Friday, July 31, 2009

C&O J19 (7/19-8/4, 7-9 graders)

Hello All,
We are in Harpers Ferry, it is 8am and we are getting ready to head out for our last night of camping after the trekkers finish a hearty breakfast. We have had a blast so far. Yesterday was a well deserved rest day spent on foot (in an upright position for a change) touring Harpers Ferry, WV. We went for a morning hike to enjoy a scenic overlook, visited local shops, enjoyed a good lunch followed by some delicious ice cream, and then explored the history in and around Harpers Ferry.
Although we encountered some rain the first few days we were all high spirited and blessed to have the rain hold up for the times that we needed it to. Our weather luck did change though, and we took full advantage swimming across the river from MD to WV one day, and jumping from 8ft cliffs/dams in to the refreshing Potomac the next. The kids are all so unique, and each bring something special to the group. It has been a pleasure getting to know them all so very well, we have enjoyed their love for adventure, strong wills, camaraderie, and free spirits!
We will be at our final destination very soon, and we are all super excited to complete our trip, enjoy D.C., and see our families. Wish us luck in our last 60 miles, and we will see you all soon...
-Teen Trekkers

Thursday, July 30, 2009



Oh mang! While in the face of danger...flat tire demons,chain breaking ghouls, and rain soaked ghosts..... we have been having fun and lots of it. Traveling the hills/mountains of Vermont have led most of us to realize that we will not be joining Lance anytime soon at the Tour de France, but at least we are training like him...HEY wait?! He's not carrying 50+lbs of extra weight on his maybe he should be aspiring to be on our team? Maybe?! Dah! Nevermind!

So we have had to get a new tent in lieu of a leaky broken zipper, but we are back in business and staying dry despite the rain. The campgrounds have been fun and we have been enjoying the facilities...especially the hot showers!

We have recently made it into VT and have been enjoying the biking and the different sights. We cranked out a good 70 mile day and crashed hard at a local Super 8 due to the rain and thunderstorms. Just to let you know, though it rained and we were wet, our spirits were high and dry! Burlington will have to endure the wrath of our group now! Muahhahaha (sinister laugh)

Enjoy some sweet pics of our journey thus far...some are before Albany and some of Vermont! We will be doing our best to keep you up to date once we are in Montreal as well! Cheers! Rich & Sam

OH...And here's a little message the kids wanted you to know...see if you can see what it says....


Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Hello from New City!

bryan here. i would like to set the record straight by saying that these kids are complete brats. just look at how bratty these kids are. (see photos) clearly not having a lick of fun. they obviously hate biking and can't get along with one another.

seriously though...

It's been an eventful two days since the group first met on Tuesday morning at the New York City hostel. Tuesday morning, we biked along the bike path on the hudson river (west side) up to the Cloisters museum, a romanesque building comprised of salvaged building components from demolished european cathedrals, where we dined (lunched?) feasted upon the culinary creations of Noah and David, who picked out a healthy lunch of hummus and tabouli veggie pitas. By the time we had worked out way back down to central park we were more than ready for ice cream. devoured 2 half gallons and passed out. we rode around central park and had pizza for dinner. the hostel had air conditioning which was a much appreciated last taste of civilization.

or so we thought.

40 miles of biking on wednesday brought us to Nyack, where we had hot chocolate and had our bicycles doctored by the wonderful bike shop there. Nyack beach was for skipping rocks, and eagles were spotted. that's right. eagles. bald ones. Brandon survived a bee-sting, and everybody championed all of the hills that finally brought us to Mariel's house, where her mother had prepared a fantastic 3 course meal for us. amazing.

Maine Coast J24

We've made it to Portland and spent the day here biking the city, taking a ferry to and exploring Peaks Island, visiting the Portland Art Museum and gorging ourselves on Indian food. So far the trip has been awesome. We've had a few long days of biking (one 53 mile day and yesterday was about 49 miles!), but have found beautiful beaches, swimming spots and stumbled upon great shoreside stopping points.

We have discovered a rural and scenic route called the Eastern Trail that occassionally gives us a change of scenery and puts us far away from any vehicles. Yesterday while Annika was plagued by flat tires, much of the group got to swim in a salt marsh right off the Eastern trail.

