Thursday, August 21, 2014

2014: Another Great Summer of Biking!

We're closing out another fantastic season!  This summer, our Treks brought together kids from all over the US, plus Europe and Asia, for biking adventures they'll never forget.  They visited lively cities and small towns --

 -- and got out in lots of wide-open spaces:

They camped out together,

cooked out together,

learned how to fix their own bikes out on the road,

devoured gallon after gallon of ice cream,

and made lots of close friendships:

They hiked and biked through stunning wilderness spots --

 -- and breezy beaches,

stopping along the way to learn about local history,

pick up lunch goodies at farms,

get off their bikes and out on the water,

and check out museums, art, comedy shows, music festivals, thrift shops, and pretty much everything else they could pack into each day.  They biked hundreds of miles together, up hills and down them, on bright, sunny days and through the rain.  Not a lot of kids can say they've accomplished these kinds of things, but every one of our Trekkers can!

We'll post our 2015 trip schedule later this year, so you can start planning your Trek for next summer.  See you then!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Maine Coast Trekkers Complete 400+ Mile Adventure

The last day of biking turned out beautiful for the Maine Coast Trekkers.  They enjoyed a ride through beautiful hills with almost no traffic.  Before checking into their hotel in Bangor, they picnicked on the banks of the Penobscot River and visited the Cole Land Transportation Museum, which had a great exhibit on biking.

At a bakery they'd found earlier in the day, the Trekkers had picked up some mixed berry pie and blueberry crumble -- and both were still presentable and tasty for lunch after after 25 and dinner after 30 miles.

In the morning, they all caught a bus back to Boston, where they had one last lunch together -- burgers at Five Guys!  Everyone made sure to trade email addresses and phone numbers before they parted ways.  We're thrilled that another group had such a great trip where they accomplished a lot, learned a lot, and had tons of fun.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Maine Coast Trek Winding Down

A rainy morning got the Maine Coast Trekkers on the road early to say goodbye to beautiful Acadia National Park yesterday.  They biked 26 miles before lunch, the group's top early mileage for the entire trip.  They found lunch at the biggest Walmart any of them had ever seen and did a little window-shopping for guns to introduce Samuel, a Trekker who hails from France, to that aspect of American culture.  They had lots of time to swim and take some long, hot showers when they got to their campsite and pulled out the stops for their last night cooking together to make "some crazy creative Sloppy Joes."

Today, they're biking to Bangor -- with stops along the way for back rubs and baked goods.  One more night, and then the Trekkers will meet up with their families to start sharing stories of their biking adventure!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Maine Coast Trekkers Get Ready to Summit Cadillac Mountain

Our Maine Coast Trekkers went an entire 24 hours without biking, but they found more than enough to keep themselves busy.  They did some laundry, popped out to explore downtown Bar Harbor, then had lunch and played hacky sack on the village green.  In the afternoon, they went swimming at Sand Beach. For dinner, they gave themselves a night off from cooking and went out for pizza, then enjoyed an ImprovAcadia show.

Tomorrow, they're hoping for good sunrise weather -- everyone's ready to bike Cadillac Mountain before sunrise, then coast back down to Blackwood Campground for breakfast burritos.
There's essentially no cell reception in the park, so leaders Andy and Carol are in the same tech-free environment as the teenagers in the group.  They're going retro, using paper maps and asking strangers where to find the best spots in the park.

One more night camping out, then a cozy night at a hotel in Bangor, and this group's Trek will be finished!  They're going to squeeze everything they can out of it.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Maine Coast Trek Reaches Acadia National Park

Today, the Maine Coast Trekkers are headed for Blackwoods Campground, where they'll stay for three nights, hiking through beautiful Acadia National Park.

They've had a mostly smooth ride, with only minor stops for repairs.  Here, the Trekkers are getting a lesson on how to oil a chain from leader Andy:

After their interlude in Acadia, the group has only a couple more biking days before it'll be time to head back to Boston, where their journey began.

New England Shore Trek's Last Day

 The New England Shore group closed out its Trek with loads of sun and sand!  They went swimming in the ocean, buried each other in the sand, ate lunch on the beach, and of course. . .

They biked!  They put a total of more than 330 miles behind them on this trip -- quite an accomplishment!  Today, they're reuniting with their parents, some in Boston and some in NYC, to tell them all about their adventure.  

