Friday, August 19, 2011

Across America is Across America!

"The Across America Trekkers triumphantly arrived in New York City on Tuesday under sunny skies. The journey took 28 maps, 16 jars of peanut butter, 7 buckets of oatmeal, 26 flat tires, 4 bottles of sunscreen, 4 cans of bug spray, 6 bottles of hot sauce, 17 bike shop visits, and 14 ice cream stops to ride the 3,487 miles in 54 days through 12 US states and 1 Canadian province. Wow.
In the New York, our first stop was Central Park for a picnic lunch. Then we headed to our hotel, riding through Times Square and along the Hudson River bike path. After some much appreciated showers, the group headed to Chinatown for dinner, followed by sundaes. After a great night's sleep, we took a morning subway ride to the Carnegie Deli, where we enjoyed a big breakfast and marveled at the even bigger pastrami sandwiches brought out to neighboring tables. Afterwords, we explored the city on foot, checking out shops along the way, plus FIT's photography and fashion exhibits, and a Greenwich Village coffee shop. Back at the hotel, the Trekkers were joyfully reunited with their families, and after a tasty dinner and many photos and hugs, the Camels of the Dawn parted ways, each taking home matching bike shorts tans and great memories." -Taylor, Trek Leader

Monday, August 15, 2011

Across America Almost Home

"The Across America group is almost home - we're only fifty miles from NYC. We have a reservation at a swanky four-star hotel to celebrate, and plans for either sushi or New York-style pizza (both are delicious).
The past couple of days have been wet (thanks to the on-and-off rain), but enjoyable nonetheless. We biked along the edge of the Catskills, saw some live music, and stumbled onto a town's 200th birthday party, complete with square-dancing. As exhausting as it's been, every one of us is sad to see this trip come to an end. NYC, here we come!"

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Across America Reunion Trek Seeks Bigger & Bigger Mountains

Here at Teen Treks, the action is constant. For the across America reunion tour, a short 95 mile day into Lake Placid just didn't cut it in terms of physical activity. In order to kill those regretful ice cream calories the group set out to conquer Algonquin Mountain. After record breaking four and a half hours the group made it up and back down the four mile, three thousand vertical foot trail to the summit. After a delegant homemade lasagna and a fantastic night's sleep in hostel beds it was once again time to ride those bikes! 'Twas a quick 40 mile ride downhill with a nice tailwind to the ferry across Lake Champlain headed for Burlington, VT. After a two hour beach excursion in waiting for the ferry the group set sail for Burlington. The group spent the rest of the day and half of the next exploring the sprawling city and making use of nearby coffee shops in order to feed their addictions, after which it was high time to head off for what had long been awaited...the Ben & Jerry's factory where a quick tour was taken before the battle between Teen Treks and the Ultimate Vermonster. After 20 painful minutes and several casualties the monster was defeated in a valiant effort. With spirits high and energy through the roof the group set off to finish the rest of their journey over tall mountains and against strong winds. With the confidence gained from the Battle of the Vermonster this happy family can and will conquer all that lies in their path!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Niagara-Toronto Trek Reaches Goal

The Niagara Toronto Trek followed the shores of Lake Erie along the Waterfront Bike Trail from Burlington through to Toronto. In Burlington the group found an awesome waterpark and took a break from cycling to try out the large waterslides and pools. They reached Bronte Provincial Park and made dinner and smoores over the campfire before sunset. Their last day cycling was Thursday and they found a neat pier outside Toronto to swim and enjoy the wonderful lakeshore. For the next 2 days they're exploring Toronto and staying in the downtown youth hostel before busing it back to Buffalo on Sunday.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Across America Comes Home!

"Greetings from Buffalo, New York, the birthplace of Teen Treks!

The Across America trekkers had a rainy ride into Niagara yesterday morning, where we met Cliff (the man behind Teen Treks!) for some misty sightseeing of the falls. We then rolled on into Buffalo, with Cliff as our "point". (That's leader/navigator in TT language.)

We had a wonderful time hanging at Teen Treks Headquarters, doing some bike maintenance, gabbing, and trying to dry off. The night was spent at a radical hostel in the downtown area, and the Teen Treks family all came over for a very tasty meal followed by some incredible chocolate cake made by Carol. (That's right, AA Reunioners. We got cake. You be jealous.) The Teen Treks family--Ben, Cliff, Carol, and all the leaders and campers--truly is a special one, and we all had a wonderful time enjoying each other’s company!

Speaking of friendly people, we have met a great many on this epic pilgrimage to NYC. We've been blessed with great kindness and generosity from complete strangers (though they are certainly not strangers now!), and we'd like to take a moment to thank them.
It's the people we've met that have made this trip over-the-top fantastic. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Peace and good vibes to all" -Jenna, Teen Trekker

Here is a link to a YouTube video of Jenna & Rebecca, Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Across America Reunion Visits Grandma!