The group has taken a particular liking to 1/2 gallons of ice cream and donuts/coffee so that has become one of our trip rituals. Other than these few treats, we're eating very well and very often!

Tonight is our last night in a bed until Bar Harbor, so we are taking advantage of the hotel's amenities before our early morning start. We're feeling ready to get out of the city once again and do some continuous biking along the ocean!

Sunday, July 26, 2009


Six days and about 200 miles into the trek, already! Our last post, we have travelled to Bear Mountain State Park and conquered some crazy uphills and flew down the downhills. How exhilarating! Some of us we fortunate enough to visit a really cool lighthouse, those of us who were looking for things to see that is! That night, we stayed at a campground and got a little wet, but were still in good spirits. The next day, we brushed up on some history at the FDR house, and toured his childhood and favorite home, up until his death, in Hyde Park. It was very beautiful there. That night we slept at Norrie Point State Park campground and encountered a nasty thunderstorm. To say the least, our dinner was eaten slightly wetter than usual, and in a men's bathroom for shelter and safety. What an experience that was! The weather for our 50 mile day was beautiful and was perfect to work on our sweet biker's tan. That night we phantom-ed next to the Hudson in a park and experienced, yet again, another soaking thunderstorm. We are currently at a EconoLodge in Albany, NY, enjoying a real shower, air conditioning, laundry facilities and a real bed. Pictures to come! Promise!

European Phantom Trip Takes London By Storm

Biking through London
We have accomplished a lot
This is how we roll

Big Ben, Buckingham
Girls were upset (no male guide)
Churchill War Museum

Deranged pelican
Hyde Park podium speaker
Which was crazier?

Afternoon naptime!
Found unique Thai restaurant
Trip almost over

NYM J-14, We're Here!

As you may be able to tell by the typos, we're here! We decided to consolidate our biking and get here a day early, so now we are at a luxorious hotel just outside of Montreal. They keyboard has all kinds of accent keys and the punctuation marks are not where they should be!

Getting in after the border, we biked along some gorgeous bike paths along lakes and canals-- this place was made for bikers. It's flat, paved, and off the road. We cooked up some penne alla vodka on the lawn in front of our hotel then watched this weekend's display of fireworks that are part of the ongoing international fireworks competition that Montreal hosts.

We've had plenty of adventure in getting here. After leaving New York City we biked towns in New Jersey that did not seem to have grocery stores, then slept among the deer in Nyack Beach State park. Later on we met some friendly folks in Wappinger Falls, NY who let us camp out in their back yard and use their RV to take showers... THANKS DEB! Bear mountain was a beastly climb, but we all felt accomplished making it up, and coasted down then next half mile into a New York state bird sanctuary. We got into our next campsite as it started raining, but manage to keep our tents relatively dry as we set them up. The park ranger warned us about racoons so we wrapped up our food and fit as much as we could into our pot. The rest stayed in tightly wrapped plastic bags next to the pot. The racoons feasted on some butterfingers and nature valley bars (they seem to be excellent at opening wrappers), but the food in the pot was safe and we had a nice warm breakfast before we hit the road again.

We stopped for lunch at a swimming hole just off a creek where we dried out our tents and went for a dip. Along the way we met a fellow bike tourist who had made his way there from San Francisco! We made our way to beautiful Newton (or Nutton) Hook park where we had hoped to phantom. We encountered the park ranger and his family on our way in. The ranger was happy to help and gave us a permit to camp on the beach next door. We were right on the water in one of the most serene settings imaginable. Some nearby campers brought us over some corn on the cobb in the evening and some coffee and breakfast in the morning.

The night at the econo-lodge in Albany was a treat. We managed to do some laundry, hit the State Museum, grab some pizza, cool off in the pool, SLEEP IN BEDS and hit the road refreshed to make it into Vermont.

Our first night in Vermont was a wet one. We ate in the grocery store at Fair Haven as it was just coming down too hard to try to cook outside. So we made our way to the campground where a local pointed us to the next best thing: a picnic pavillion where we could stay dry while setting up our tents. It worked perfectly and we slept soundly next to some boisterous frogs.