It sounds like everyone had a fantastic trip.  Enjoy the last bit of your summer, New England Shore crew, and keep biking!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Lake Ontario Trek Completes 600+ Mile Journey

The Lake Ontario Trekkers made it back to Buffalo, NY, where, three weeks ago, they started their adventure.  In all, they biked more than 600 miles together!

They spent their last night in the posh Adams Mark Hotel in downtown Buffalo and, yesterday, enjoyed a lazy morning with brunch at Betty's Restaurant -- breakfast burritos, French toast, and steak and eggs.  The day's highlight (no pun intended) was looking out over the city, Lake Erie, and the mists of Niagara Falls from Buffalo City Hall's observation deck.

Goodbyes are always difficult, but several Trekkers from this group are already talking about getting back together next year on our Across America route!

Maine Coast Trekkers Cycle North Towards Acadia

Yesterday was the longest day our Trekkers had biking up the Maine Coast, and they hope it will also end up being their hilliest day. In the morning, they visited Bowdoin College.  It started to rain as they headed out, but they found a family homestead where they could have lunch.

By the time they reached their destination for the day, Duck Puddle Campground, a jam band concert was in full swing! With covers of songs by Grateful Dead, Pink Floyd, and The Who in the background, they cooked some delicious pesto chicken with rice and veggies for dinner.

They're just over halfway through their Trek!

Friday, August 8, 2014

New England Shore Trek Knocks Out Another 25 Miles

Riding from Sandwich to Brewster, the New England Shore Trek had a speedy day.  They stopped at a consignment shop along the way to look for trinkets -- apparently this one was mostly furniture, but this group has been finding neat treasures at thrift stores and local junk shops all along the shore.

Teen Treks' Director, Cliff Madell joined the group at Sweetwater Campground, near Brewster, MA.

Today, they're heading to Provincetown for their last two nights camping out!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Maine Coast Trek Arrives in Portland

The Maine Coast Trekkers have been enjoying Portland (and the air-conditioned hotel rooms they're staying in).  On their way there, they discovered an "awe-inspiring" candy store and had pastries and coffee at a cafe called Mornings in Paris.  They coasted the rest of the way into town, aided by a great tailwind.

They've been exploring the city, admiring the architecture, and checking out restaurants downtown.  Next, they'll head on up the coast to Freeport.

Close to Home for the Lake Ontario Trek

Since they got an early start, the Lake Ontario Trekkers decided to bike through Middleport and camp at Lockport tonight.  They did make a stop at Middleport, for ice cream and air conditioning.  The owner of the cafe where they took their break gave them a watermelon on their way out, too.

They're enjoying their last day on the Erie Canalway Trail and their last night of camping.  For dinner, they have quesadillas planned!

New England Shore Trek Bikes Toward Boston

On the road!  The New England Shore Trekkers are making good time on a breezy, 30-mile ride from Assonet to Sandwich, MA.  Just a few more days' riding until they reach Boston!

Lake Ontario Trek Bikes the Erie Canal Trailway

The Lake Ontario Trekkers started their day early with a stop at a bike shop for inspections.  Little did they know, there was a glass-blowing studio next door!  The group had lunch outside and then spent a good chunk of their afternoon being mesmerized by the glowing fire and beautiful pieces of colored glass.

They headed on to the Erie Canal Trailway -- a bikers' paradise along the peaceful canal, without any cars at all.  Kiran treated everyone to delicious pulled BBQ chicken sandwiches, thanks to his excellent camping-culinary skills, which they enjoyed at their own private campground along the trail.

Everyone's eager for more time on the trail before hitting Buffalo on Friday.  Their journey is almost complete!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Lake Ontario Trek Enjoys Upstate New York

After a lot of steep hills in the past couple days, the Lake Ontario Trekkers were happy to have only rolling hills in front of them this morning.  Bicycling along Lake Road was a particularly lovely treat, and the group found a fantastic grocery store right along their route.

A few miles down the road, they found a beautiful park by the lake, where they had lunch in a picnic pavilion and enjoyed some time on the swings.

From their campsite at Canalway Park tonight, this group has less than 70 miles left before they will have biked all the way around Lake Ontario -- definitely in the home stretch!

