Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Lake Ontario in Small Town Ontario

The Lake Ontario Trekkers are  hugging Lake Ontario, and having great rides every day with no problems.  They camped the past two nights with great weather, sun and ice cream every day.  They are currently surrounded by farms, tiny towns and helpful locals.  The travels are going extremely well for the group, with chances to swim every day!
The Trekkers with Leader Luke (in the plaid shirt)
Standard view for the past few days
Lunch, with mandatory ice cream...
The only campground for miles was full, so a local cyclist hosted the group in her back yard garden!
About to set off from their kind host's home...

New England Shore Enjoying Hyannis, MA

The Trekkers has an action packed day off in  Hyannis, MA yesterday.
Sunday's update from Wendy and Becky: The group went swimming and the water was so refreshing even with the seaweed at our feet.  We did some biking around town, ate ice cream and tried not to be eaten by the mosquitoes that were out in full force. Cliff (Teen Treks director) surprised us with one last visit by appearing over a hill on his bike.  He joined us for dinner at the campsite and chatted with everyone.  In the evening, we explored the Sandwich State Park grounds, which are beautiful and shady.  We has lots of little adventures with bugs and showers at night and then had a campfire.  Camping is fun but we cant wait to get to the hotel tomorrow. Both girls send their love (and lots of giggles)!
From Kate (Leader): Yesterday the group visited some sand banks, then got some afternoon ice cream.  After that, we went to the Cape Cod Potato Chip factory for a tour.  The group loved the samples, and ate so many that they actually decided they were "potato chipped out' for the day.  Afterwards, the group visited the Hyannis Maritime Museum, where they got a tour of the boathouse from a knowledgeable guide who took interest in the group as a fellow cyclist!  Afterwards, the group returned to their hotel and relaxed, took showers etc before going out to dinner for seafood (chicken for those who don't like fish). 
A freshly made boat
Off to Wooster, MA today.  Agenda is up in the air, but there is a bike shop in town we will be visiting.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Farewell European Phantom Trekkers!

It has been a fantastic 28 days for our European Trekkers.  And today, the Trek returned to London's Heathrow airport to bid farewell to out well traveled Trekkers.  From castles to beaches, city streets and quiet pastures the Trekkers have toured England, France, the Netherlands and Belgium in two wheeled style.  We wish all of the Trekkers the best as they safely Travel to the countries of Canada, Germany and the USA.
Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England
Normandy region, France
Rouen, France
Bruges, NL
Ghent, Belgium
Rural Holland
Rural England
Along the River Cam, England
European Phantom 2013

Oh, the places you've gone!  Teen Treks hopes the rest of your summer is as exciting as the past five weeks.  Bon voyage, merci and cheers!

Pacific Northwest Trek Back in Washington State in Olympic National Park

The Trekkers have entered Washington state, and are now in Port Angeles, WA, in Olympic National Park.
After saying goodbye to Rowan (who left from a bike related injury), the Trekkers are keeping positive, which is easy to do inside of the beautiful park.
The group will spend the night in Port Angeles before moving to Sequim, WA.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Lake Ontario Trek Moves East of Toronto

Our Trekkers have been up to a lot this weekend!  
 Here is what Leader Laura has to say about the group's time in Toronto:
We had a great time wandering the city. We went to Chinatown for lunch and authentic snacks and bubble tea. We went over to the trendy Kensington Market to shop for something unique-the street is full of quirky boutiques, vintage shops, casual eateries, record shops and lots of people! We took the ferry to the Toronto islands and toured around by bike. And one night, we went to a Blue Jays baseball game. Another night we indulged in some Ethiopian cuisine.
The bike rack marks the entrance to Kensington Market
In Kensington Market

Beside the Blue Jay's stadium
On the Ferry to Toronto Island

View from Toronto Island
Bubble Tea time!

 Here is what Trekker Jordana has to say:

After a long ride on Saturday, we woke up to a beautiful sunrise over Lake Ontario.  We at a quick breakfast of oatmeal, Nutella and Orange Juice and were off!  We rode for a few hours, trying our best not to get lost, and came to a lovely lake side trail.  There was a charity ride on the same trail as us, so we had company as we chugged our way up some wicked hills.  At lunch time we regrouped and devoured some neapolitan ice cream and carrots (we know its a weird combo but it works!).  We had a cozy plot of land to pitch our Tents, took showers and did some laundry and cooked dinner.  A nice, full, tiring day!
Here's looking at you, Toronto!
 Tonight the group will stay in Brighton, Ontario.

