Friday, August 24, 2012

The 2012 Season Comes to a Close

We traveled from sea to shining sea and even across the pond. We biked around great lakes and though national forests. We hiked to the tops of mountains and pedaled over sand dunes. We hopped on ferries and jumped in the water. But the best things about this summer are all the amazing stories and friends we've made along the way.
Thank you from the whole Teen Treks staff for letting us share another great summer with you. 

See you next year! 

Maine Coast Trek Finishes the Trip

The final trip of the season finished their adventure in Boston, MA. After aver 400 + miles the group boarded a bus in Bangor, ME that took them down to Boston, MA. Big hugs and good-byes were exchanged as one by one the group disbanded on to begin their next adventures.  

Friday, August 17, 2012

Maine Coast Trek Leaves Acadia NP

"What a great few days in Acadia! After a sunrise ride up Cadillac Mountain we had a huge breakfast and then toured the island on buses (which are better for napping on than bikes) stopping at Echo Lake for a dip. Then we rode through the park and explored the sand beach and thunder hole. We finished the night our favorite way- with smores around the fire. When the next day was rainy and way too windy to want to sleep in tents again we decided to give our trekkers an extra night in a hotel. We had a much drier and cozier night that way which prepared us well for our last day of riding. Tonight in Bangor!" -- Sarah, Trip Leader

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Maine Coast Trek Previews the Sunrise Atop Cadillac Mountain

Today when you're enjoying the sunshine make sure you think about us MC kids- we were among the first to greet the sun this morning after biking up Cadillac mountain! Yesterday we hiked up the 1530 ft peak and walked many of the carriage roads of the park, which was a lot of fun. We have had great weather here! We are on our way to check out a lighthouse and a freshwater lake on Mt. Desert Island now. The lakeshore should be a good place to nap after our early morning and we just picked up what looks like it will be a fantastic picnic lunch.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Across America Trek Reaches the Atlantic!

“This is our very last day of the trip. Today we will go on our last ride. We will cycle from Times Square to Coney Island about eighteen miles away. There we will have our last lunch of the trip and dip our tires into the Atlantic Ocean. This trip has changed the lives of everyone who took part. It was an epic adventure. We learned about the strength of the human body and the generosity of strangers. Just a few days ago a nice couple donated a bike tire and fifty dollars to our trip! Two days ago, on the thirteenth, we came into New York City on the George Washington Bridge and later checked into the city park hotel near Times Square. We had dinner at a nice Indian restaurant. Yesterday, on the fourteenth, we said farewell to three of our teens: Alex P., Alex G., and Peter. The rest of us explored the city for a day. Kennedy's parents came by for a surprise visit in the evening and took us out to dinner. We will have our last breakfast soon and head out for Coney Island. Julia's parents will join us for breakfast. Everyone says we need to ride the Ferris wheel. Some of us want to go to the arcade. It took most of the summer to cross the country. In some ways the trip went by very fast. It seemed just a few days ago we were riding through the Columbia River Gorge. In other ways it seemed long, but in a good way, as if we all decided to leave the rat race and become traveling gypsies for a portion of our lives. We will all soon get back into our regular lives knowing we had the best summer possible."  -- Jacob, Trip Leader

Monday, August 13, 2012

Maine Coast Trek heads into Acadia

“Maine Coast Trekkers are finally about to reach our goal, Acadia is only 7 miles down the road and we will be there before nighttime. We had a great time exploring and getting lost in Fort Knox as well as ascending the Penobscot bridge observatory, which is the tallest public bridge observatory in the world. Today we are wandering around Bar Harbor, ME for a bit before riding on down to our campsite. Looking forward to seeing the sunrise from Cadillac Mountain tomorrow!” – Sarah, Trip Leader   

Across America Trek is in Central New York

"August 10th
Wow! It’s getting nearer and nearer to the end of our tour.  We are now in Ithaca, NY.  The roads are nice here and the weather is a little rainy.  The drizzle is actually kind of nice.  Last night we slept in some people's back yard.  We often find yards to sleep in by asking people in town where there is a camp ground.  They almost invariably offer their own homes instead.  We set up camp right before it started pouring.  That has happened several times.  The rain usually waits until we get into our tents before it really starts to come down. 

