Thursday, August 11, 2016

A Great Final Day for the NY-Montreal Trek

Today was our last full day of the trip! We woke up, and packed up our mess for the very last time. We ate breakfast at the hostel again and then began another fun filled day of adventures in Montreal! We began by biking to the Biosphere, an environmental museum on an island in the St. Lawrence river. When we got to the museum, we were informed that they refuse to allow groups into the museum. Bummer. But we still walked around the museum and checked out the outside exhibits and then ate lunch in the park surrounding the museum. We ate a very french lunch complete with bruchetta, brie, and baguettes! It was delicious! After lunch, we biked on a bike path that paralleled the river and canals in the city that lead us to the Atwater Market, a vibrant food market filled with local produce and fancy delicacies. We wandered around, eating fresh berries and, of course, stopping for our daily ice cream. Then, we biked up Mont Royale, where we got magical views of the city. There was even a piano at the top of the park, so we were welcomed not only with beautiful views but with beautiful music too! Once we came down from the mountain, we biked to our final dinner spot. We ate a huge italian dinner together, reminicing on all the good times we shared throughout the trip and how far we came in just a couple weeks. It was a grand feast and the perfect way to end the trip! After dinner, we rushed to pick up our things from the hostel and arrived at the bus station. We said our good byes to Luke, Claire, Jeremiah, and Kate and the rest of us tooled our bikes apart, packed then up, and hopped on the overnight bus to NYC with teary eyes. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

NY-Montreal Trekkers Find So Much To See In Montreal

Today was an amaZing day. We began with the free breakfast at the hostel which had delicious chocolate chip muffins and pastries and then began our adventure through the city! Our first stop was the Notre Dame Cathedral which was beautiful and ornate. We wandered through the pews and learned a little about the cathedral's history. After the cathedral, we wandered around Old Montreal checking out art galleries and shops along the old cobbled streets. We stopped in for lunch at a quaint crepe restaurant where we filled up on delicious food to fuel us for the rest of the Day. After lunch we explored more of the city, stopping to check out shops and sites along the way. Our final stop was at Eva B, a large thrift store/cafe/magical maze of clothes, antiques, and other treasures that we all spent a long time sifting through. 
After the thrift store we headed back to the hostel to nap and recharge for the evening. Andy and Emily cooked a Carribean feast for dinner and we all sat on the patio and enjoyed one of our last dinners together! After dinner, we stopped to check out the Montreal Pride festival which was happening a block away from the hostel. The Pride festival was so awesome and we ended up staying there for the rest of the night. We saw Bollywood dancers, singers, and listened to a lot of french speakers that we didn't understand and the night finally ended with a big dance party! We came back to the hostel a little before midnight and swiftly crashed so we could get enough sleep for tomorrow -- our full day together.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

MONTREAL at Last for the NY-Montreal Trekkers

We finally reached Montreal today! We woke up and packed up camp quickly so we would make our way to the city. We rode through endless corn fields and farms and half way through the ride, we finally reached the outskirts of the city. We stopped for lunch and of course, ice cream at a beautiful park in the suburbs. We played on the playground and ran through the sprinklers after lunch to raise our motivation. Soaked and laughing, we hopped back on our bikes and continued on to Montreal!

As we neared the city, we began riding on a bike path that took us over the St Laurence River and into the city. When we were right across from the city, we got a little lost and confused but we ran into a nice Montreal man who took us under his wing and led us across the city to our hostel. It was such a nice way to be welcomed to the city! We reached the hostel and settled in before we went out to our celebratory dinner to Poutineville, so everybody could try Poutine, a Canadian dish consisting of french fries smothered in cheese and gravy. After dinner, we wandered around on one of the main streets downtown Montreal that was closed off to cars. There were art exhibits and street performers everywhere! We hung out for a couple hours exploring the city before we headed back to the hostel and fell asleep. We cant wait to explore more tomorrow and celebrate the end of our trip!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Canada at Last for NY-Montreal Trekkkers

Today we finally made it to Canada! We woke up In Plattsburgh near the shores of Lake Champlain and had a leisurely start to the day, eating breakfast while staring at the views of the shimmering lake and the mountains in the distance. We began biking along quiet farm roads, passing countless corn fields  and a few dairy farms along the way. We stopped for ice cream at Stewarts where Andy picked out black raspberry and death by chocolate. We all ate ice cream cones and recharged before we headed up to the border. We crossed the border with no problems and decided to stop for lunch as soon as we entered Canada. But as soon as we sat down, it started to downpour on us! We ran for shelter and waited out the rain before we biked into our campsite. Our campsite was a little piece of paradise with a pond, waterslides, and a beach volleyball court! We played a few games of volleyball together as a crew before we set up camp for the night. Sky, Hazel and Reuben cooked us a delicious pasta dinner and we finished the night under the stars, roasting marshmallows and sharing our excitement to finally reach Montreal tomorrow!