New England Shore Trek Heads into Massachusetts

Last night, the New England Shore Trekkers capped off their stay in Providence with a ghost tour.  This morning, they hit the road early to head to Massachusetts, and packed plenty in along the road.  They made a water stop at a beautiful park --

Learned to weave and got some insight into local history at the Carpenter Museum in Rehoboth --

And had time for some very important ice cream and laughter along their sunny, 30-mile ride to Forge Pond Campground --

Monday, August 4, 2014

Providence Welcomes the New England Shore Trek

Time in their very comfy beds at the Omni Providence has helped the New England Shore Trekkers get well rested and energetic.  They've been getting to know Providence, visiting the State House today to see Rhode Island's replica of the Liberty Bell and the beautiful, ornate architecture.  They're also learning a bit about the state's history and the lawmaking process.

After one more night in their fancy hotel rooms, the Trekkers will enter Massachusetts and start biking toward Boston -- the last leg of their trip.

Lake Ontario Trek Rides a 60-Mile Day and Hikes Chimney Bluffs

It's safe to say that everyone on the Lake Ontario Trek was happy to have completed Day 15, their longest day.  They biked 60 miles!  Plus, they had their greatest gain and loss of elevation.  Many of the Trekkers said these were the steepest hills they've ever climbed -- what an accomplishment!  They capped their Saturday evening off with nachos and s'mores around the campfire.

The next morning, they had a relaxed morning, with Trekker Kiran cooking everyone eggs to order -- over easy, scrambled, and even "eggs in a basket," a fried egg in a bagel, with gourmet toppings like pesto and chopped green onions. They then took a short ride to Chimney Bluffs State Park, where they had lunch under a giant maple tree and hiked up to admire the beautiful views. At the end of the day, they came back to camp for a delicious dinner of Shepherd's Pie.

Biking and Bagpipes for the Maine Coast Trek

Riding through Newburyport, the Maine Coast Trekkers discovered the town's Yankee Homecoming Parade, and they biked backwards through it from beginning to end, riding past a jazz band, marching bands, a drum and fife corps, and the Ancient Order of Hibernians bagpipe corps.

They've been enjoying scenic, hilly rides, and evenings around the campfire after cooking dinner:

They're about to enter Maine, where the hills might get a little steeper.  We hope they still enjoy their ride!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Maine Coast Trek Makes Some Friends in Northeastern Massachusetts

Riding up the Maine Coast, our Trekkers had a fun day of getting a little lost, biking through rain, and helping some friendly farm owners put up a canopy before they had a BBQ! 

They got a tour of the farm, meeting flocks of chickens, ducks, and geese, and had lunch in a dry part of the property out of the rain.

After getting to Cape Ann Campground in Gloucester, the group played cards, made chicken stew, baked potatoes in the fire, and made s'mores. Tomorrow, they'll bike into New Hampshire.

New England Shore Trekkers Make the Best of a Rainy Day Outside Newport, RI

Rainy group hug after a pizza lunch!

After a relaxing ferry ride from Block Island to Portsmouth, the New England Shore Trekkers had lunch together and went to the movies.  They biked into their campsite, had wonderful, hot showers, and then got a ride to a laundromat.  For dinner, they made one of Teen Treks' favorites, Buffalo Chicken Mac N Cheese.

They're looking forward to seeing Newport tomorrow, and then continuing on up the coast!

The Lake Ontario Trekkers Loved the Lighthouse Hostel in Cape Vincent, NY

The Lake Ontario Trekkers had a sad and beautiful farewell this morning at the Tibbetts Point Lighthouse. Two of the group's members took a spill that left one of them with a fractured thumb and the other with a sprained wrist -- minor injuries, but enough to send them both home early.  There were warm, heartfelt hugs all around, and everyone agreed to keep in touch.  We'll miss them, but we know they'll heal up better at home.

The rest of the group got back on their bikes and continued on down the New York side of Lake Ontario. They made great time to Southwick Beach State Park, where they ate dinner with fresh corn.  Tomorrow is their longest-mileage day, so they plan to go to bed early tonight and wake up ready for the challenge!

Friday, August 1, 2014

New England Shore Trek Cruises Through Rhode Island

The New England Shore Trek was so early to the ferry this morning they had time to hang out and play cards!  The group left Block Island behind and hit Newport running.  They biked around downtown, had a relaxed picnic lunch, and headed for their campsite at Melville Ponds Campground, near Portsmouth, early in the afternoon.  Everyone was very excited to get warm showers.

They'll be in Portsmouth another day, then head to Providence, where they'll take a break from camping by staying at the Omni Hotel.