faced.. As they say, there are only two seasons in the Midwest: winter and construction! We stopped for lunch about 45 miles into our day; Katie treated us by preparing an incredible salad: watermelons, raspberries, croutons, rotisserie chicken, feta, and sunflower seeds (YUM!). We downed some orange juice and continued on, making great time on the second half of our day with Branton leading the way. We pulled into town 88 miles from the start of our day and made rootbeer floats before heading to a pizza place. We stuffed ourselves enough to get the energy to ride to our camp spot, where we quickly set up tents and fell asleep. U

New England Shore Trekkers Bike onto Cape Cod

7/29 - Today we woke up with donuts and oatmeal on our minds. As we ate breakfast and packed up camp we enjoyed the forest scenery of our campsite.  Soon after we headed off on our longest day yet- our 40 mile day to Cape Cod. The day's ride included warm sunshine, getting reprimanded at the supermarket by the staff (three times), doing yoga on top of bridges and Drinking iced mochas. After arriving to our new campsite just in time to see the sunset, the cook crew whipped up a big pot of stir fry which we ate by the campfire light. Late night activities included showers (!!!!!), moonlit hikes and sitting by the fire as our day came to an end.

Quotes of the day:
Yotaaaa(incoherent gargling sounds)
One girl. Ten toes. 1000 victims. Zero ragrets.
Instant karma!!!
Have you ever heard of yahweh?
I love Shakira.
Bread flag!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

D&R Canal Trekkers Get a History Lesson

Today we had a long thirty mile day along the D&R canal. We started in Yardly, PA, and rode alongside the cornfields till we arrived at George Washington's Crossing. We took a tour which included a short film and a history lesson on the crossings.
         We then crossed the Delaware River into New Jersey where we followed the D&R path for twenty two miles. In the afternoon we took a break from the path and swam in the Delaware for a quick cool off.
    For lunch we conveniently stopped by a small grocery store where we were able to get a few items to eat.  On the way we saw a young buck run across the path and many more large herons.  After we ate we had one last ten mile push toward Frenchtown but before we got to the town we took one more swim. We had fun skipping rocks and drifting with the current. When we got to French town we checked into the National Hotel and the went out for pizza. We got quite a lot of food and got very full. Once we were done eating we took a walk around the quaint town and then hit the hay.  -- Trekker Jamie

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Across America Trekkers Found the Best Bike Shop Yet

July 28- We started our day by sleeping in juuust a bit longer than usual to avoid the torrential downpour that graced our campsite this morning. Once it stopped, we crawled out of our tents and made the best breakfast of the trip- bacon and eggs on English muffins. We set out shortly after, armed with cold water bottles that had been gifted to us by an old PE teacher, to crush some miles before lunch at a bike shop in Mankato. Branton led the way and we arrived in great time. Lydia headed toward the bike shop, where she was greeted with a caramel roll and free bike maintenance, while the crew grabbed lunch makings. We lounged at the bike shop for lunch; Katie took home some goofy socks and Branton revamped his tire, and both proclaimed it the best bike shop we had visited thus far. The head mechanic gave us a great bike map that we used to get out of town, so we set out biking along nice country roads. As the golden light of the day began to appear, we stopped in at a tiny gas station just about 10 miles out of camp to grab water. We met an awesome older gentleman who tipped us off onto the newly paved, not yet vehicle accessible, old highway that would take us into town. He also suggested we check out the town's fairgrounds for a great camp spot (with warm showers!) We headed off into the sunset and spent the last few miles of our day riding blissfully alone along the aforementioned highway, listening to John's music and watching the sky churn through hundreds of shades of purple. We headed straight to the grocery store to grab dinner and treated ourselves to birthday cake ice cream and fudge sauce. The fairgrounds were amazing, as promised, and we went to bed squeaky clean.

