Trip Leader Katie bikes from Boston to Texas

Posted Posted in 2019

Most Trip Leaders fly or drive home after their treks. Katie, who led a Maine Coast Trek this summer decided that she would bike from Boston, to her home … in Texas. Read about her journey, including why she’s thinking she’ll be taking a break from PB&J sandwiches for awhile!

When I returned back to Boston from leading a Teen Treks trip through Maine Coast, I biked 2,300 miles back home to San Antonio, Texas. This took me about 55 days, which was longer than expected, but I didn’t account for the incredible people and places  that would compel me to linger at stops.

I biked through 16 states, following the Eastern Coast until Virginia, then headed west to the mountains of North Carolina, then turned south towards southern United States, reaching the Gulf Coast in New Orleans where I chased swamps back to Texas. One of my favorite states to bike through ended up being Alabama, which surprised me, but the Talladega National Forest was just hilly enough, with lots of creeks and rivers, and I happened to see a wolf standing in the middle of a quiet country road one day!

The best part of this entire journey though, was all the people I met along the way. I made friends at campgrounds, gas stations, bike shops and through a bike touring host community called Warm Showers. Every now and then, I’d meet someone on the road or at a host site and they’d ask to ride with me for a few days, I’ll never forget these people and the miles we shared! Hands down, this was the best experience of my life! I learned so much about myself in the many days riding solo, gained a greater appreciation for humanity, and fell in love with niche parts of Eastern United States.

I probably ate about 150 peanut butter sandwiches on the road, so I will probably take a break from them now that I am back home. And much to everyone’s surprise, I had zero flat tires the entire way! But I did religiously pump up my tires every morning, so that helped. The universe was good to me on this ride and I’m already dreaming of future long distance bike travels.

Shout out to Ben Ingalls who made the trip from Boston to New York quite the adventure! And to David Vigil for being a stellar host in Brooklyn!

Katie

Another remarkable Teen Treks summer has come and gone!

Posted Posted in 2019

Another amazing adventure filled summer has come to an end! Yet again this summer we bicycled together up and down hills, along scenic seaside bicycle paths, through pastoral valleys, along old rail lines re-purposed as tree lined bicycle paths, and on roads next to pastures of sun bathing cows – all the while reveling in the spontaneity of adventure travel.

This year we traveled to some truly iconic sites abroad!

And some sites that aren’t quite as far from home.

We had some sur-prisingly scenic roadside snack breaks

So many rocking beach days!

And some pretty memorable campfires.

We learned to balance each other’s personalities

And built something out of the new friendships we created.

We also learned about local history, visited art museums, ate ice cream to cool down on those unbearably hot and humid summer days, visited farms, explored national and state parks, wandered through country antique stores, visited iconic big city landmarks, and relaxed on beautiful beaches from the Dutch coast, Lake Champlain, Lake Ontario and the California Coast. 

Not all kids can say they’ve accomplished so much in such a short amount of time, but our Trekkers sure can! Please share with your friends and extended family the awesomeness of bike travel and invite them to join a Teen Treks! 

Our trip schedule for summer 2020 will be out soon and in the meantime be sure to rest up before next summer’s adventure!

NY-Montreal Trekkers last day in Montreal

Posted Posted in 2019

Today we woke up and ventured to the famous St-Viateur Bagel Shop (Montreal style bagels) for breakfast. We then dined in a nearby park next to ducks. We continued on to Marche Jean Talon where we tried a beet drink, husk cherries, sour cherries, churros, and apples, while Liam serenaded us on one of the public pianos. We then rode to St. Catherine St. to walk the pedestrian-only streets and explored the shops. With the outside temperature rising, we went indoors to the Montreal Science Center to learn fun facts about spiders, the human body, physics and other things- your body has 1.2 kg of bacteria in it (Adam); I watched a black widow eat it’s husband (Liam); I learned about centrifugal force (Noah); I learned about the disorienting effects of curved mirrors (Erik): I learned that spiders float on a strand of web and it’s called a ballooning (David); I learned that the small intestine is 30ish feet long (Yael). We regrouped for a snack break and some ice cream (14 days of daily ice cream and we’re still going strong!). We walked around the waterfront to get some bus snacks and then went to dinner. Later, we gathered our gear and headed to the bus station where we packed bikes and said farewell to Erik on his journey home. We’re excited to explore New York tomorrow!

Learn more about Teen Treks’ New York – Montreal Trek.

Mont Royal high for the NY-Montreal Trekkers

Posted Posted in 2019

Today we woke up in our hostel and enjoyed a relaxing breakfast. We headed out on bike towards Mont Royal and cruised through Montreal on the awesome bike paths. We had empanadas at the bottom of the mountain and then biked to the top. We flew up the gravel route, excited to have bikes without any gear! We had a photoshoot near the cafe overlooking the city and then coasted down the mountain. We then ventured towards our lunch spot and ate delicious poutine (as rated by Liam: 10 out of 10 for taste, 7 out of 10 for wait, and 0 out of 10 for presentation because it was just on the plate) and burgers. We then visited St. Catherine St where we dined on root beer floats at A&W. We then wished farewell to Millie on her journey home, and the rest of the group took a siesta. Later, we had a picnic by the water and watched people zip-line as the sun set.

We’re missing you Millie! “Cuddi, that dinner really be hitting different without one of the turtles in our flock.”

