Monday, June 30, 2014

New York - Montreal Trek: Off and Running

Our New York - Montreal Trekkers are on the road!  They're riding to Croton Point Park today, on a peninsula in the Hudson River.  They'll camp out and cook their first meal together!

New England Shore Trek Has a Great First Day

Our New England Shore Trekkers are cruising up the east coast.  Here's how their first day went, in their own words:

We rode 9 miles, and after that we went to the beach, went on to Pride Rock, and checked out some cool places – the observatory and the nature center.  It was really fun.
-- Alex

We rode our nine miles and went to the beach.  Then we chilled out at the campground, and we swam a bit in the ocean – that was really fun.  And I cooked beef.
-- Jonathan

 Jacob and Alex pose with a giant shell at the nature center.

Feeling triumphant on top of Pride Rock!

They'll be in Rocky Neck State Park soon, and then on to Mystic, CT.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

New England Shore Trek's First Day

The New England Shore Trek started in New York City early this morning.  After a train ride to Guilford, Ct. the group got to know each other, made final bicycle adjustments, talked about bike safety and then hopped on their bikes for their first days ride to Hammonassett State Park.  Later today, they'll take a swim at the park's beach and then cook an amazing first dinner over their camping stoves!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Pacific Northwest Trek Reaches Deception Pass

One of our Trekkers, Sarafina, describes the group's day: 
On this fine Saturday in the Pacific Northwest, our group of eight trekkers made their way across Whidbey Island from South Whidbey State Park to Deception Pass State Park. Along the way, we passed valleys full of wildflowers, barns, and animals, backed by views of the Puget Sound.

We stopped for lunch in the town of Oak Harbor and had scrumptious strawberry rhubarb pie from a local market as a dessert. After that, we continued on to Deception Pass State Park and upon our arrival, experienced a brief sun rain shower. We spent the rest of the afternoon on the beach skipping stones and relaxing.

Russell tried out a new bike.

The group had a great time biking around beautiful Whidbey Island.

Leader Monique showed everyone how it's done: skipping stones on the shore of the Puget Sound.

Next, it's on to Orcus Island and Moran State Park!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Meet Our Leaders: Josh Hawthorne-Madell

Hey, Teen Trekkers!  I'm Josh, from Cornwall-on-Hudson, NY, and I'm ready to explore the country with all of you.  I used to be a Trekker myself, and I'm excited to show you why I had to come back for more.  I've always had fun bike touring.  Every time, biking introduced me to new challenges, new people, and beautiful scenery.

A little about me: I love hiking, camping, biking, meeting new people, and reading; and I like eating ice cream, swimming, writing poetry, and playing frisbee, soccer, wiffle ball, and video games (playing any game, really). Other than the meaning of life, I usually like thinking about artificial intelligence and evolvable robots, as I'm currently working on my cognitive science degree at Vassar College.

I've had great times counseling at a nature camp and helping manage youth sports, but I'm confident that these trips are going to be much more fun.  I can't wait to get on the road!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

First Day in the Pacific Northwest

Our Pacific Northwest Trekkers are on their way, getting to know each other, exploring Seattle, and getting pumped to bike up the Puget Sound and, eventually, into Vancouver, British Columbia.

Last night, the teens assembled bikes at the Green Tortoise Hostel:

Leader David Suitts says the hostel is "a paradise for bike tourists. Bikes line the walls and we've already met two other groups touring the west coast."  They're across the street from Pike Place Market, a foodie's dream with samples galore and tons going on.

Seattle isn't just a great city, but a great, bike-friendly city, and our Trekkers are having a fantastic time seeing it on two wheels!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Meet Our Leaders: Jake Hicks

Hej Hej! My name's Jake and I'm from near the Thousand Islands in Northern New York, about 13 miles from the bridge to Canada.

Moving by bike has always meant a lot to me, combining freedom and agency with the thrill of speed and a constant change in space (and time, if you know of Einstein's theory of relativity). To me, there is no better way to find, learn, or experience a place than to bike it, and no other way is as much fun!

When I'm not riding, I like to learn about other cultures, read critical theory, work on challenging projects, and experience as many different people, places, and things as possible. I love dancing, mountain biking, driving, visiting museums, going to film screenings, and exploring unknown places.

I've worked with teens in many different settings, including transitional homes, after school programs, college dorms, and a number of regular discussion groups. I love the perspectives that teens have; I feel they are often more honest to their feelings and experiences than those of us who have had more time to close some of those passages. This, and the enjoyment I get from guiding people into learning new things has led me to Teen Treks where I will experience the road and all that it brings alongside all of you!
I'm excited to meet ya'll and get rolling!