Sunday, August 7, 2016

NY-Montreal Trekkers Island Hop Back Into New York State

Traveling to Plattsburgh was quite a day.  Leader Andy was excited to show the Trekkers where he went to college, SUNY Plattsburgh.  Our route consisted of a beautiful causeway to get to a bike ferry, and seeing a forest full of colorful birdhouses on Grand Isle, the island in between Vermont and NY on Lake Champlain! Technically the island is Vermont though. We the took another ferry off that island to Cumberland Head where our campsites were. After eating at Gus' Red Hots, a favorite hometown diner right next to campsite, the trekkers departed to the campus.  We were quickly enthralled by the fountain... Enough to want to go swimming in it! After that, we took some much needed time indoors relaxing at leader Andy's college friend and colleague Jean's house, watching "The Truman Show" a movie starring Jim Carrey.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Burlington, VT Has Plenty of Fun Activities for the NY-Montreal Trekkers

So, the day to Burlington from Vergennes was a trying one.  We had hopes and dreams of getting to Burlington early to do some extended exploring, waking up 45 minutes early to do this. On the way there though we experienced some difficulties from 2 flat tires! Right before our second flat though, we were lucky to discover a pick your own blueberry farm where they sold ice cream too! Although we got to Btown a little later than planned, it was still exciting to visit a bicycle shop / museum called the Old Spokes Home (get it!?), as well as walk the shopping district on Church St. We even swam at the beach on Lake Champlain. Here we are at the Vietnamese restaurant Pho Hong.... Best Vietnamese dining in Burlington!

Friday, August 5, 2016

NY-Montreal Trekkers Cross the Champlain Bridge and into Vermont

Yesterday was a beautiful day on the road! We began the day with a gorgeous ferry ride up to the northern edge of Lake George. It was a leisurely boat ride with views of the Adirondacks and lots of sunshine. There was a lot of laughter all around and everybody enjoyed taking it easy in the morning. After we got off the ferry, we started cruising on beautiful roads along the mountains through Ticonderoga and up to the Champlain Bridge where we crossed over into Vermont. After we crossed into Vermont we rode along quiet roads with views of Lake Champlain to Button Bay State Park. When we got to camp, we jumped into the pool, made nachos for dinner and finished the night stargazing along the banks of the lake. We saw the milky way and many shooting stars. Tomorrow we are off to Burlington and we are all excited for more quiet roads, beautiful mountain views, and exploring the city!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

NY-Montreal Trekkers Enjoying Lake George

Waking up in Moreau State Park we encountered some beginning of the day difficulties.  Reuben had a flat! In fixing it, we gave a demo on how to patch a tire. Sky and the leaders taught the rest of the team!  We enjoyed a day full of bike paths by using the Warren County Bikeway. One hill was difficult but it dropped us off at the bottom tip of Lake George!  We spent hours on the beach enjoying the water, and reading books that we brought with us.  After a dinner of Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese, we went over our high and low moments of the day and then cozied up for a restful night of sleep.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Cycling into the Adirondacks for the NY-Montreal Trekkkers

On the morning of the 2nd, we woke up in the hotel in Albany ready and excited for our biggest biking day yet! After enjoying our free continental breakfast we packed up, jumped on our bikes and got to the Mohawk Hudson Trail! We saw them working new sections even. Leader Andy was especially excited about the new additions to the trail as he uses it often. We trekked hard and long that day, and finished!  Upon getting to our campsite, we had a dinner of African pineapple peanut stew, taken from the recipe book of Moosewood Restaurant in Ithaca.  After a modest fire (darn you, wet wood!) and smores, we snuggled up in our tents and sleeping bags with dreams of a beach day at Lake George. We wouldn't have to wait log though, as this was our plan for the next day!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

An Albany Rest Day for the NY-Montreal Trekkers

Today was our rest day in Albany. We all slept in until 8am and had a leisurely breakfast at the hotel. Pancakes, sausage, and eggs were a welcome departure from the quick camp breakfasts we usually eat. After breakfast we headed to the New York State Capital building for a tour. We wandered around the grand hallways and rooms, hearing stories about the rich history of the building and all the people who passed through over the years. After we toured the capital, we wandered back to the hotel for a nice lunch. We spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out in the hot tub and the pool. After swimming, we went out to a burrito joint where we ate to our heart's content and then wandered around Washington Park, a beautiful park with statues and gardens and ponds. When we got back to the hotel, we finished the night together in one of the hotel rooms eating popcorn and watching the season finale of the Bachlorette. It was a grand rest day but we are excited to get back on the road tomorrow!

Monday, August 1, 2016

NY-Montreal Trekkers Reach NYS Capital

After waking up to beautiful, misty Hudson River views, we biked twenty miles along through scenic farmland to reach our destination of the day, Albany, NY! We reached the Holiday Inn hotel before lunch time and changed into our comfiest clothes, ate gigantic sandwiches, and chilled out while the rain poured down outside. Everybody was so happy to be warm and dry during the rain storm. We spent the afternoon napping and doing laundry and then all went out to dinner at Cafe Hollywood, a fun little restaurant in downtown Albany. There we ate a large dinner together, sharing stories, laughing and playing pool together before heading back to the hotel where we all happily fell asleep in warm and cozy beds.