The next day was the most challenging day of biking we had on the trip. Over 50 miles of hills hills hills, including closing the day at Mt. Philco State Park-- a campsite up a mountain. The sun had come out and we dried off ourselves and our stuff. Back in New Jersey we had done a little over 20 miles on relatively flat terraine, but and had a few sore muscles at the end; now we were coasting down and pushing up hill after hill with trucks going by and pulling it off like champs. We hit the hay knowing we'd be in Burlington in the morning and have some Ben and Jerry's waiting for us.

And indeed we did. For those of you unfamiliar with The Vermonster, it consists of 20 scoops of ice cream, 4 ladles of hot fudge, whipped cream, 3 cookies and 4 toppings. All nine of us did not even come close to finishing it. But we made a valiant effort and headed to the campsite with a full sugar high.

In the morning we made our way down the Burlington bike path and caught the ferry to Port Kent, and took in the scenic views along the way. After trudging up a steep hill at the beginning of Port Kent we were worried we were in for another challenging day of hills, but that soon proved to be unwarranted as the rest of the day was flat and sunny with Lake Champlain keeping us company on our ride. We ended the day at a campsite between Champlain and Rouses Point, NY. The accents in the area were increasingly French as we were just a few miles from the border.

Which pretty much brings us to where I started. We crossed the border and made our way towards Montreal, stopping to find motel vacancies or any other ideas for places to stay. Again, it was a huge contrast to the first days of the the trip when 15-25 miles was a challenge. We started off almost 60 miles away from the city, but everyone wanted to push on to get there in time for the fireworks. There was a car show this weekend so most of the hotel rooms were booked up. Today we head in to the city, check into the hostel and explore!

Friday, July 24, 2009

J19-C&O Canal

The first C&O canal group has gotten off to a great start! We have a great group of trekkers who have done a wonderful job through all kinds of weather these first five days. After 4 nights of camping, we have splurged for a warm and dry hostel in Meyersvale, PA. White water rafting through the Youghiogheny and touring the Falling Water house were wonderful. Tomorrow we'll set off to complete the Allegheny Rail Trail, putting us in Cumberland, MD, for the start of the C&O canal. We hope to be able to post pictures soon, including great shots of the Frank Lloyd Wright house.

Leaving Holland and onto England

The European Phantom group left Amsterdam last Sunday and biked west to the city of Harlem. There we toured a reconstructed windmill of 1800s vintage with a young physicist guide whom the group really enjoyed. By mid-day we cycled onto Delft to tour a pottery factory producing original Delft blue and colored wares. The next day we cycled into The Haag to see the Maurithuis Museum. (known for many Vermeer, Rembrandt, and Rubens paintings) After a picnic lunch in a nice town square we headed to the beach for a long swim in the English Channel and sun burning. (maybe we stayed too long) By nightfall we boarded the ferry in Hook van Holland to take us overnight to Harwich, UK.

We were all very glad to be back in England and looking forward to take on some long biking days. By 2:00 p.m. we reached our itinerary destination of Sudbury, but the group wanted to go further ending the day with 42 miles. That shortened our next days ride into Cambridge so we did laundry before we got to the hostel. After a grouped cooked dinner in the hostel kitchen we set out to see a disappointing, new Harry Potter movie. It was quite a let-down as several kids were really psyched to see HP in England. Today we toured Kings College of Cambridge U. and went punting on the Cam River. Our night activity - Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing was rained out so it's a quiet night of games and journal writing in the hostel. Tomorrow we're off to London.

EP-J1 Pics!

Greetings from NYM-J14!

Hi all! NYC to montreal J14 here in lovely Burlington passing out from
a food coma after sharing a "vermonster" at the Ben and Jerry's. It's
been an eventful trip so far, including meeting some hospitable
locals, fellow campers, and park rangers in upstate NY, a soggy night
in lower VT, some good swimming spots and an ongoing cook-off. More to
be posted soon with pictures.

-Molly and Joe

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Maine Coast - J10 Part Deux

So good news everyone, we have succesfully made it to Bar Harbor, Maine! Since leaving Portland over a week ago we have encountered many more hills, some beautiful countryside and the picturesque Maine coast. We hit the 200 mile mark just before arriving in Freeport, where we stayed in an absolutely awesome campsite right along the water.