Lake Ontario Trekkers Enjoyed Lake on the Mountain

Today we had a short day of biking allowing us to take a long lunch break by Lake on the Mountain. The waters of the deep lake were much warmer than Lake Ontario. The group enjoyed some games including a couple rounds of Mafia, miniature tanks, and freebie. We then headed down the hill and crossed the ferry leaving Prince Edward County. Tonight we're camping in Adolphastown.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

D&R Canal Trekkers Biking With A Good Groove

This morning we had breakfast at the Homewood Suites hotel that included waffles, oatmeal and fresh fruit. After our safety check, we hopped back on the path for a hot, sweaty ride toward Pennsylvania.

Even with the hot weather, we're beginning to bike with a good groove. Not even the few LARGE hills we encountered, could keep us from biking to the top. Still worth it for the ride down :) just ask Eian and teen Trekker Jamie who rode down twice just to ride back up!

We've noticed some changes on the trail from dirt paths to gravel to pavement. Today the path passed by a cute little town as well.

When we reached Yardley, PA, we shopped at a local store for lunch taking our time and enjoying the air conditioning.

Moving onto a nearby park, we ate lunch and jumped through the sprinkler. Reaching the Hampton Inn Hotel, we rested for a bit before jumping in the pool.

After deciding on Indian food at a nearby restaurant for dinner, we parked our bikes and walked to the restaurant. The food was delicious and Isaac used his charm to get an extra basket of naan...

Back at the hotel, we appreciated the countryside and lack of lights to see the stars. After reviewing the day, we decided to go to bed early in order to wake up earlier for our big 29 mile ride tomorrow.

New England Shore Trek Crosses the Rhode Island / Massachusetts Border

Today, we woke up relishing our last moments in the hotel beds of the Providence Marriott. Soon, after packing up our bikes and heading downstairs, the Trekkers set off in search of breakfast! A quick trip for bagels, peanut butter and yogurt led to us enjoying a nice meal on the grass. We then headed off to our 23 mile ride over the Rhode Island/Massachusetts border into Assonet! The ride was eventful, with refreshing rainstorms, an extended break at Cumberland Farms, and BRIDGES!!!!! For lunch, we had chill zones, chicken tenders and hot dogs, and a lot of iced coffee. We picked up sammiches and salads for dinner and continued our ride into the cool, crisp, mystical water pouring from the sky. After arriving at our campsite we took in the view of deep forests and ponds as we sent up tents and enjoyed our meals. After dinner we put on our pjs and set out to explore the campsite where we watched the sun go down and
shared funny stories and hopes for the trip to come. Yotam still isn't in his pjs. Quotes of the day: "I have a more European palette" "I'm like hey what's up hello" "hand signals" -- Trekkers Lauren, Hazel, Willem and Yotam

Across America Trekkers are Minnesota Celebrities

July 27- Upon waking up in the Chandler Community Center, we were graced with the presence of the town's fire chief. He asked us about our trip and excitedly let us know we should be expecting another guest shortly. About ten minutes later, a reporter from the town over rolled up on her ATV and started interviewing us about our trip. We felt like celebrities! While we ate our oatmeal and started preparing for our day, she slipped away and came back minutes later with hot sausage egg and cheese sandwiches, a gift from the local cafe! We happily abandoned our oatmeal and scarfed down our breakfast sandwiches. Once we were all packed and ready to go, we took one final snapshot with the reporter and headed out to experience more of the Minnesota countryside. We spent the day riding along mostly flat and traffic free county roads, a welcome respite from the hills of Wyoming and the mountain passes of weeks past. We had a late lunch of chicken ceasar salad, and pedaled on through the humidity to our campground for the night. We stopped alongside a cornfield, where Branton and Tyler scored some sweet corn from a local farmer.
Instead of eating the corn, they proceeded to have an epic sword fight whilst riding down the road-- a truly hilarious spectacle for the rest of the crew. We pulled into our campsite and cracked out maple and brown sugar bratwurst and paired it with angel hair pasta, adding some fresh tomato to spruce it up. Fortunately, we finally had the opportunity to make s'mores, much to Katie's delight!!