August 11th
We only have two days of camping left.  In New York City we will stay in a hotel for two nights.  Last night we slept at an old school that was turned into a furniture store. They let us use their big grill and borrow some comfy mattresses and we all got a good night's sleep under the big awning. We almost went 25 miles farther than we were supposed to, and had to turn around. We found a shortcut back that turns out to be one of the funniest roads of the whole trip.  We arrive in the town of Hancock and demand to know the location of the nearest ice cream from an unsuspecting local.  "Half a block away" he said.  Best day ever!" -- Jacob, Trip Leader

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Enjoying Those Wild Blackberries on the Maine Coast Trek

"The Maine Coast Trek is going strong! We left Portland and got some delicious treats at Holy Donut, where the employees were happy to see us riding with our helmets and gave us a few free donuts to show it! Then we rode up to Freeport and saw the giant LL Bean complex in the town. After a ride to the campground we had a tasty dinner and told ghost stories by the campfire. The rain didn't hit us until we were all snug in our tents and we got lucky and avoided it all day today too. Did we mention the blackberries? They are everywhere and so tasty! We often find Alex off in the bushes with a motherload. Everyone is happy, healthy, and staying dry... for now!" - Sarah, Trip Leader

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Maine Coast Trek Enjoys Portland

We got up bright and early after a refreshing sleep in our first (hotel) beds. Also we were all feeling really content after dining last night at the Portland Lobster Co. Today we biked downtown and took a ferry to Peak's Island. There we found a rock beach full of awesome artistic rock formations and we built some of our own. Then we explored an abandoned fort. It was dark and spooky and the perfect place for a scary noise contest. We had a nice picnic lunch on the island and then headed back to the city to explore. Brian and I promised the kids a "date night" since we were all wearing our clean clothes and were freshly showered. Some of the boys took that to heart and went to a thrift store for some crisp new threads. They looked awesome biking  around in ties. We then went to a park for live music and a juggling lesson from Ian, our friend from Bicycle Benefits. - Sarah, Trip Leader

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Across America Trek Hits the Home Stretch

“This morning we are heading out for the home stretch of our across America ride. We have just six more days of biking and five nights of camping. Everyone is feeling energized after our rest day yesterday. Originally we planned two rest days but instead we spent the first day biking to Niagara Falls. There we enjoyed people watching and frozen lemonade. We enjoyed a delicious meal with Cliff and Carol at the Teen Treks headquarters. The hostel in Buffalo, NY was wonderful and everyone enjoyed beds and showers. We are all looking forward to New York state and some low mile days!” – Kiana, Teen Trekker

Maine Coast Trek has a lot of Moxie!

“ We’re in Portland, ME now and ready to take the city by storm. Yesterday we stepped off the beaten path and found the eastern trail. That’s a trail system that will eventually stretch from Key West, FL to northern Maine! We stopped at old orchard beach on our way up the coast for a great big lunch with my aunt and uncle. Some trekkers played some guitar while others went to the beach. They sent us on our way to portland loaded down with tons of snacks. The hotel is a nice break from camping. All of us are psyched for a good night's sleep in a real bed, a dip in the pool, and some warm showers. Can’t wait to explore more of Portland, ME today!” – Sarah, Trip Leader 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Maine Coast Trek is in Maine!

“Hello from Maine! We finally crossed the state line today. It’s been really hot and sunny lately and we’re all working on our bike shorts tans, which we lovingly refer to as ‘Nashbar-knee’. Seriously though, we have been going through a lot of sunblock, water and ice cream… not to mention bug spray.  The mosquitos can’t get enough of us! After some beautiful riding along the coast of New Hampshire today we stopped in the cute little town of Portsmouth, NH for some lunch. After crossing the border into me, we stopped for a dip at Ogunquit beach. Phoebe and Giovanni cooked us a great dinner tonight of grilled cheese and tomato soup. After dinner the group went for another dip at the campsite’s pool. Another great day and looking forward to Portland, ME tomorrow.” – Sarah, Trip Leader

Across America Trek is Home! (well, home away from home)

"Well, here I am at Teen Treks headquarters in Buffalo, NY! Today, Jacob and I left the group to get to Buffalo a little earlier to ensure that I won’t miss my flight to Atlanta. The rest of the group is off at Niagara Falls right now, and coming here to Buffalo tonight. Recently, we have been stopping at Tim Hortons a lot...(3 times in 24 hours) to enjoy such things as breakfast, coffee, and of course numerous donuts. This is our 13th state out of 13!! Only 350 miles to the big NYC to finish off the trip! We’ve hit both hot and rainy weather in Canada, but now it is just a nice, sunny day in the United States. Thankfully, there are still Tim Hortons in Buffalo.” – Bryson, Teen Trekker
Bryson is leaving the trip for a day to fly to Atlanta and back to take care of some business for his upcoming year in France! The rest of the group is going to be giving those feet a break as they explore the many cool things Buffalo, NY has to offer! 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Cape Cod Trek Finishes in Boston, MA!