After traversing inland where it became increasingly mountain-esque, the heat (90 degrees plus) got the best of us and forced us to stop and cool off in a river near Richmond. Luckily the cool water and late afternoon breeze allowed us to roll into Chewonki Campground near Wiscasset just before a massive thunderstorm did. However we stayed quite dry, as Pam, the nicest campground owner ever, allowed us to sleep in the rec hall.

With the sun semi-shining (well a misty rain really) the next morning, we continued along Route 1 North, stopping for ice cream and postcards (which you parents should have receievd by now). That evening we pulled into a High School parking lot and athletic field for dinner, which was quite nice and relaxing, and then proceeded to "Phantom Camp". Basically a thick fog rolled in, we set up our tents in the eery darkness, and were out of there early the next morning before anyone knew we were there. Quite the experience!

After our early start, we had some spare time to explore Rockland and play some Mini Golf in Camden (I think we'll stick with our non-golfing future professions).

We also hit the 300 mile mark!

Camden State Park was another beautiful campgorund on the ocean, and the free showers didn't hurt at all!

Making out way even further north along Route 1 the next day, we stopped for a morning dip in the ocean around Lincolnville that was most refreshing.

And just before passing into Orland, we came upon a massive bridge that was quite unexpected.

Fianlly arriving at Balsam Cove campground, which was situated along a spectacular lake a bit inland from the ocean, we had a great late-afternoon swim and a delicious steak dinner for our last night of camping.

With only 30 miles to go before reaching Bar Harbor, we all slept in a bit and took a much needed nap at lunch. But we made it, just in time to have the promised Lobster dinner!

Today our bikes stayed put behind the hostel, and we hiked Acadia National Park. Our wonderful pancake breakfast fueled us to play along the cliffs near Thunder Rock and relax on Sand Beach.

Tomorrow morning we shall be up early again, and have a much anticipated sea kayaking adventure tour! We will explore the Carriage Trails, and then hang out in the hostel for our last evening in Bar Harbor. Then Friday monring, back on the bikes for a quick (and hopefully painless) 45 miles to Bangor for our last night. Then its a return to Boston by Saturday evening and the end of our amazing, spectacular, superb and totally bodacious bike trip along the Maine Coast.

We've had a great time leading the trip, and will be sad to see everyone go on their seperate ways, but we know how much fun everyone has had and we will (maybe) see you next summer!

~Andy and Seval

heading down the cape

Hello every one. So we've had some bad timing in terms of getting to libraries to post on the blog. But here goes a quick update. We are currently traveling down the cape to Brewster, Mass for a stay tonight in Nickerson State Park. We're all so greatful the weather is beautiful for us once again, as we've had amazing sun and clear skies perfect for enjoying our tour. Of course that doesn't include our one day of torrential down pour, which was yesturday. Kevin and I were proud of every one's extra safety while biking in such elements. The great thing about biking in the rain is that once it clears up, you appreciate the nice weather even more. Well, back on the road I go. Looking forward to some Cape Cod treats ahead! Marisa.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


So here we are! Ready to journey rain or shine into the asphault abyss. With helmets on and grease on our legs we took to the streets of Manhattan today. We rode through central park and found ourselves at the MET for a while looking at art work and ancient civilizations...well at least some of us! After visiting the MET we journied to the west side bike path for a journey to ground zero and took a look at the financial district. From there we went to Battery Park and took in Lady Liberty from a distance. On our way back to the hostel we encountered rain...but it did not dampen our spirits...pun intended! After eating some marvelous marinara spagetti and are now ready to hit the hay! Hopefully the weather will be more cooperative. Regardless we will enjoy our time together!
More later...Rich and Sam

Sunday, July 19, 2009

European Phantom in Holland -The 'Land of Bicycles'

