Teens joined the NY-Montreal Trek in Manhattan and Tarrytown this morning to begin a 16 day adventure up the beautiful Hudson Valley, along Lake Champlain, and into Quebec, Canada to Montreal. Along the way the group will visit The Great Walkway over the Hudson, FDR House, the NYS Capital, the NYS Museum, Ben & Jerry’s first store, and the food, shops, music, and sights in Montreal. You will hear their stories here in the days ahead, so stay tuned…
Gentle waves lapped the shores as Lake Geneva stirred like an AM cup of Swiss Miss. We rose and rode, parsing the mileage like abacus 🧮 beads. 20, 27, 29. Twenty parsecs in we stopped for second breakfast at Dunkin, which America Runs On, then spent a while learning to wall jump to a height of 10 feet before tacking on 27 more and unhinging our jaws and belts for afternoon pizza.
Deciduous lanes and placid byways kept our cortisol levels between the 8am standard of 10-20 micrograms per deciliter, and despite the numerous townfolk who expressed concern for our lives when told we would be riding in Chicago, our ingress was smoother than a Desitin-lined salt flat and made easy by Sachin and his family, who graciously hosted us in their charming Evanston abode. Thank you Gita, Todd Sachin and Asha the lab-hound mix for your hospitality.
Soon after landing, we spread our wings once more to flap downtown for authentic deep dish za, making today roundly pizza-oriented, then fanned out like decorative pheasant feathers in down-lined bags, eight avian adventurers in a basement roost.
Tomorrow we’re back to the bike shop first thing, meaning we have time to sleep in before taking to the wind and skirting the undercarriage of Lake Michigan in our perpetual quest for eastward expansion. We make offerings to cement golems and steel titans that we may pass in peace and continue in our quest for a destiny made manifest.
We started the day with a visit from a bright red Corvette pulling up to the campsite, which turned to be a friend of Mason’s family. We left kind of late, and soon crossed the bridge off of Cape Cod into southwestern Massachusetts. After the first chunk, we got pizza and watched 5 minute crafts about hair. After that, we went to Aldi and came out with “fruit rounds” and “crispy rice treats”. We followed the road to the campsite in Massoit State Park which was VERY rewarding after a long day.
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|Breakfast of bona fide bagels propelled our groggy group over winding trails littered with windfall from last night’s thunderstorm. Ankur led us to the edge of town through wood violet lined lanes and cosmopolitan sandhill cranes at a rubato pace which set the tone for a dreamy day. Twilight rains tamed the stifling heat and the skies cleared like summer skin. Not even two broken racks could exhaust the lemon zest we spritzed onto the day’s basil blueberry and alfalfa sprout melange of town and country scenery, and those racks were soon fully fixed like generously portioned buffet plates. Cruising into Lake Geneva with daylight to spare, Shaun cheffed up a feast that would make Ratatouille kneel in deference, and we chilled in comfort at Bigfoot Beach State Park, right by Buttons Bay. Wisconsin has beguiled us with its heartland dairy salves and glittering lakeside charms. To the outsider, it’s just cheese curds, but once the rind is peeled back, it becomes like a European jewel tucked into America’s suprasternal notch.We are eager to jut into our country’s near Eastern clavicle tomorrow, to sink our tires in the deep dish dough which paves the streets of the City of Wind. We will commune with the Tribune’s gargoyles and hopefully reunite with OG trekker Sachin.Our conditioning would make Pavlov proud, and our bungie cords lace through ever changing supplies in shapes that would boggle Bacon and fry Bohr. We are strong and life is beautiful.|
We started the day by waking up at 6AM in the Martha’s Vineyard Hostel. We departed at 8AM for the Steamship Authority Ferry to Woods Hole. Once we got to Woods Hole, we started our 26 mile journey along a great bike trail to the campsite in Sandwich. About 10 or so miles in, we saw some kids with their mom selling lemonade for a dollar off the side of the bike path, which we all obviously bought. We then stopped for a lunch break, before setting off to continue our ride. About a mile away from the campsite, Aaron so kindly rewarded us with ice cream for the stretching routine that Jake led after we got off the ferry. After getting to the campsite, a couple of us set off to the Stop and Shop to grab some ingredients for dinner.