"After our rainy day in New Paltz we took a little ride on up to the Ashokan reservoir before heading on to Woodstock where went swimming in the stream that runs through town. And then we cycled over the river and through the woods to Bryan's grandmother's house for a nice home cooked Italian meal, or should I say feast! Good times. Today we got up early so we could go see Howe's Caverns, a beautiful underground cavern near Albany. Tomorrow we enter adirondack park which will hopefully remind us of the days that we ride through Clearwater National Forest last year." - Adam, Trekker

Monday, August 8, 2011

NYC-Montreal Trek is Winding Down in Montreal

"We've made our destination - Montreal, and having a great time. Yesterday we checked out the History of Architecture Museum, Old Montreal, the waterfront, and went shopping, all despite some rain showers. Today we're climbing Mont Royal for a nice view of the city and then heading to a labyrinth to get lost for a few hours. We will cook dinner at the hostel this evening before heading to the bus station for our long ride home to the Big Apple. We'll see you parents real soon." - Laura, Trip Leader

Niagara - Toronto Trek is Having a Blast!

"The first day, we learned each others names. Jonny, Russell, Tyler, Ilana, and Kramer. Tyler remembers them by Jonny on the Spot, Rustling leaves, Kraven, and Ilana Llama. On the First Day we went up to the top of the observation tower at the Buffalo City Hall, walked around a house that Frank Lloyd Wright built, rode our bikes around Delaware Park and then saw a Shakespeare play while eating food from an ice- cream place called Anderson's. On the second night, we had glowing sword fights on Clifton Hill in Niagara Falls, ON. On Clifton Hill, there was a golden man that was selling beads and there was also a fun house that we went inside of. On the third day we were amazed by the Maid of the Mist at Niagara Falls. We had an adventure going towards the Niagara River. We rock climbed many rocks. The third night, we stormed Fort George and Fort Mississauga and then hung out by Lake Ontario. Then we stopped at the golf club and got banana splits. We are having a blast riding to Toronto!" - Jonny on the spot, Teen Trekker

***Correction on the first blog entry***
We posted that the group choose to go to the battleships at the Navel Park rather than the Frank Llyod Wright house, in fact they were actually able to do both!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Across America Reunion Trek is in the Hudson Valley!

"After passing through the freshwater ponds of western Connecticut, the vast farmland of Dutchess county, and the bustling town of Poughkeepsie, NY, it can be wonderful to sit down to a cup of lavender tea or hazelnut-flavored hot chocolate, sit back in one of the hippest cages around, and relax. This is where you can find the Across America Reunion Trek, traveling at a comfortable pace. Tomorrow, we will hit the catskills and travel north to the Albany area. We hope that this year's Across America Trek is jealous." -Adam, Trekker

Friday, August 5, 2011

Niagara - Toronto Trek Starts in Buffalo, NY!

The group met up in the city of Buffalo, NY with great excitement for the adventure ahead of them. They took a small loop around the city and found a few bike problems that are expected at the start of any bike trip. After stopping by the legendary local bike shop, Rick's Cycle the second oldest bike shop in the country, they were on their way to explore the city. Deciding to see the Battleships at Navel park rather then the Frank Lloyd Wright houses the group is beginning to understand that biking with Teen Treks is an adventure that they control... and they are loving it! Tonight they're off for Shakespeare in the Park.

Across America Reunion Trek Begins!

"Excitement rippled throughout New Haven, CT as eager Teen Trekkers made their way to the start of this years marvelous trip. An eclectic assortment of New Haven's finest food awaited our young heroes as they leap into the arms of their comrades. Summer had properly begun. As the evening grew late tales were told of our winters, jazz spilled from the piano as Gavriel and Tyler pounded away and food was constantly consumed. Journals from last year's trip were brought out and stories retold for the umpteenth time. At far too late an hour we retired and awoke to homemade pancakes, replicas from those which were consumed one year ago to the day in Minneapolis. We assembled bikes marveling at their clean and patched up nature, recovered from last year's epic journey. The rhythmic breathing of pumps filled the air while freewheels clicked as chains were oiled, a sound that would hopefully follow us as we rode more down than up. We anxiously set off, wondering how we would ever surpass last years trip, but we knew deep down somehow it'd happen. "Ride safe" was the last we heard as we set off into the great unknown." -Adam, Teen Trekker

Maine Coast Trek Welcomes a New Day!