The European Trek is on its 17 of 28 days. Since our last blog entry we phantom camped in Vernon, and the next morning enjoyed a visually rich tour of Monet’s house and gardens in Giverny. It was a true test of will and teamwork as well as a race against the sunset. As we plowed on to complete a hilly 51.4 miles, the French countryside provided the perfect picturesque landscape to bring us to the splendid town of Versailles. We explored the palace and extensive gardens (and began to realize our campsites are not as luxurious as we like to think). The next day we biked to ol’ Paris! For the next three days we kept busy with a city tour (with a charismatic, attractive guide) which included the outside of the Louvre, the Obelisk, the Champs Elysees, the Grande and Petite Palaces, the Pont de Neuf Bridge, and even the cafĂ© where the French Revolution was started! We also visited Notre Dame, the Arc de Triumphe, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, ascended the Eiffel Tower, and enjoyed a nice dinner in Montmartre (which ended in an epic Rocky race up the stairs). Unfortunately, our hostel had a breakfast nazi who strictly enforced the rule of one cup of coffee, one measly bowl of applesauce, and two demi-baguettes. However, we countered her tight-fisted ways with cereal! After an exciting and somewhat chaotic experience getting on the train, we made it to the charming city of Bruges. In the morning we feasted on market-fresh berries, scrumptious chocolates, and of course Belgian waffles. Later that day, we packed up and said a sad good-bye to our cozy hostel “Snuffle.” We biked quite a way to Ghent on this amazing bike trail right along the canal. It was such a great feeling to be surrounded by other bikers, traveling at a nice leisurely pace, and following the canal to our next stop. Though Ghent did not live up to the high standards we had set for Belgium cities, we still had fun there chowing down on berries and French fries. Following yet another adventurous train journey, we arrived in the lively city of Amsterdam. Our first day here, we visited the Anne Frank House, the Van Gohg and Rijks museums, and an excellent pancake restaurant. We are now relaxing in our upbeat hostel and are excited for another great day!
Having a wonderful time here, yet our ten-day countdown approaches. Every day brings new adventures, laughs, challenges, and accomplishments. Living in many different places and meeting many different people broadens our view of the world and other teens. Perfection!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Pacific Northwest Trek!

We made it!

This evening around 6pm we rolled back into Seattle's Green Tortoise Hostel, the same place where we started our amazing journey 16 interesting days ago! Truth be told, coming back to Seattle felt a little like coming back home. We recognized the streets, and the people working at the hostel recognized us! It felt good to tell them that we had covered over 450 miles on our bikes since the last time they'd seen us.

Lots has happened since Victoria! We spent two nights in Olympic National Park, where we conquered the mighty Hurricane Ridge--12 miles of uphill biking, leading to a mile-high peak! The views were almost as good as the ride down...

The past few days, we've been biking around the Puget Sound, including one night in Sequim (pronounced SQUIM) Bay State Park, and one night in Port Townsend. Port Townsend was a beautiful, cute tourist town that serves up some of the best pizza we've had in a while! We stayed in a hostel in Fort Worden, an old military camp. The grounds and barracks were really interesting. Some of us walked down to the water and explored the Marine Science Center, where we thoroughly enjoyed the touch pools they had there. We got to pet starfish, coral, anemenies (sp?), and other marine life!

The next night's campsite boasted a nice beach where we harvested oysters and cooked them for dinner! They were delicious. Yesterday we jumped on yet another ferry to Vashon Island, where we stayed in the Vashon Island Hostel--in teepees! We woke up feeling very refreshed, and took a nice, very short hike to a pond and back. After exploring the town and enjoying some free vegetable soup (at the local farmer's market), we hopped on a ferry to lower Seattle, and biked along the water back to the Green Tortoise!

We are looking forward to our last two days as a group, and to spending some more time in Seattle, where we originally began our trek!

Some highlights from the past few days:
--biking up Hurricane Ridge!
--finding slugs EVERYWHERE, naming them, photographing them, and prodding them with sticks
--eating pints of Ben and Jerry's
--singing "Down By The Bay" and "Baby Shark"
--BBQing our weight in meat...and finishing every last bite!
--biking 50 HILLY miles in one day!
--did we mention that we biked Hurricane Ridge??
--hiking to a SPECTACULARLY GORGEOUS lake and swimming in the freezing cold water! (well, some of us did)
--going a full week without doing laundry, and 3 days without showering...

