Friday, March 16, 2018

The Adventurer Newsletter Vol. 18 No. 22

Across America 10th Anniversary Year! 

It's Teen Treks' 10th year of running Across America Treks! In 2008 we ran our first Across America Trek and Annalisa was one of the trekkers on that first trip!

I honestly do not know where to start on this intrepid journey the seven of us took this summer. Although it may sound like a clichΓ©, I have so many great memories, that will stay with me forever.

Sure, I could talk about the mountain we climbed in the dusk during a storm or maybe the tree house we slept in. I could go on about the monotonous scenery in Montana and how we even ran out of things to think about or maybe playing Frisbee over the Continental Divide. Perhaps the interesting people we met along the way or the exhilaration you get after climbing 30 miles uphill and finally letting gravity do it’s job as you slide downhill. I could tell you about the tomato-avocado cookie, the nurf gun battles, or maybe the restaurant where horseradish wasn’t available, but I guess you would have had to have been there to understand.

We biked through rain, heat, hail, and even snow, up mountains, though valleys, and on the endless plains. Through thick and thin, mentally and physically, we made it all in one piece and I would do anything to be back on the seat of my bicycle instead of pushed into a desk at school.

Reaching the George Washington Bridge, with a crystal clear view of New York City in the distance, was surely one of the most amazing moments of my life. All I can say is boy, do we have a hell of a story to tell to our grandchildren.
- Annalisa Van den Bergh, Across America Trek 2008

"It changed my life. It was a great adventure" - Alex Siregar, Across America Trek 2008

The Mud-Dwelling Invertebrates Bike Across America
Annalisa's 2008 video "The Mud-Dwelling Invertebrates Bike Across America"
Teen Bike Camp - Ready to hit the road

Mid-Atlantic Families! The Great Allegheny Passage Trek Now Starts & Ends in Washington, DC!

The Great Allegheny Passage Trek is a truly remarkable journey alongside the picturesque Youghiogheny River and along the historic canal envisioned by George Washington, a route that is entirely off road from Pittsburgh to Washington DC! Our route follows the Great Allegheny Passage and the tow path of the C&O Canal - both trails are automobile free. I have experienced the Great Allegheny Passage Trek as a trekker and Trip Leader. As a trekker at the age of 13 this trek was an easy first long distance bicycle trip for me because the route was flat, no hills along the trail! We stopped at Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater house, the historic town of Harpers Ferry, the Antietam Battlefield in Maryland, & many small friendly towns along the way. As a Trip Leader I remember being especially enamored of the quiet campsites along the C&O Canal on the banks of the Potomac River. These quiet campsites which we had to ourselves were the perfect places for campfires, short walks to the nearby 19th century ruins of old canal aqueducts and the loud voices of young teens (I didn't have to worry about the trekkers disturbing anyone out there). As a history buff, I was delighted to see the trekkers stop to read the many historic markers along the trail. Hopefully I get to ride these trails this summer and I hope your teen gets to experience this wonderful trek as well!

- Tyler, Teen Treks Program Director

Great Allegheny Passage 
Starts: Washington, D.C. (Drop-off also available in Pittsburgh, PA)
Ends: Washington, D.C.
The Great Allegheny Passage
Watch this video to get a better idea of the beauty you'll encounter along the Great Allegheny Passage Trail
Teen Tours - teens being adventurous
What do Teen Trek leaders do when they are not leading treks?

Hey trekkers and families! Since returning home from the Across America trip with Teen Treks last year, I have been busy finishing up my senior year at UMass Amherst studying psychology and English. I am currently working on a creative thesis and writing about my time working for Teen Treks last year. My winter has been spent in the mountains skiing as much as I can, and when I am not skiing, I am usually reading or teaching Zumba. I love the winter season, but I am looking forward to getting back on my bike soon!

-Liza, Across America Trek Leader 2017

Space Still Available on These Amazing Treks!    Trips are filling up fast!  Sign up NOW to get a spot on your preferred trip!  (all trips click here)

European Grand Tour 
On this incredible 4-country adventure, you’ll bike through major cities and quaint villages in Britain, France, Belgium, and Holland, visiting major museums and monuments, eating at great local restaurants, and getting to know each place’s music, art, history, landscapes, and people. You’ll stay in hostels and hotels, and camp out in the countryside between touring major cities with great bike culture. A truly amazing way to experience Europe!
Travel Adventures - Bike Across America
Travel Adventures - Bike Amsterdam-Paris
Maine Coast Trek
The beautiful harbors, small towns, and winding back roads along the coastline from Boston, MA to Bar Harbor, ME make this biking and camping adventure unforgettable. We'll spend 3 days in Acadia National Park where we'll wake up for the first sunrise in the United States atop Cadillac Mountain! Pack your swimsuit and sneakers, the Maine Coast Trek is jam-packed with outdoor adventure!
Travel Adventures - Bike Amsterdam-Paris
Travel Adventures - Bike Across America
Teen Adventure Travel