The group has made it back to Boston, MA. Amazing! After spending having a great time in Provincetown, MA the group took a ferry back to the city of Boston. Of course it wouldn't have been this group if they didn't make time to stop for a little more ice cream. They’ve traveled 250+ miles together and sadly it’s time for them to say good-bye. 

Across America Trek is in Canada

Across America spent the past two days riding in Canada and loving it. They've had some hot days but they are still riding with the same great spirit as always. Tomorrow they will cross back in the the United States and enjoy Niagara Falls.

Follow the trip

Maine Coast Trek Rides North!

"The Maine coast trip trekkers had a day full of beaches, hills and thrills! We arrived at our awesome campground with plenty of time to explore a nearby beach, a market with a petting zoo, and have a campfire. Today's food group did a fantastic job cooking corn on the cob and sausage over the fire. We finished it off with s’mores and banana bombs. We're all exited to roll into New Hampshire tomorrow. This morning we rode with my Uncle Tim who had some awesome rode racing experiences to share with us" - Sarah, Trip Leader 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Maine Coast Treks' First Day

"We are at our first campground on Winter Island, MA and having a great time. We went swimming right by our campsite on a beautiful beach after a nice day of riding along the coast in northern Massachusetts. The group stopped by the Audobon bird sanctuary and had a picnic lunch during our hike in the forest. It has been a great first day and a great group of bikers". - Sarah, Trip Leader

Across America Trek is Getting Close!

"We can see Canada! We have to take a 1/2 mile ferry ride across the river but we will be there shortly. Perhaps even more exciting is the fact that today we'll be doing our 3000th mile! That is a lot of miles. We're getting close, only 9 more days of riding which is crazy. We went out for a large and tasty breakfast this morning at Coney Island Restaurant after camping behind the New Haven Fire Dept/Police Dept/City Hall. Yesterday we had a nice, relaxing day, we rode 37 miles to Kiana's grandparents' house where they had lots of pizza, a huge salad and ice cream sundaes for us. Yum. After lunch a few of us took luxurious naps while some people went on the paddle boat, some watched the Olympics and others read their books. We're looking forward to a successful border crossing, a few nice days of riding in Ontario, a trip to Niagara Falls and then 2 rest days in Buffalo before continuing on to NYC! Hope all is well back home!" - Julia, Trip Leader 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Cape Cod Trek is Bouncing Around

“Yesterday was great we had a very big lunch then we went to Inflatable world. Inflatable world is an amusement park full of bounce castles; we had a really fun time there. After the park we went to get some Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.  Now we are halfway to Provincetown about 10 or 12 miles away”-  Aislinn, Teen Trekker 

Maine Coast Trek Enjoys Acadia!

The group has spent the last few days in the great Acadia National Park! They've been having an amazing time exploring all the park has to offer. They spent some time hiking up Cadillac Mountain as well as splashing around the beach. The weather has been very kind to this group! Today they said good bye to the park as they pedaled north to Orland, ME. Only 30+ miles to go! 

Across America Trek is in Michigan!

"We're in Michigan and we are on our way. We’ve been having a really nice day. The weather has been great. The group’s new big deal is getting ice cold water at every possible location. We are now really looking forward to getting to Buffalo, NY. The bikes are working very well, no major issues. Everyone has a smile on their face which means it’s going good!" -- Jacob, Trip Leader

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

C&O Canal Trek its Finally Time to Kick Up Those Feet!