"On July 3rd we all woke up at 3am, left the camp site at 3:30, and reached the summit of Cadillac Mountain just after 5am to see the sunrise from the point in the US from which it's first visible. To quote Gabe, 'It was the most gorgeous sight I've ever seen!' We ate breakfast and lunch at the top. The descent was equally grueling. After the climb we decompressed by seeing 'Captain America' which, while cheezy, wasn't bad. The movie theater was awesome! It was called 'Reel Pizza' and had super comfortable couches and the option of eating pizza while we watched" - Gillian, Trip Leader

New York - Montreal Trek Enjoys Vermont

"Yesterday we were in Burlington, Vt. where we stopped at Ben & Jerry's (The original Ben & Jerry's was about 30 miles out of the way so we decided to just stop at a regular one, but hey it was still in Vermont). Six of the teens got a Vermonter which took about 6.3 seconds to finish the twenty scoops of ice cream. We took a great ferry ride across Lake Champlain where we met up with another Trip Leader heading to Buffalo, NY for the Niagara- Toronto Trek. We created a game while biking that involves squeaky toys, Cows and Horses! It's hard to explain. Also, we had a birthday on the trip so we stopped for Rice Crispy treats to celebrate. The biking has been awesome. Vermont is home to some great bike paths. We've had a few flat tires but nothing we can't handle. Overall the group has picked up the pace and is really starting to love biking" - Laura, Trek Leader

Pacific Northwest Trek is "The Amazing Thing"

"Today was one of the most fun days of the trip. We slept on the beach on an island near Port Townsend. There were little fish and hermit crabs scuttling around in the water. It was nice sleeping on the sand and listening to the waves.

Around noon we found a place to rent kayaks. I apologize for their being no pictures. If I had taken my camera out I am sure I would have dropped it in the lake. One group had a splashing battle and another group poked around some docks to look at starfish. We saw seals too poking their heads out of the water to look at us.

Later in the day Kirsten and I hashed out a surprise for our teens. We kept it a secret, referring to it as "The Amazing Thing". We had all sorts of fun with this. We would yell to the teens, "We are nearing the Amazing Thing" or "The Amazing thing does not like to be kept waiting!" The amazing thing turned out to be a hot tub, swimming pool, and a chance to take showers and do laundry. It was worth the wait.

Our trip is almost over. We decided to tell each other our favorite parts of the trip. For most it was the view on Mt. Constitution and Hurricane Ridge, for others it was the food, and also the cities. We will be flying home soon with satisfaction that our summer was filled to the brim with great experiences thanks to our bike tour!" - Jacob, Trip Leader

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Across America Trek Takes Time to Enjoy WI

"The Across America Trekkers enjoyed spending the past weekend in Madison, Wisconsin, where we took full advantage of the hostel's kitchen, making enchilada casserole, a frittata, pancakes, and smoothies. We spent Sunday afternoon exploring the town on foot, then met up with my mom for dinner at a Nepalese restaurant, followed by scoops of Madison-made ice cream.
We took our time getting to Milwaukee over the next two days, riding on the Glacial Drumlin Trail, checking out coffee shops along the way, and sharing our dinner with a bike-touring ukelele player. In Milwaukee, we visited the Riverwalk and ate at an Ethiopian restaurant before heading to our hotel room for a dip in the hot tub and a movie. Then this morning we rose early to board the Lake Express ferry to Michigan, the ninth state along our route. After napping through the ride, we're ready to hit the road once again." - Taylor, Trip Leader

"Hi! I'm Taylor's mom. On Sunday my friend and I drove up from Illinois to meet up with the Across America Trek group in Madison, WI. Took them to dinner and some ice cream, which seems to have become an addiction for this bunch! They're doing great!!! Looking tanned and fit and strong, and having a blast." -Kim, Taylor's Mom

***Trip Tracker***
It seems that for some reason the Trip Tracker for this trip isn't updating properly. We're going to be creating a new map that will launch in the next few days. Sorry for the Tech Problem!

Also, One of the teens on this trip is raising money for the Make-A-Wish foundation. Here is a link to her personal website where you can learn about and support her great cause,

Monday, August 1, 2011

Pacific Northwest Trek Has an Amazing Day in Olympia

"Yesterday we arrived in Olympia National Park. This was probably the hardest uphill climb of the whole trip. The campsite was five miles up and it was another 13 miles or so to the top. The road past the campsite wasn't all that steep and went by pretty fast. We passed through a layer of cloud to get to the top. We worried there would be nothing to see because of the mist but we heard from others that it was clear at the top. The mist was so dense we were all soaked even though it was not raining. It was as dark as twilight in the clouds and it was odd how tunnels materialized out of the mist just 20 feet in front of us. At the top there was a stellar view. It was as good as the view from Mt Constitution on Orcas Island. We watched the mist flow through the mountains as if they were liquid. We stayed up there for many hours because we knew it was cloudy at the campsite. We watched deer and their babies walk around the visitor center. Finally we descended back to camp. We flew 3500 ft down in elevation on our bicycles. It was cold and exhilarating. At night we huddled around the campfire at ate s'mores. Tomorrow we go to Sequim State Park." - Jacob, Trip Leader

The Across America Trek Thru Minnesota and Wisconsin

The Across America Trek has found some time for activities, even during their 60-85 miles/day itinerary. They stopped at the Wilder Museum in Walnut Grove, MN, biked/walked some awesome 1/2 mile tunnels (it's dark inside) along the Elroy Sparta Trail in Wisconsin, and visited the Dr. Evermor Sculptures in Baraboo, WI. The group took their first day off in weeks yesterday in Madison, WI and are enjoying the cushy beds at the local youth hostel. Life is good!