Monday, March 12, 2018

The Adventurer Newsletter Vol. 18 No. 21

Teen Bike Camp - Ready to hit the road

Niagara Toronto Trekkers Have A Really Packed Day In Toronto

They started off the morning with scrambled eggs and croissants at the hostel, then biked across town to Riverdale Farm, where they saw farm animals and played some games. Next, they headed west towards Chinatown for a tasty lunch at a Chinese restaurant. After eating, the Trekkers explored the surrounding neighborhood, and saw a super cool alley which was filled with street art. Tired from all the walking, they went back to Chinatown for some bubble tea. After the break, the Trekkers had some free time to explore Kensington Market, which was full of funky shops and interesting souvenirs. (Jonah and Sara made everyone try kombucha!) After filling up on fermented tea, they headed across town again to an art gallery and cultural center in East Toronto. By this point, they were all really tired, so they went back to the neighborhood of the hostel to grocery shop and cook dinner. Once they finished their meal of spaghetti squash and meatballs, the Trekkers headed west to see Sing! which was being shown on an inflatable screen in a public park. They finished off two more tubs of ice cream in the first 15 minutes of the movie! Unfortunately, the movie was shut down before the ending due to an impending thunderstorm, but fortunately, to the rain didn't start until after we had biked back to the hostel! Glad to be home safe and dry before the storm, the Trekkers quickly fell asleep from such a fun but long day!
Teen Tours - teens being adventurous
The Maine Ingredient  by Tony Cafero

In his book “Desert Solitaire”, Edward Abbey—critiquing the National Parks system—notes:

“A man on foot, on horseback or on a bicycle will see more, feel more, enjoy more in one mile than the motorized tourists can in a hundred miles. Better to idle through one park in two weeks than try to race through a dozen in the same amount of time. Those who are familiar with both modes of travel know from experience that this is true; the rest have only to make the experiment to discover the same truth for them-selves.”                

This was our Teen Treks Maine Coast adventure. While the vast majority plowed down highways in superfluous fuel injected machines, we meandered northward along the tranquil beaches and crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean; relying on oatmeal, fruit, and turkey sandwiches as a clean burning fuel alternative. Our tents routinely would squeeze into campsites amongst oversized RV’s; concerned with electrical hookups as we searched for ample firewood. Two and a half weeks of vibrant sunrises, rocky shorelines and charming New England towns—all set against a backdrop of picturesque mountains--was our “experiment to discover the same truth”. While our final odometer reading came in at roughly 400 miles—through a reverse Abbey-style calculation—it seems we had experienced the equivalent of 40,000 miles.
Travel Adventures - Bike Across America
Travel Adventures - Bike Amsterdam-Paris
Space Still Available on These Amazing Treks!    Trips are filling up fast!  Sign up NOW to get a spot on your preferred trip!  (all trips click here)

Across America Trek ***March Special - $300 off Across America Treks!
Ride 3,800 miles across the U.S., through Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and on to Coney Island in New York City. We’ll see misty Oregon beaches and the Rocky Mountains, thick forests and the wide-open plains. We’ll camp, hike, and swim, stop in picturesque town squares and ride past some of the world’s tallest skyscrapers.  You’ll have the accomplishment of a lifetime.
Check out a day in the life of Teen Treks Across America last summer as they explore central Ohio, including a visit to the picturesque Oberlin College campus.
Amsterdam-Paris Trek
If you’ve never been to Europe, this 16-day trip will give you an amazing introduction. If you’re an old hand at international travel, it’s a rich, exciting tour of great sites in three bike-friendly countries - the Netherlands, Belgium, & France. The cities of Amsterdam, Bruges, Ghent, and Paris will whisk you off your bicycle seat with their lively cafes, legendary museums, and spectacular cuisines. This is a trip you won’t want to miss out on!
Teen Adventure Travel

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Season's Greetings from the Teen Treks team 🚲 ⛺ πŸŽ„ 🎁 πŸŽ…

For this holiday season, the Trip Leaders and Support Staff at Teen Treks simply want to express our gratitude towards you for biking with us this past summer.

The Holiday Season is a great time to reminisce on all the fun times we had together.

We wish you and your loved ones a festive holiday season!

Happy Holidays,
The Teen Treks Team

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Another Fantastic Teen Treks Summer Has Come and Gone!

Another fantastic Teen Treks summer has come and gone! This summer we bicycled together up and down hills, along scenic seaside bicycle paths, through pastoral valleys, along old rail lines re-purposed as tree lined bicycle paths, and on roads next to pastures of sun bathing cows - all the while reveling in the spontaneity of adventure travel.