For breakfast this morning we had pancakes. We rode our bikes to Edgartown where we looked at shops and ate some food. On the way back and fourth from the hostel we took a bike path with many bumps and steep hills. We didn’t struggle too much on the hills since we were always at the top of the them and had enough energy to go back up. The path was really cool because it went right by the Martha’s Vineyard Airport and we got the chance to see some airplanes. We also went to a beach and most of us jumped off a bridge into the ocean. Mason’s bike broke down but luckily they were able to take a bus to get it fixed. Finally, for dinner back at the hostel we had baked potatoes that Paul and Charlie made.
We woke with the swiftness of Germanicus’ legion, quiet and efficient as top of the line Cuisinart kitchen appliances. Our quarry was neither Visigoth, Hun, Gaul nor Vandal. Rather, Miles, of which sixty stood between us and the charming capital of America’s Dairyland. We slew them quietly and mercilessly in The Driftless, the last falling beneath our clip-ins as the sun crowned a sky the color of oxidized copper.
The riches of the city lay at our feet… bike shops, pizza, book stores, and hobby shops lent ample fodder with which to fill our bindles ‘n bellies. Yet these trifling materialities would pale like sun bleached arm hairs in the face of an even greater gift which lay blocks from Badger country, for we were welcomed into a lovely home by Lela’s parents, Emily and Ankur.
Despite stalwart Trekker Lela being away on another outdoor adventure, Emily and Ankur graciously saved us from a night in weather stormier than the Etta James classic.
A relaxed evening saw us lounging and puttering about the nearby shops, turning another blistering day into one of our more restful and peaceful.
Lela joined in spirit for our pre-coma glamour shot, then we tucked in as the cumulonimbus curtains pulled back to reveal their late night entertainment. Thunderous drums, electric guitar and plenty of wind rocked the trees until the transformers blew louder than Satchmo on steroids.
We are grateful to our hosts for sparing us from the wrath of rain deities and giving us a delicious spoonful of Madison to steel us for our two-day sortie into Second City.
Today we biked from Nickerson State Park to Hyannis to the Martha’s Vineyard Ferry, which was a total of about 21 miles. We biked down the Cape Cod Rail Trail for most of it, where we just made it in time for the 2:15 ferry into Oak Bluffs. The ferry ride was nice, and we had a lot of fun on the bow of the ship where it was super windy. When we got to the island we spent some time doing laundry and walking around Oak Bluffs. Some of us checked out of the carousel and explored the shops that the town had to offer. After that, we went grocery shopping in Vineyard Haven and rode 10 miles to the hostel and had a pretty a very good dinner of chicken, salmon, and rice before we had the best sleep of the trip so far in nice beds.
69 miles today, 69 more to Madison. The heat was Chernobyl-y, and our thermal Geiger counters tutted disapproval as we hopped ponds from Kwik Trips to Kwik Trips for cool snacks and hot food. We’ve been surfing the heat wave by hanging 10 miles (or 20) and breaking like white caps on reefs.
We snatched up arctic ice creams like deep sea dungeness crabs
and fiddled while velodrome burned until we were Nero our destination of Richland Center, which boasted waterworks that would make Caligula crush a murex shell beneath his bronze plated caligae in jealousy.
The waterslide was a corporeal viaduct carrying us to Elysian pools and the lazy river Tiber.
We showered, ate grapes, olive, caprese and wild boar before commanding our encampment builders to erect our polyester domus so we could remove our galeas and lay supine upon our goosedown pillows. Tomorrow we sack Madison.
We rode from Brewster to Chatham and back. We lost the older Charlie at a pizza place when his aunt picked him up because he wasn’t feeling well. It was great to have him and the trip won’t be the same without him. Then we went to the pier and saw seals. They were hanging out by the fishing boats waiting for the crew to throw them a scrap to eat. We decided to take the bike path back to camp to avoid some busy rodes. On the way we played 100 bottles of beer while we rode our bikes. Then we built a fire and Gunner and the food crew cooked burgers.