After 350+ miles the C&O trip has successfully come to its completion. Along the way they explored the great architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright as well as the natural beauty of the Youghiogheny River. Travelling all of the completely off-road Chesapeake & Ohio Canal Tow Path, our group of young adventures has reached its goal of Washington, DC. After a big day of exploring the historic city the group said it’s good-bye’s and departed to find their next adventure. Great Job!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Across America Trek Enjoyed a Day Off in Chicago

"We had a fun time exploring Chicago on Saturday, we split up into groups and walked around the city, checking out the Navy Pier, the Bean, a yo-yo competition, the ferris wheel, Spiderman and some delicious deep dish pizza. We left Kiana's aunt's house after a good night's rest and a tasty breakfast and headed towards Indiana. Jacob has been finding lots of great bike paths for us to go on lately, which makes the riding extra nice" - Julia, Trip Leader

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Cape Cod Trek is Having Fun Along the Way

“Today we left the log cabin behind as we rode towards Hyannis, MA. Along the way we stopped for sandwiches, apples, bananas and ice cream. Since then we’ve been talking with country accents, it’s been very funny. Now we are shopping for dinner which will be burritos. Jake the leader is pushing us around the store in the cart for kids which was very fun” – Rachel, Teen Trekker.  

Maine Coast Trek Rides Strong

“Today is our 9th day, we are sadly just over halfway done with the trip. We left Duck Puddle campground this morning. This was our first day of a really hilly route, we biked only about thirty miles, but it was pretty challenging. It also was a pretty hot day and a little humid. We stopped for lunch at a small local supermarket where we had sandwiches with all kinds of different fixings and we had a watermelon for dessert. It was great! After lunch it was a nice downhill ride. At the bottom of one hill was a massive lake and we all decided to go swimming, which was really nice. We just pulled into the campground and are about to make dinner. Everyone is looking super excited to eat.” – Annika, Trip Leader 

C&O Canal Trek has made it to Washington, DC!

“We're in DC!!!! Having the time of our lives! We first went to the White House, then to the US Capitol and then to The Hotel George, where we stayed the night. In the morning, we went to an all-you-can-eat buffet. We are going to the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum then to the Museum of Natural History, then we're going to walk around the mall. See you soon!” --Gustav, Teen Trekker 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Across America Trek Makes it to Chicago

"Today we are having our first rest day since Missoula.  We are on the train now on our way to downtown Chicago. The kids will finally get to explore the city.   Every night we go around and tell each other what we look forward to for later in the trip.  Every night for weeks it has been Chicago chicago Chicago! Yesterday we found a series of bike paths which went on for seventy miles, all the way to Wheaton; a town 25 miles from Chicago.  Kiana's aunt and grandma live there. They very generously opened their home to us, gave us a delicious dinner and breakfast, let us sleep on their comfy beds and air mattresses and gave us suggestions and directions of things to do around the city.  This morning we watched the swimming and cycling in the olympics at their house.  Last night we watched the London opening ceremonies. Tonight, the night of the 28th, we will stay there again and tomorrow we will go on towards South Bend, Buffalo, New York, and everywhere in between."--Jacob, Trip Leader

Maine Coast Trek Lives it up at the Duck Puddle

"We're at Duck Puddle Campground in  Nobleboro, ME where they held an awesome dance party blasting music till after 10:30 and had a huge barn fire. This was after a 40+ mile day that wasn't difficult for this great group of bikers.   We had a picnic lunch of homemade, gourmet wraps and triple stuffed Oreo cookies at a gazebo in Brunswick, ME. For dinner the food committee made a chicken stir fry with vegetables and a Peanut curry. Tomorrow we're heading to Camden, ME and soon to be in Acadia National Park." -- Annika, Trip Leader

Friday, July 27, 2012

Beach Day Again on the Cape Cod Trek

"This morning we went to a diner for brunch and had lots of pancakes and eggs.  Afterwards we went to the beach for most of the day. The waves were a bit rough but a lot of  fun.  One of the Trekker's parents has a house on MV so we were invited for dinner.  They were very generous with a barbecue and dessert as well as use of the house and a nice hammock.  Then we biked back to the campground in a light drizzle.  Now we are sitting in our cabins - a real miniature house!"  -  Eve, Trekker

C&O Canal Trek is Learning and Riding

“Hello, people from the outside world! We are missing our parents very much, and we hope to see them again very soon. We have been staying in an awesome hostel. We had pancakes for breakfast, and we explored Harper's Ferry and the history surrounding it. We learned about John Brown and his influence in the Civil War. We learned that the modern rifle was originated as a musket with grooves inside the barrel, spinning the bullet as it was fired, among tons of other stuff. We feel like we're in school again because we got so much stuff crammed into our heads! We asked lots of questions on the tour guides, and had historic ice cream! Overall, we are having a blast and are looking forward to D.C.” – Gustav, Teen Trekker 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Across America Trek Crosses the Mississippi River!