Along the way we explored new places,

we made new friends,

we reached new heights,

we turned each other's worlds upside down,

we got tied up in unexpected adventures,

we explored our silly sides while doing laundry,

we found creative uses for fruit,

 and we had some uniquely memorable slumber parties --

needless to say we had many eye popping experiences!

all the while becoming closer with one another.

We also learned about local history, visited art museums, ate ice cream to cool down on those unbearably hot and humid summer days, visited alpaca farms, explored national and state parks, wandered through country antique stores, visited iconic big city landmarks, and relaxed on beautiful beaches from Cape Cod, Lake Champlain and Lake Ontario to the Puget Sound, Oregon coast, and California's Big Sur. From our seasoned Trekkers completing their Across America Trek from Oregon to Coney Island in New York City to our first time trekkers biking from Buffalo to Toronto and on Cape Cod - we all had a truly unforgettable summer. Not all kids can say they've accomplished so much in such a short amount of time, but our Trekkers sure can!

Keep an eye out for our trip schedule for summer 2018 to help you plan out next summer's adventure! See you then!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Last Blog Entry From NY-Montreal Trek

On our last day in Montreal
We ate omelette and pancake mix
Then toured the biodome, it wasn't small
Wetland, arctic, ocean, tropics.

After lunch, we reused the tickets
And walked to the insectarium nearby
They sold snacks like ice cream with crickets
The inside was colored with butterflies.

There was more free stuff to be see
We saw a gallery of bonsai in the park
We packed our bikes and rode carefree
Then crammed them into boxes in the dark.

As the bus rumbles, I see with tired eyes
The rode I rode, but never alone
We all made friends, to summarize
And now we scatter and go home.

-Written by Trekker Soeren

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Great Sites and Food in Monteal for the NY-Montreal Trekkers

Today, the New York to Montreal Trekkers enjoyed exploring more of the city. They began their day with breakfast at the hostel, then set out to Schwartz's Deli, for some extra breakfast. After filling up on delicious smoked pastrami, they ascended Mount Royal on bicycles, to get a beautiful view of Montreal. The climb and the ride back down made everybody very hungry, so after, the group rode to Jean Talon Market, where they got lunch and explored the many vendors selling authentic ethnic cuisine. After lunch, the Trekkers rode back to the waterfront, where they had some free time to explore Old Montreal. To finish the day, they went ziplining! We discovered it was free spagetti night once we returned to the hostel, so for dessert Soeren and Jared made an awesome chocolate souflet! It was a great ending to the last full day of the trip. 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

NY-Montreal Trekkers Reach Montreal!

This morning we woke up in Napierville and headed out to a Tim Hortons for a great Canadian breakfast of donuts. Right after we finished, we got caught in an enormous rainstorm that lashed at us for a few miles until we hit the Quebecois farmland. After 15 miles, we could see Montreal and Mont Royal on the skyline. A few miles later, we crossed a drawbridge over the Richeliu River and headed out onto an eight mile causeway into Parc Jean Garneau, where the Montreal Exposition 67 occurred 50 years ago. We explored the BioDome, an extremely cool environmental and climate museum before crossing the St. Lawrence into Montreal. We got to our very nice hostel and hit up an all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet. We explored Montreal a bit and enjoyed the rooftop hot tub to end the day. Excited to explore tomorrow... and go on the hipline.
Written by Trekker Charlie
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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

ACROSS AMERICA Trekkers and Families Celebrate at Coney Island

NY-Montreal Trekkers Cross Into Quebec

Today we crossed the border from Vermont to Canada—it was pretty easy. There was no hassle and no waiting. After we crossed the border we rode for two hours passing by beautiful but smelly farmlands. We finally arrived at a campground with nice bathrooms and a gigantic slide and pool. We also had poutine, which is some french fries with a whole lotta cheese curds and gravy. Everybody speaks French here and it's a little unsettling as we aren't too far  from the border. Good thing our friend Soeren speaks French and translated for us. We ended the night with some table tennis and marshmallows over the fire. 

Monday, August 14, 2017


Today the Teen Trekkers biked into New York City! The group started on the Pacific Coast of Oregon just 8 weeks ago. Today they woke up to a delicious breakfast provided by the Rifkin family, which fueled them to get into the city via the George Washington Bridge. They had lunch at a taqueria, and had cookies for dessert from Schmackary's. They went to an off-Broadway musical called Avenue Q, and to finish off the night they went to Black Tap, home of New York's best burger and famous milkshakes! Next stop: Coney Island.