D&R Canal Trekkers Attend Princeton for the Day

When we woke up, we had yummy bagels for a good morning start. Then we got on our bicycles and started bicycling down the D&R Canal (Delaware and Raritan Canal). We biked through the trails for about two hours, not really stopping at all. Then we came across a fallen tree. We made our way through and started back up again. All of us started to get tired so we decided to take a pit stop at a canoe rental and ate more bagels some apples and left over turkey. After resting a few more minutes we started riding through bumpy trails. Around 12ish all of us decided that it was time to have lunch. Our leaders found the nearest supermarket called Shop Right (get it drop right hehe) Anyways when we were on our way we had to go up a hill. It was definitely a struggle, well at least for me but in the end it was worth it when we got to go down. We went through a couple more trails and then biked up to Princeton. It was so beautiful, we even got to have a picnic there. We tried to get to the last campus tour on time but we just missed it. It didn't matter though we created our own tour and it was probably way better then the regular ones, even if we got lost. This nice college student took us to an area called the slums, they were the older dorms that looked like castles from long ago. She said that that was where the juniors stayed and it was called the slums because there was no air conditioning and a lot of cockroaches. All of the other dorms were re done on the inside. We got to look around at the beautiful architecture. It was very pretty but we got very tired after a while. So when we came across an art museum we went right inside. It had the three things we felt we needed; air conditioning, a water fountain, and a place to sit. After that we rode about two miles to get to the hotel. We had a pretty nice time in the pool; playing games and stuff. Then we played a bunch of games and went to bed. We are all really excited for all the days to come. -- written by Trekkers Sheyla & Zosia

Lake Ontario Trekkers Have an Easy Day on the North Side of the Lake

We had a short riding day today, biking to Presqu'isle Provincial Park. This morning we passed the AIDS ride again. We stopped for lunch in a town square and then continued on to camp arriving around 3. This gave us plenty of time to enjoy swimming and relaxing by the lakeside. For desert Claire made fried dough! Yum yum!

Lake Ontario Trekkers Discover Canadian Poutine

It was an epic day of biking, the group rode a hefty 40 miles in the sweltering heat and humidity. We met up with a fellow group of bikers who were riding for HIV Community Services in Toronto.  They were riding to Montreal. We broke bread at their finish line, but we quickly dispersed from that area because we had nine miles left. Then half of our group rode right by the "X-treme French Fry stand," but the rest of us stopped for our first Poutine (french fries with gravy and cheese curds) First of all the Poutine was on point. I "John Lunch" can solemnly swear that that was one of the best Teen Treks snacks I have ever had. And that is my lunch promise! Once we got to the campsite we went to the beach and played competitive volleyball against older people. We were able to win one of three games because of Lunch's performance up front [and everywhere else]. We ended the day with pita pizzas which went well and we didn't spill any ;)
Remember a vote for me is a vote for Lunch! John Lunch!    --   written by Trekker Jack

Monday, July 27, 2015

Minnesota - The Land of 10,000 Lakes for the Across America Trekkers

July 26- We started our day with biscuits and a delicious egg, cheese, and meat casserole made by the lovely Mrs Gier. Today's goal: reaching Minnesota, the land of 10,000 lakes! Trip leader Lydia rode over to the only bike shop in town that was open on a Sunday to get some problems sorted out while the rest of the crew made their way out of the city. We met up about 15 miles down the road, where we stopped to do some grocery shopping and rerouting. We met a lot of lovely people as we ate our lunch in town, one of whom gave Tyler, Katie, and Branton hand carved Bambi trinkets! We left the town with encouraging words and boosted confidence and made our way through the beautiful countryside to the border. A short 20 miles later we arrived at the coveted Minnesota state line, where we stopped for a photo. We rode into the town just over the border, where Tyler and Katie managed to find a great little camp spot that was not on the maps where we had our 2nd lunch of the day. We left soon after to squeeze the last of our day's miles in before dark, and ended up enjoying a gorgeous sunset while riding through the postcard-worthy farmland of Minnesota. Upon arriving to our destination, we struck up a conversation with a kind Minnesotan who pointed us to Chandler city park, where he opened the door to the community center for us. No tents!! We made a meat, rice, onion and broccoli dish for dinner and fell asleep soundly, looking forward to another day of beautiful Minnesota biking.