Across America..Somewhere in Iowa

The Across America gang is doing a fantastic job in cycling high miles, and have done a few centuries in the past week (except for a day or two where there were bike issues). 
The group has found a new motivation-getting to Chicago, where they will stay with Monique's Aunt, who lives in nearby Wheaton, IL.  The thought of a day off in a big city (seems like ages ago that the Trekkers have been in a busting metropolitan area) is keeping the crew pushing on through the corn fields.  
The group has spent the weekend along Route 7, which they are loving because of the back roads and mile after mile of flat farm-filled land.  Originally, they were following Route 20, but found that the tiny/non existent shoulders was unsafe.  The group asked around and spoke with some locals and tweaked their route to much better roads.  And If the group is in need of a break, they have an activity called  "corn running", or simply running down the rows of corn.  Seems to be a big hit with the boys, who do this a few times a day.  The group has been happy and healthy, and have been enjoying many a stir fry and rotisserie chicken.  And the weather?  Contrary to a typical Iowa summer, they are actually in a much appreciated cool spell.  This means that is actually is cold in the morning to the point of wearing a few layers, but then warms to somewhere in the 70's during the day.  
At the group's current pace, they are set to arrive in Chicago on Wednesday night, taking Thursday as an off day.

New England Shore Trek on Sandwich Island!

The New England Trekkers have had a busy few days.  With recaps from Trekkers and Leaders, here's what they have been up to:
 7/26 by Nick:
"We are hanging out on Martha's Vineyard.  We are at the Beach, and soon we will go walk around the town.  It's been a fun day.  We have been getting in all of our daily miles and are happy to have a day off.  Last night was chilly, but now the weather is good!"

7/27 by Kate (Leader)
"The group excitedly started their morning with something everyone was looking forward to: doing laundry (yes, the teens were estatic to do this!).  It started as rainy, but ended up being sunny, lovely!"
Preventing rusty chains with some oil-good for those rainy days
7/27 by Anne
"We are still on Martha's Vineyard.  Today we went to America's oldest carosel, located on the island.  It's a really fun ride because you go around on the horses grabbing rings from a dispenser.  If you grab a gold ring you get a free ride.  Some of us got the gold ring, but I haven't yet. We also found a bridge that people jump off into the beach water that's about 20 feet deep.  It was so fun!  We walked around the town too, and that was great because there is plenty to look at.  The little houses are cool to look at because of the wooden shingles and colorful paints, and lots of pretty yards.  After than we stopped by the beach (some of the boys got some sun burn) and then we all ate ice cream.  A fun day!  Now we are starting to make dinner, which is a stir fry."
Notice the ring dispenser at the bottom left corner

7/28 by Erin (Leader)
"We took the Ferry from Martha's Vineyard to Sandwich, MA.  We immediately started on the bike path, which everyone really enjoyed riding on.  We also hit up the beach to satisfy all of our sand loving Trekkers."

 7/29 by Kate (Leader)
"Afters some debate between a hike or a beach, the group chose the beach!  The weather is good, so that is where we are off to today.  We have the day off, so we will be taking full advantage of it. "

European Phantom's Weekend in Cambridge and London

Kings College, Cambridge
A weekend recap from Taylor (Leader):

The European Phantom trekkers are in London! After three great cycling days through England, the group has arrived at its final destination.

After getting off our ferry from the Netherlands to England on Wednesday, we biked the 30 miles from Harwich to Sudbury before lunch, arriving earlier than planned. We passed a bowling alley on the way into town and the group enthusiastically decided to stop and bowl a few games. (Jordan and Sean were the winners. Their prize was a jacket potato.) That night at our campsite we had a tasty soup-and-salad dinner and then played a few rounds of cards before bed. The next morning we woke up to our first rain of the trip, which fortunately stopped by the time we'd finished breakfast. The day turned hot and sunny as we rode to Cambridge. We arrived late afternoon, settled in to our hotel, then cooked burgers in a nearby park. 

Friday was dedicated to exploring Cambridge. After an all-you-can-eat breakfast at the hotel, we went downtown to walk the winding, narrow streets and see the beautiful old stone buildings of the 31 colleges that make up Cambridge University. We stopped into the gorgeous King's College Chapel, built in the 15th Century. Next to the chapel itself was an exhibit on its construction, showing the mathematics behind its vaulted ceilings and the process of making stained glass windows. Pretty incredible. From there, we had a picnic lunch, and headed to the river to check out the local past-time: punting. (Punting is a style of boating in which a person stands at the back of a low 12-passenger boat and pushes the boat down a shallow canal with a long stick.) After laughing at the other tourists struggling to move their punting boats, we opted for a guided punting tour of the city. Unfortunately, just as we were leaving the docks, our guide dropped his punting stick and hit leader Kate on the head. We had to stop the tour to get Kate checked out, but fortunately she was OK (though it sure looked like it hurt). After our punting misadventure, we went to a play of Cymbeline at the Downing College Gardens, part of the annual outdoor summer Shakespeare Festival. The show was really entertaining and well-done.
In front of Trinity College
Punting guides and novices along the River Cam

This morning we biked about 20 miles toward London, before stopping for lunch and catching a train the rest of the way into the city. When we arrived, a friendly cyclist helped us find our hostel in the drizzle, riding through traffic on bike/bus lanes shared with iconic red double-decker buses. Tonight we took advantage of the hostel's kitchen and cooked ourselves a hearty pesto pasta. And now we're getting ready to hit the streets tomorrow, as we conclude our trip with two days of London site-seeing.