A Beautiful Day on Lake Champlain for NY-Montreal Trekkers

This morning we woke up on the north shore campsite outside of Burlington. It was a late morning where we could sleep in because we had a very short day. After a cereal breakfast, we biked back to Burlington and went to the ECHO Champlain Museum. When we were finished, we got a sandwich lunch and started onto the road. Almost all of today's riding was on the gorgeous Burlington Bike Park system. After a few miles on the shore of Champlain, the bike path continues on an old railroad causeway far out into Champlain. It was easily one of the most beautiful rides on the trip. Right before the causeway reaches South Hero Island in the middle of Champlain, the causeway breaks off in a channel so boats can pass through. We hopped on a quick bike ferry to the other side of the causeway. The rest of the biking of the day was spent riding across South Hero and Grand Isle, until we reached Grand Isle State Park. Some of us took a dip in Champlain and then we ate chicken grilled cheeses to wrap off an easy 20 mile day. We finished with bad cookies and a game of mafia. Tomorrow's Quebec!!!!!
~Written by Trekker Charlie

Sunday, August 13, 2017

99 Mile Day for Across America Trekkers

Today was the trekkers last long day of mileage. They traveled 99 miles from Callicoon, NY to Westwood, NJ, where Kyle's family made them an awesome home cooked meal and provided them with couches and beds for sleeping (thank you!!). Only a few days left until they reach the coast!

NY-Montreal Trekkers Enjoy Burlington,VT

Today took us from DAR campsite to the city of Burlington, where we spent the majority of our day. After walking around an open market and eating lunch in the park, we looked at shops until coming to a Ben & Jerry's, where we attempted to finish a Vermonster (20  scoops of ice cream with as many toppings as we want).  It came down to Jared, who bravely drank the remaining liquid ice cream left in the bucket. We finally arrived at our campsite in North Beach, where we stayed for the rest of the day.  Some of us took a ride to the grocery store to pick up supplies for an artisan salad and pesto orzo, and the rest did laundry at the campground. Charlie got some free firewood from the office so we made a campfire and ended the evening with a game of mafia.
~Written by Trekker Brendan

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Across America Trekkers Closing In On NYC

Today the Across America Trekkers started in Harpursville, NY and made their way along Route 17. They were keeping a good pace despite the hills, but unfortunately they were caught in a heavy rain storm that started at 7 and continued through the night. Instead of biking in the rain, they stopped early for a hot meal and stayed the night at The Western Inn in Callicoon, NY. They plan to do a century tomorrow to make up for the day's lost miles.

NY-Montreal Trekkers Bike Through Vermont

 As we entered DAR State Park today, we all felt quite accomplished as we finished our 55 mile day into Vermont. We were happy to leave our mosquito-infested campsite this morning, and took off as soon as possible. Today was by far the hardest yet, especially as we climbed the Graphite Mountain for 5 miles. Despite our tough day, we're glad we persisted and got to see Lake George and Lake Champlain. We admired the view from the Champlain Bridge and straddled the border between New York and Vermont. Dinner—"pasta from the sky" and oreos—was extremely satisfying. We can't wait to explore Burlington tomorrow. 
~Written by Trekker Blake

Friday, August 11, 2017

NYC is So Close for Across America Trekkers

The Across America Trekkers had about a 60 mile ride. They left Ithaca mid-morning and ended the day in Harpursville, NY. In between, they stopped to explore an abandoned school. After dinner they had an ice cream treat:) Getting closer...

NY-Montreal Trekkers Enjoy Lake George

Today was a short ride spread throughout the day. We spent 3 hours at Lake George devouring ice cream and stand up paddle boarding. After our time at the lake we had a short 10-mile ride to our campsite which will put us ahead for our 50-mile ride tomorrow to Vermont. The campsite is very nice and we're all looking forward to a good night's sleep.
Written by Trekker Jared

Thursday, August 10, 2017

NY-Montreal Trekkers Bike Through Saratoga Region

Today we left Albany. We biked on a bike path along the Hudson for 5 miles, then went on to route 9. We stopped at a Price Chopper for lunch. After lunch we continued through a town on Saratoga Lake. We stopped on the bridge to eat ice cream, and to go bridge jumping into the lake. We ate ramen stir fry for dinner at our campsite, then went to see the sunset on the lake, and had s'mores for dessert. 
~Written by Trekker Hazel

Finger Lakes And Cornell Were Days Highlights for Across America Trekkers

The Teen Trekkers continued their journey across the state of New York today, traveling a total of 85 miles from Avon to Ithaca. The group stopped midday for a China Buffet before traveling south along Cayuga Lake and landing at the day's destination. They camped outside of a Cornell co-op right on campus, and ate a meal from Cornell student's favorite street food restaurant.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Across America Trekkers Take on New York State

Today the Trekkers slept in in Buffalo, where they woke up to fresh local bagels and fruit. After a mid-morning stop at the Buffalo bike shop, they got on the road for a 60 mile day, ending at a hotel in Avon, NY.