Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Pacific Northwest Trekkers Taking in the Cascade Mountains Scenery

Today we biked to Larabee State Park. We took the ferry back from Orcas Island and stopped in Anacortes to buy groceries. Then we continued along 30 miles of mostly flat riding to reach our destination. We enjoyed the beautiful scenery of the Cascade Mountains along the edge of the coastal plains.

The European Grand Tour Trekkers Cycle the Scenic Netherlands Coast

We woke up bright and early in Amsterdam. David made eggs and grilled cheeses in the park and we went to the Anne Frank Museum afterwards. It was very emotional and I could only imagine what it was like for her and her family. Then, we set off to our halfway journey to the English Channel ferry. The ride was nice and flat, and we had bike lanes the entire time. We stopped in Haarlem to see a windmill and try some falafel—the first time for a couple of us. When we reached the beach, the headwind was so strong that it was hard to go downhill! We finally reached our place to camp and made delicious burritos for dinner. We went to bed with a faint ocean smell and some sand in my tent.
-written by Trekker Andy

Easy Biking Day for the New England Shore Trekkers

Welcome back to day 4 of the New England Shore Coast Trek. After a relaxing night at the Days Inn of Mystic Seaport, we got up and munched on our continental breakfast before setting out for Burlingame State Park. Cruising  through the town of Mystic, we made a quick pit stop at the local bike shop, Mystic Cycles. There we made some small tuneups as well as made a new friend, the shop owners dog Reya.
From there we cruised down Route 1. At around 12 we stopped for lunch at the Westerly Stop and Shop and scarfed down an assortment of fruit, chips, and wraps.  We continued onward to Burlingame, finishing up the last six miles with ease.  Upon our arrival we quickly set up camp and got to cooking our dinner of grilled cheese and hotdogs before the storm rolled through.  The campers are spending the night in their tents playing cards, excited to reach Block Island tomorrow.
- Trek Trip Leader Russell

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

A Needed Rest Day for the Pacific Northwest Bikers on Orcus Island

Today was what us bikers call a doozy. We spent the day at Moran State Park where we did almost no biking at all. Anyways, we started our day later than usual which was much appreciated by everyone. We took our time in the morning with oatmeal and cereal for breakfast. Then after a while we biked to the beach nearby on Cascade Lake. Some stayed inland and napped or read, while others floated around on an inflatable pineapple. Eventually, we made our way back to the campsite to make burritos for dinner. Tomorrow we are getting up at 5:30 to get out of here early for a long day, but we definitely got the relaxing day we asked for.
-Written by Trekker Jack

Art-Filled Day in Amsterdam for the European Grand Tour Trekkers

We spent the majority of the day walking through the rooms of the Rijksmuseum, following clues and instructions for an escape the room game (although it was really a break into the room game). The ultimate goal of the game was to break into a room and find the secret message, but first we had to find secrets hidden all around the museum. We had to match keys to letters, climb under benches, and find symbols within modern paintings and sculptures. Including a lunch/nap break, we took 7 hours to complete it (because we can’t back down from the challenge of doing expert level). Overall, a very art-filled day. We ended the day with some outdoors cooking. We’ve had a lot of fun in Amsterdam and are sad to leave. In two days we will be back in England.

Mystic Seaport - "Pretty Cool" Says the New England Shore Trekkers

WHAT IS UP Teen Treks fam. Welcome back to another blog post. We started our trek at around 9:15 in the morning. We biked around a cool 20 miles. We had a quicker than usual lunch consisting of Nutella and Peanut-Butter or Jelly for those who are wack. We continued biking after that and finally arrived at our Days Inn. We chilled and unpacked for about an hour then got back on to the road to get to The Mystic Seaport Museum which was pretty cool, not to lie. We than grabbed a bite at the famous "Mystic Pizza" which apparently had a movie filmed for it but it wasn't that popular. They loved it though, screenshots from the film were scattered all throughout the walls of the restaurant. We then got some damn good ice cream. We got two quartz of two flavours, Mint Chocolate Chip and Mystic Mud. Mystic Mud consisted of candy and some fudge all in chocolate ice cream. Twas good. We ate our ice cream listening to a live performance of some very interesting blues/rock type music. We then biked back to the hotel and bonded within our hotel rooms. It was a very comfortable day in terms of biking and accommodations. yeet.
- Trekker Andre

NY-Montreal Trekkers End Their Adventure After an Awesome Day in Montreal

As our last day in Montreal drew to a close, we were given the opportunity to climb the city's namesake, Mont royal. The mountain afforded us a quasi-birdseye view of the city, where we were able to look upon the streets we had traversed throughout our stay. This excursion marked the end of our tourist experience, however as we had to pack up our bags and bikes and prepare them for the bus ride home. Aside from a few minor hiccups, this went smoothly, and we are even on the bus, not sleeping but instead reminiscing about the trip and enjoying our last hours of each other's company.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Stroopwaffles in Amsterdam for the European Grand Tour Trekkers

Today we woke up at a crisp 7:30. Setting off to buy breakfast, we navigated the jungle of bikes that is Amsterdam. After consuming a filling meal of stroopwaffles, clementines, chocolate croissants, and cereal, we made our way to the front of a royal palace for the Sandeman Tour. It wasn’t as good as the Paris tour, but it certainly had its highlights. After the tour, when we were walking around, I (Henry) accidentally set off a blaring Vespa alarm. Not my proudest moment.   We got back to the hostel in time to watch the World Cup Final, France vs. Croatia. I made some friends while watching the game, which was fun.  Then we decided to “Take a Wok,” picking up Chinese food and eating it in Vondelpark. We laughed over eclectic subjects and made the short walk back to the hostel for bed.