See you soon!
Mariel, Jon, Josh, Dave, Tyler, Zack, Matt, Peter, and Hanna

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Maine Coast - J10

Maine Coast Trekkers here, finally getting to a computer to make our first post. The trip has definitely had its ups and downs so far, mostly relating to the flat tires on the first two days and the beginning of the hills in Maine (which none of us knew were so big!).
On our first day we explored Boston; ate lunch on the Harvard Campus, traversed downtown, the freedom trail and Boston Commons. The weather was beautiful, and with no gear on our bikes were able to get around quite smoothly. The USS Constitution provided the backdrop for our first flat tire, and all in all, had a great day!
Waking up and getting onto the train to Salem and out of the big city was a treat, and our adventure truly began. Riding a bike with 30 or so pounds of gear on the back caused some strain on at least a few rear tires, but we were able to succesfully leave Salem and begin heading up Route 1 to Gloucester. It was definitely a quaint little fishing town with a nice campground to relax in. However right as we finished cooking dinner, a monsoon of sorts decided to roll in and it cut our dessert short. Nevertheless, we all got some necessary sleep and by the time we woke up the rain was gone and the sun was shining again.
We crossed into New Hampshire and explored the Hamtpton Beach area, which was hopping with summer tourists. Our campground that night was spectacular, with a realtively heated pool and hot showers! Our burritos for dinner were beyond filling, and I think just about everyone was asleep before their heads hit the sleeping bags!
On our third day, we began with some group stretching on the beach and then officially made it to Maine!

The roads became increasingly hilly(er) and the sun kept on shining. York, ME was absolutely beautiful, and our ice cram stop on a point overlooking the coast was scrumptious and invigorating.
Wells, ME was our stop for the evening, with a roaring campfire and some marshmallows to roast.
Our flat tires continued until Kennebunkport the following morning, when we stopped at quite possibly the best, greatest and most wonderful bike shop ever to exist. The guys at Cape Able Bike Shop spent a few hours with us fine tuning our vehicles...and since then we have had absolutely no toubles at all! If you are ever in the area, I highly recommend a visit, even it is just to check out George W. Bush's custom made bike (his house is only a few miles down the road).

Fllowing our shop stop, we traversed the coast and countryside, the rolling hills and flat beaches, and came upon the laid-back, biker-friendly, outgoing city of Portland. Everyone here is super friendly and keep asking where we've been and what's our next stop. After checking into a hotel, thats right - no camping for two full nights, we showered, changed and inadvertantly went out to a vegetarian restaurant. After some giggles and groans, it turned into quite possibly the best vegetarian dinner (and first for some) we've ever had! Finally, laying down in those big comfy beds, we slept soundly (and late for a couple extra hours). Today we had a delicious breakfast at a real restaurant, did some much needed laundry, and explored Portland. Our general consensus is that this city is awesome, beautiful and quiet in a very good way.

Dinner next to the Back Cove (a body of water close to the ocean) provided a pretty background, and allowed us to head to the movies and feel connected to civilization once again.
Tomorrow morning we are back on our regular routine, waking up early and heading north to our next campground. We will be camping for the next five days, and should be checking in once we get to Bar Harbor. Hopefully the weather will hold up (mid-70's and sunshine in the forecast) and the hills won't be insurmountable!
Enjoy the pictures and look forward to our next post.

~Andy and Seval

Saturday, July 11, 2009

CON-J4 trip day 8


Let me first tell you that block island was AMAZING! We rode our way to Pt Judith and relaxed on our ferry ride to the island- our campsite was awesome and remote and after talking to some locals we were directed to a beautiful private beach, where we ate lunch and swam the afternoon away! We were all reluctant to leave the island because we were having way too much fun but alas we boarded the ferry and we were on our way to Newport. The views of yatchs and rolling hills were a plenty.

Today we arrived in Providence! And everybody is pretty excited to sleep in a comfy bed- tonight we walked into the city to explore and had dinner at Providence Place- we cant believe the trip is almost over:(

I've uploaded some photos of the trip to this iPhone friendly application-check them out!!!!

NY to Montreal J30

We finally completed the Vermont leg of our journey and are about to cross into Quebec today! Vermont was beautiful but we've never seen so many hills! We had the chance to swim in Lake Champlain on both the Vermont and New York side. In Burlington we made a stop at Ben and Jerry's and got a Vermonster, a bucket with 20 scoops of icecream , brownies, cookies, gummies, and chocolate pieces! SO GOOD! We've stayed at some great campgrounds and the weather has been great. The pictures are all the groups shots of the trip so far... from the top of Mount Philo in Vermont, at the bottom of Bear Mountain, and at the F.D.R. House.
Fawn and Justin

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Pete and Josh at the Sculpture Garden on San Juan Island

Sculpture Garden, San Juan Island

Amazing view at Bay View State Park!