“We're in Wisconsin! After cruising through Minnesota and Iowa we crossed the Mississippi River yesterday afternoon and went out for dinner in Mount Hope to celebrate our 9th state. Woohoo! We got our 15 minutes of fame in Iowa; someone in the grocery store in St. Ansgar called the newspaper and as we were sitting eating our lunch a reporter came over to take pictures and ask us questions. We spent time exploring the cute little city of Decorah while some bikes were in the shop and we had lunch at their co-op. The scenery for the past few days has mostly been fields of genetically modified corn and soybeans with cows and pig farms here and there, but eastern Iowa had more trees and hills than we had expected. The people we've met have all been incredibly kind and generous and we're far enough east now that people are stunned when we say we started our ride from the Oregon Coast. Today we're riding to Madison and we're excited to swim in Kiana's family's pool and sleep on their floor. All is well here; we send our hellos and good wishes to everyone back home!” -Julia, Trip Leader

Follow the trip

Cape Cod Trek is Making it Look Easy

“We are now in a campground in Martha’s Vineyard. Today was a short easy ride. We were in the shade on a bike path, which helps out a lot. We have great motivation in the morning, and are riding a great pace. Our navigation skills are on the rise. The hardest thing about this group is getting them to stop laughing!” – Jacob, Trip Leader 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

C&O Canal Trek Visits Antietam & Harpers Ferry

Today is a very interesting day for the Trekkers. We are biking through the Antietam Civil War Battlefield and learning about the bloodiest single-day battle in American history.  Tonight we will arrive in Harpers Ferry for a 2 day stay. We are REALLY excited to stay in a hostel and have a break from camping.  Keep on trekking! -David, Teen Trekker

Maine Coast Trek Picks Up the Pace

“We are in Wells, ME. We had a great ride with a scenic bike path along the waterfront, which was absolutely gorgeous. Everyone was riding really fast, averaging about 15 miles per hour, pretty impressive. The group is doing really well following bike safety. We of course stopped for ice cream when we saw the opportunity. Now we are at the campsite, Great Day!” – Annika, Trip Leader   

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The European Phantom Trek Flies Home from London

After a jam packed first day in London, the group took an easier second day to explore the city.  We checked out the  Natural History Museum and loved the dinosaur exhibit.  The human body and mineral exhibits were also interesting.  Afterwards we had a picnic lunch in the pavilion at the Serpentine Gallery.  The afternoon included visits to the Olympic Stadium and Camden Markets that were both full of people and lots of fun.  The group was sad to say goodbye today.  We had a really fun month and shared a lot of great times.  Parting is such sweet sorrow.

Goodbyes from the New England Shore Trek

It is amid excessive sobs and frequent tissues that I write the last blog of the epically fantastic New England Shore trek. The group sucessfully survived the 5 hour bus ride from Boston to New York City with panniers packed, and bikes dismantled. Arriving in New York City was a homecoming for most of the group as most lived close to the area. We re-assembled our bikes on 34th Street in clear view of the Empire State Building with many people chosing to take a moment from the busy city hustle to stop and watch. After we packed up our bikes it was time to make the slow walk back to Bryant Park where our journey came full circle to its conclusion. Reminding the group at how proud Alicia and I were of all of them, and everything that they had accomplished, certainly lightend the mood. The group was happy to see the parents once again, and perhaps a little more happy to know that they were going to be able to shower and sleep in their own bed for the first time in 16 days- they certainly deserved it! With smiles, we all said our goodbyes and Alicia and I waved each person off to officially stamp the conclusion of one amazing trip, which was made possible by even more amazing trekkers. - Kyle, Trip Leader

"The Tip of the Tail"

Day two of Provincetown exploration. Before heading back into town we decided to check out the Dunes Bike Trail. We rode about 10 miles on the trail, riding past the local airport and between the many sand dunes. By complete accident we stumbled upon an empty amphitheater where I stopped the group so we could partake in an all-inclusive round of improve comedy, much like the show "Whose Line Is It Anyway?". After a number of outtakes, two Park Rangers noticed our shenanigans and offered us free ice cream coupons at Ben & Jerry's located in Provincetown BECAUSE we all had helmets for our bikes! (this experience immediatly coined the phrase 'safety can be tasty').  We continued our trail ride (now a little faster because we wanted ice cream in town) to visit a renevated Cape Cod Livesaving Station. These stations were originally placed all along the Cape where "lifesaving crews" would keep watch for ships in distress. The one we vistied was the last of the original 13 Lifesaving Stations on Cape Cod, which was pretty neat. Eventually we made our way into Provincetown where we ate lunch and had free time to explore all the town had to offer. Of course, the first order of business after lunch was cashing in our Free, 'safety can be tasty', couponds for sweet ice cream cones. Pun intended. - Kyle, Trip Leader