Pacific Northwest Trekkers Cycle the San Juan Islands

We started off the day with some delicious warm oatmeal, which felt so good in the less-than beach-ready morning climate. Some of the smaller hills to overcome were faced in the early morning with spoke and tire pressure problems. Nonetheless, within twenty minutes we were on the road for a long but far enjoyable day. As for incline, the easiest physical barriers were taken over in the morning on a trip to the ferry leading to Orcas Island. On this 40-mile ride, many of us trekkers enjoyed some grease for the first time in six days. Nothing says let’s go bike for the next four hours like boat hot dogs and hamburgers. Perhaps the near limitation peaks were approached for the first time in the face of an increase of 2000 feet (that’s a steep 2000 feet) and a decline of roughly 1800 feet. Despite the aching of one’s hamstring and calves in the late night, the campsite reached allowed for a pleasant swim for all of us upon the arrival at Moran State Park. A ten hours of napping allowed many of us Teen Trekkers to realize great physical and metamorphic heights and joyous views reached during the past 24 hours. Until tomorrow, there is much done and only more to achieve! 
-Written by Trekker Sidney

A Great Beach Ends Each Day on the New England Shore Trek

Hey Guys!! Welcome back to another blog from yours truly. Today was a #epic for biking. We got around 26 miles under our belts. Lunch took a little bit longer than usual but still tasted swell. We had some turkey and ham wraps (That was mid-ride) and continued for about 15 miles after that. We finally got to the campsite and set up tents a lot quicker than the previous day. I guess we did actually learn something. We then went to the beach and dipped in our tosies. When we returned from the beach we started work on dinner. We had tacos which consisted of ground turkey, corn, refried beans, black beans, tomatoes, and onions with peppers. For dessert we had a makeshift pumpkin pie with marshmallows on top. Very nice. We finished the day with some of us playing some frisbee. yeet.
-trekker Andre

2 Great Days in Montreal for the NY-Montreal Trekkers

As we end our trip from New York City to Montreal, here is a summary of the trip through 5 objects:

Deck of Cards: At any break that we could find, we pulled out our trusty deck of cards. We tested many different games, such as Spoons, Go Fish, and others; however, we always resorted back to our favorite, President. In a race to the top, games became intense to the point where a Queen was thrown out the window of a ferry to its watery demise. By the end of the trip, the deck was a greasy, sticky, grimy, and missing cards. By it was well used.

Peanut Butter and Jelly: On Day 1, we bought a large container of Peanut Butter and Grape Jelly, intending to finish it quickly. However, it was soon overtaken in popularity by its competitor, bagels and cream cheese. However, Mike consistently forced himself to eat one PB + J sandwich a day to justify our keeping the containers the entire trip. The containers were thoroughly eaten through.

Maps: Each day one camper was handed maps of the days' route. However, the maps contained confusing directions creating a complex navigating process. This resulted in miles added to certain days and one giant hill to another.

Propane Lighter: Due to our limited pannier space, we were forced to think creatively when packing on the bike. Poor planning resulted in the loss of a propane tank. Additionally, we were in constant search of camping propane tanks because of its importance to cooking food. However, our inability to light the burners with a lighter led to the constant dissatisfaction of our trek leaders.

Vermonster: When stopping in Burlington, VT, we stopped by the original Ben & Jerry's and purchased The Vermonster. 20 of ice cream and tons of toppings. As a group, we were able to conquer it and keep the container as our trophy. Poor connection to the bike almost led to the loss of our trophy multiple times in Montreal at the hands of potholes.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

"Ocean of Bikes" Greet the European Grand Tour Trekkers in Amsterdam

We woke up in Ghent and the boys woke up too late so we almost missed check out. We went to a cat cafe before we left for Amsterdam. The purpose of the cat cafe was to make shy cats left at the shelter more comfortable around people. But this meant that all the cats were too scared for us to pet. We got to the train station and had to take 2 trains to get to Amsterdam. We were all pretty stressed out but at least we didn’t take our bikes apart this time. We left the train station of Amsterdam and saw an ocean of bikes. Bikes seemed to outnumber the people. We got to the hostel and ate a nice dinner. We ended the night with a stroll in Vondelpark, the the main city park adjacent to the hostel.