The gorgeous countryside and stunning mountain views

Cooking dinner at the campsite

Pacific Northwest Trek - Pictures!

EP-J1 First Week Completed!

The European Phantom Trek is finishing the first of four weeks. It was not an easy start thanks to various airline's inconveniences but still the group managed to tour the Queen's castle at Windsor the first afternoon, dine at a local Pub, and lodge at a very new Travelodge hotel that night. On the second day, one missing bicycle and 2 Trekkers arrived but we were still short 2 bicycles that had to be acquired so that the group could move on with their adventure. Our first day of real biking was a nice 32 mile backroads ride to Basingstoke on our way to Salisbury. Since we were a day behind the next day we hopped on a train into Salisbury before noon and biked through the very hilly 'Salisbury Plains' on our way to Stonehenge. We stopped along the way for a picnic lunch outside one of the many thatched roofed houses and met some very friendly local folk. Stonehenge was awesome and the audio tour provided plenty of history and thought provoking questions on the origins of those amazing, humongous stones. That night was our first hostel experience, staying at the YHA Salisbury Hostel. The kids very much enjoyed the nice rooms, showers, full kitchen, dining room, and English Breakfast. Before we left town we had a chance to see the grand Salisbury Cathedral, but missed viewing the Magna Carta because the rooms are closed during Sunday mass. By noon we were on the road to Southampton and covered some 30+ miles before finding a very nice campground south of town. Tomorrow we have a short day of riding, including 2 ferries and the Portsmouth Maritime Museum. Later that evening we take an overnight ferry to France.

Pacific Northwest Trek!!

Hello from Victoria, BC! Since we last wrote, we have traveled from Vancouver, BC to the San Juan islands in Washington State, and back to BC where we are now, in a cozy, fun hostel in Victoria.

We've been sprucing up our bike riding with some other modes of transportation, including lots of ferries and a tunnel van! Yesterday we biked out of Vancouver, and were transported through a tunnel by a van that is used solely to transport bikers from one end of an un-bike-able tunnel to the other. The nine of us squeezed into the van with all our gear after loading our bikes onto the trailer. Then we cycled to Tsawassen Bay, where we jumped on a ferry that took us to Swarz Bay, BC. From there, we biked a few miles to Sidney and grabbed a ferry to San Juan Island.

San Juan Island was gorgeous! We did some luxury camping at a lakeside resort, but unfortunately, our streak of perfect weather was broken this morning with a steady rain. We pushed through the rain and biked around the island for a bit, stopping at a really neat sculpture garden (pictures to follow). We treated ourselves to pizza for lunch, and hopped on an afternoon ferry back to Sidney. From there, we took a really nice bike path down to Victoria, where we'll be for the next two nights!

One of our trippers, Hannah, has her eighteenth birthday today, and as I write, a delicious chocolate cake is baking in the oven... Happy birthday, Hannah!

Apologies about the lack of pictures, but it's hard to find a computer with a working USB port! We will do our best to post pictures in the next few days.

-Mariel and Jon

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Bar Harbor - We made it!

Maine Coast trek here, hanging out in Bar Harbor Hostel. We can't wait to relax for a few days and check out the town. We survived rain, wind, and enormous hills to get here, but we're here! Celebrated tonight with pizza, followed by a wild game of Outburst.
Well we're almost done with our trek - just a few days left. We took a video blog in Portland but unsuccessfully attempted to load it. We'll have it up soon.
Some perks of the overall trip: people in lobster suits, the one afternoon of sun, del-sol frisbee, experiments with marshmallows, seafood, Portland Sea Dogs vs. New Britain Rock Cats, fort Knox, the weird Salem witch museum, that day Jason said "it'll burn off" (referring to the morning mist), oh and that day Jason said "this is the last big hill", sparklers on the 4th of July, and of course Hanna's banana pancakes, wiffleball, banana smores, meeting other touring groups!, ultimate frisbee with other travellers, and our, basically, lifetime's worth of peanut butter, nutella, fluff, and, oh, rainy rain rain rain!
Our last trek will be out of here to Bangor, where we'll bus ourselves and our bikes back to Boston. Can't wait to see everyone then!
Good luck to all the other trips!
Shout out to Caroline and Kaila. Hope all is well. We miss you!