Monday, July 23, 2012

European Phantom Trek Does it All

“This morning, we European Phantomers had a quick breakfast at our beautiful hostel on the hill and then hit the town hard for the rest of the day.  We managed to fit in the British Museum, St. Paul's Cathedral, the Tower of London, The Tower Bridge (decked out for the Olympics!), London Bridge, the Tate Modern, a delicious Mexican dinner, a music festival in Trafalgar Square, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben and Parliament.  Sound impossible?  Yeah, we aren't sure how we did it either.  All we know is that there's still plenty more to see.  Cameras batteries and trekkers alike need recharging though, so the Olympic stadium, the Natural History Museum, and all our other plans will have to wait until tomorrow.” – Sarah, Teen Trekker 

Maine Coast Trek Makes it to New Hampshire!

“It was a very hot day, so we took an easy pace. Our ride had us travelling through the town of Newburyport, MA, which is a super quaint town. Everyone got frozen yogurt, which we were all very excited about. We passed into New Hampshire today. We are staying at a great campground that has a great pool! Tomorrow we are heading into Maine.” --Annika, Trip Leader 

C&O Canal Trek Does More Than Pedal!

“The past days have been cloudy but temperate, with no rain. All of us are having fun as we biked through the 3118 foot long pitch black Paw Paw tunnel, to exploring the area around the 75 locks. Biking along the canal trail isn't just pedaling along thanks to some signs bearing historical Information about the canal and surrounding area. We're all enjoying biking and camping, and looking forward to D.C.” – Tyler, Trip Leader

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Cape Cod Trek Sails Out of Boston!

On a beautiful summer day the group met in Boston, MA. They walked their bikes over to the ferry that would take them south to start biking. Before starting the ride they took some time to learn about each other and learn about bike safety. It was an easy and enjoyable first day that took them the 8 miles to the campsite. In possibly a Teen Treks record the group didn’t even make it the 8 miles without stopping for ice cream. (We knew we liked these guys!) A great start to a great adventure. 

Across America Trek is in Minnesota!

“Today is our first whole day in Minnesota.  We rolled into the state late last night along a nice country road.  The first fireflies we have seen on the trip ushered us in. We went 89 miles today.  It seemed effortless, as if we floated across the ground.  This surely has to do with the fact that today was the first day in two weeks under ninety degrees.  All through the heat wave people praised our courage.  One lady saw us riding down the road and immediately offered us ice water and freeze pops.  Let me tell you, when you have been riding in the heat a purple freeze pop tastes like divine ambrosia. Yesterday we saw the new batman movie in Sioux Falls South Dakota.  Everyone loved it.  Afterwards we hung out in a Barnes and noble to beat the heat.  Over the last few days we have been hanging out with another group of bike tourists.  We rode with them for a while.  There were 6 of them and 9 of us.  We were quite a sight to see riding fifteen strong down the back roads of South Dakota.  We met another guy named john who had been riding since New Years day 2011.  He was 8000 miles into a 12000 mile bike ride.  We had fun sharing food and stories.  Tonight we are camping in a city park in Sherburn Minnesota.  There are some big cities coming up.  We plan to stay in a hostel in Chicago and take a rest day to explore the city.” – Jacob, Trip Leader 

C&O Canal Trek Enjoys the Ride

 “The sky was cloudy as we peddled up the last 20 miles to the top of the eastern continental divide. It was pure coasting from there down to the Mason-Dixon Line. We got to ride through some tunnels which can get almost pitch black in the middle. The troops are looking forward to the Paw Paw tunnel, the longest one on the trail. The viaducts leading us over valleys have been scenic and good for giving us a lay of the land we are entering. We finished our ride today in Cumberland with a little too much Mexican food. With tummies bulging we left town, finally got onto the C&O canal trail and got to camp with only one flat tire along the way. Time to rest for more riding in Maryland tomorrow.”--Mary Beth, Trip Leader