First Day Recap by the New England Shore Trekkers

Hey guys welcome back to the blog. Today we had something crazy planned for you guys so basically let me give you some back story. We met in Bryant Park in NYC at 8 am. We then caught a train from Grand Central Station that took us all the way to New Haven, Connecticut. We then barely made our second train that took us to Guilford. We were fortunate enough to get the aid of a very helpful conductor who opened up a closed train cart just for us and our bikes. We then met up with the last two people of our group who turned out to be twins!! We later stopped by a grocery store to pick up some food for dinner and lunch. We ate some cold cut sandwiches in the middle of the park. Then we biked 8 miles to get to the campsite and set up our tents. We also went to the beach. Then, we made some dinner. Yeet.
-Trekker Andre

Pacific Northwest Trekkers Reach Deception Pass

Today was a long biking day which started with the sun at the early time of 6:30. After only two hours of getting ready and eating breakfast, we set out with all our gear packed. The ride started with an easy 5 miles which was completed the in just under 30 minutes.  We then took a break to get lunch and dinner foods which was strapped on to our bikes along with the rest of our gear. Between the store and lunch we passed many runners who were part of the RAGNAR race. We passed along words of encouragement and many high 5's. After 30 miles of riding we stopped for lunch at a beautiful beach on the Puget Sound. We had run out of water and thankfully we found a pottery shop in the nick of time. They gave us directions to a grocery store where we got a much needed ice cream break. Finally after the last 15 miles we made it to the Deception Pass State Park.
-written by Ralph

Saturday, July 14, 2018

New England Shore Trek Begins with Short Ride Through Connecticut

The 8 a.m. meeting in Manhattan's Bryant Park was followed by a brief walk to Grand Central Terminal where the Trekkers loaded their bicycles and gear onto a Metro North commuter train heading for New Haven.  Meeting additional Trekkers in Guilford, CT the entire group was now together to begin their journey through Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts' Cape Cod. Today they will have a short ride to Hammonasset State Park & Beach.  Over the next 16 days the group will cycle and visit Mystic Seaport,  ferry to Block Island's grand lighthouses, visit the mansions in Newport, enjoy the City of Providence, cycle the length of Cape Cod to Provincetown, and end with a grand day in Boston. 

Pacific Northwest Trekkers Begin Their Travels on the Many Islands in the Puget Sound

I never thought in a million years that I would be excited to wake up at 6:55 in the middle of the summer. However, being apart of the Teen Treks family has me enjoying every moment, from dusk til dawn. The day started off great.  I made a dozen eggs for my fellow campmates, of which I had 4, half of what I would've liked, but this trip is all about making sacrifices and thinking about others' needs besides your own. Shortly after the meal, one of seven of the day, we packed up our bikes on the streets of Seattle and headed North. 3 Hours, 33 miles, a ferry ride, and a quick dip in "Ragnar" Lake later, we found ourselves amid beautiful scenery and wildlife on Whidbey Island.  We climbed upwards of 2,000 feet to get to our destination, which was probably the cause of my unbearable and nearly crippling leg cramps. Yet, come the end of the day we were still smiling and excited for another tough day tomorrow. While as a group we face our fair share of obstacles, we manage to get by with our uplifting attitudes and 5 pounds of grass fed organic ground beef sloppy Joes to end a wonderful day.  -written by Trekker Noah

European Grand Tour Trekkers Have Leisurely Day in Ghent, Belgium

After a nice sleep in, we started off our day at the Gravensteen Castle and its interesting (and creepy) torture museum. We wandered the cobblestone streets of Ghent to a flea market, a graffiti filled street, and then onto lunch—Andy and Henry’s first veggie burgers. Feeling a bit tuckered, we all took naps at the park by the castle. Waking up to find no one from the group (they had moved to the other side when I was sleeping to get away from a noisy gaggle of girls).  For dinner we had Middle Eastern food out of cans with somewhat understandable ingredients. Afterwards, we had some odd (but good) pistachio treats for dessert. Today is our last day in Belgium; we are all excited to go to Amsterdam tomorrow.

NY-Montreal Trekkers Advancing on Montreal!

We woke up at 8 o'clock, and we ate oatmeal like usual. The day started like most days start. We started off on our bikes going pretty fast. After 22 miles, we crossed the border with style, with talent and grace. We made the best picture in teen treks history. We continued on with locals speaking French we didn't understand (except felix). We arrived at the campsite and saw a legendary slide. We set up the tents and ran to the slide going down it at least 200 times. Going down one by one, diving to the dark depths below. The slide closed at 5 o'clock so it was time for dinner. We played foosball in a container. Finally we played volleyball and took showers.          written by Trekkers Felix & Max

Friday, July 13, 2018

Exploring Seattle for the Pacific Northwest Trekkers

Today we spent the day exploring Seattle and getting to know each other. We started off at the Pike Place Market before heading off to the Starbucks Coffee roastery. We meandered through the streets of the city and climbed up the very steep hill to Kerry Park. We came back to the hostel and our food group of Kyle, Otto, & Matt made a delicious Pasta Alfredo!

The European Grand Tour Trek Video from Bruges, Belgium