We ran into a man who's doing a 2 year tour and has already covered over 21,000 miles. Here's his site @ crazyguy:
He took a picture with us, so maybe it'll end up there.

CON-J4 trip!!!!

Greetings from Rhode Island!

Wow it's already the 4th day. We have an excellent group of campers and riders on our hands!
We spent the first night at Hammonasset State Park- the ride was quite hilly but we got some great views of the beach and took a detour to follow signs for public beach access-we found the beach and a very nice man sitting at the police station let us fill our water bottles-next we wandered across the street where there was a small water park and we got to cool off a little. Once we made it to the state park we cooked some pasta! (we were all so hungry that first night) then we walked over to a nearby beach with s'more supplies in tow and thoughts of fireworks in our future- it was the fourth of July after all(pictures soon to come)

The next day we packed up and were ready for another day of riding- our destination-Rocky Neck State Park! The ride was thankfully uneventful(more hills) and included a stop for ice cream.YUM. We set up camp and ate dinner this time it was tacos (and veggie burgers) This campsite was also close to the beach so we rode over there after dinner and had s'more s'mores!

Day 3 was known as "hotel day" as everyone was pretty excited to sleep in a bed already haha- we had our first flat- easy fix- and beautiful weather again:D The ride through Mystic was great, so many little shops and alot of culture, not to mention it's beautiful seaport.

Today we arrived in rhode island and sadly our good weather streak has ended- it was pouring as we rode onto the campsite but thankfully it let up for enough time to set up our tents and to cook and eat dinner. It seems to be letting up again and we' re going to try and get a fire going!

Pictures soon to come!

Until next time,
Adam and Danielle

Monday, July 6, 2009

New York to Montreal NYM-JN30

So we have been having a great trek so far with a great group of trekkers. Had a great first ride down to battery park on the southern tip of Manhattan before heading up north to cross the Hudson into New Jersey. Some great views of the river and Manhattan from the George Washington Bridge. We faced a few formidable hills as we got closer to Bear Mountain Park but saw some great vistas of the Hudson from that elevation. Had a chance to tour Hyde Park and the house where F.D.R. was born. We also caught a view of some fireworks from across the Hudson on the 4th of July. In Albany we got to see the capital building, although it was closed because it was Sunday. We did get to see the New York State Museum that had some interesting exhibits about NYC and the Adirondacks. We got to stay in a hotel with a pool in Albany, which was a nice break from camping. The group is getting along great and dinners have been awesome. Today is our last day in NY state before we start the Vermont leg of our journey.
Justin and Fawn

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Pacific Northwest Trek

We're having a great time on the Pacific Northwest Trek! We've been lucky since day one, excellent weather and literally not a cloud to be seen. We are getting stronger by the day, nobody told us that the hills out here were so steep....Today we arrived in Vancouver, BC after a great evening in Birch Bay. The group is great and we are certainly keeping each other entertained. We have also been doing some good eating. last night we prepared a lasagna that was better than what I have eaten at many restaurants, and today we had burito pizzas. They were both equally impressive...But the riding has really been great. We have ridden 35, 40 and 35 miles in the past three days.. We'll be missing the fireworks b/c we're in Canada, but nobody seems to care.
Pictures to follow.

-Jon and Mariel

Friday, July 3, 2009

Mass Transit Trek!

Hey there!

We're having an awesome time on the Mass transit trek. From the minute we began, it was obvious that we've got some super tough trekkers on our hands! Our first day of traveling consisted of a 20 mile hill and rain, rain, rain. When we finally rolled up to our campsite, exhausted and in high-spirits, I realized that there was probably nothing these guys couldn't handle.

Everyone was psyched to see the sun today, and we're all looking forward to see the BSO perform Tchaikovsky at the Tanglewood Festival tonight.

The kids are really working hard and having a great time. I couldn't have asked for a better group!