Learn more about Teen Treks’ New York – Montreal Trek.

Montreal and poutine as NY-Montreal Trekkers reach their goal!

Posted Posted in 2019

Today we woke up from our campsite and started our day with morning S’mores (and cereal and milk!). We left the campground and stopped at a nearby Tim Hortons (which was delicious) before continuing on our route. We biked through towns, over a bridge, and onto a bike path where we could see incredible views of Montreal. We followed the bike path along the river and finally arrived in Montreal (we made it!!). We explored the Old Port of Montreal and walked along the cobblestone streets in search of poutine. We finally found some at Poutine Fest and got to try the famous Canadian treat (as rated below by Millie). We walked along the river and ate more treats and eventually made our way back to the hostel. We’re excited to continue exploring the city tomorrow!

Poutine as rated by Millie: 5 out of 10. Poutine is a little overrated. There was too much salt and the gravy was too strong, but the cheese curds were good! French fries were medium.

Learn more about Teen Treks’ New York – Montreal Trek.

NY-Montreal Trekkers cross into Canada

Posted Posted in 2019

Today we woke up and dined on pancakes before continuing our ride north. We biked through small towns and along the water, and eventually crossed the border into Canada. We stopped at a local grocery store for lunch and ate sandwiches in a nearby park. After another short 10-mile ride, we arrived at our awesome campground for the night. We slid down a huge waterslide into the lake (rated as a 7 out of 10 by Erik, and there will be a video of the slide published soon) and then played basketball in the outdoor pool. Later, we cooked and ate dinner under a pavilion as some evening rain set in.We’re excited to arrive in Montreal and begin exploring the city tomorrow!

Learn more about Teen Treks’ New York – Montreal Trek.

Biking the Lake Champlain Causeway

Posted Posted in 2019

Today we woke up in our hotel and ventured into Burlington to dine on extraordinary Vermont bagels. We then continued through town to a nearby beach for a relaxing beach day, as rated below by Noah. We swam and then ate lunch in Lake Champlain. Later, we journeyed on a causeway, which led to our first ferry of the day. We soon arrived at Grand Isle, VT where we could finally taste the famous Vermont maple creemee (soft serve ice cream). It was delicious! Everyone enjoyed the petting zoo outside of the shop too. After a second ferry, we arrived at our campground where we went swimming and ate dinner. We’re excited to begin our adventure in Quebec tomorrow!

Waterfront Park, VT, as rated by Noah:
Style: 7
Variety: 4
Taste: Sandy
Quality: 9
Location: 10
Accessibility: 3
Weather: 8
Quantity: 7
Final rating: 7

Learn more about Teen Treks’ New York – Montreal Trek.

Vermonster overwhelms the NY-Montreal Trekkers

Posted Posted in 2019

Today we left our campground and biked through the Vermont landscape in search of a Vermontster (a bucked of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream with 20 scoops of ice cream and unlimited toppings). We ate lunch outside of a library and continued our route through the rolling hills and beautiful farmland into Burlington. After unpacking our gear at a hotel, we took the bus into town to walk around Church St. and mentally prepare for the greatest ice cream challenge we will face this trip. We entered Ben & Jerry’s and began our quest to conquer the Vermontster. Mission complete in 12 just minutes! Below is a review, as rated by Adam. Afterwards, we walked around Burlington, ate dinner, then returned to the hotel to relax before continuing our adventure North tomorrow!

The Vermontster:
Taste- solid 8 
Quantity- 8.5 (I thought there would be more)
Toppings- 9 (gummy bears were a bad choice, they slowed us down and we couldn’t get through the bucket as fast as we’d have liked)
Service- 9
Location- 10 
Smell- 10
Quality- 9
Flavors- 9
Apoapsis of the day would definitely be the Vermontster. 

Learn more about Teen Treks’ New York – Montreal Trek.

NY-Montreal Trekkers enjoys beautiful Lake Champlain

Posted Posted in 2019

Today we woke in Half Moon Pond State Park and found a free-range chicken roaming the campground. We started our uphill trek and soon met some glorious downhills too. Erik reached a top speed of 59.5 kph (36.8mph) on one of the many grades. David found us some blueberries and cheese curds from a nearby farm stand. The cheese curds didn’t “squeak” so according to David they were not the highest quality, but they were still really good. We then continued on and stopped for lunch behind a public school, enjoying the views and playing on the playground. Once we arrived at the campsite, we went swimming in Lake Champlain. We came back to our site to make a dinner of burritos and ate a dessert of mint fudge cookies. We had a photoshoot with a double rainbow that was above the campground, then went back to the lake to hang out and watch the sunset.

Learn more about Teen Treks’ New York – Montreal Trek.

NY-Montreal Trekkers have long bike day into Vermont

Posted Posted in 2019

Today we woke up early to get started on our long 48 mile ride. We left camp right as the clouds were clearing and we hopped onto a bike trail. The trail took us through forests and fields as we passed through New York and Vermont farmland. We took a lunch break siesta where we ate sandwiches and relaxed in the grass. We continued on towards our campsite and biked through some brief rain into town. Some of the group went grocery shopping while others made a quick visit to a bike shop. Later, we arrived at our first Vermont campsite where we feasted on stir fry. We’re excited to continue our ride through Vermont tomorrow!

Learn more about Teen Treks’ New York – Montreal Trek.