Today we left the hotel early because we had forecasted rain. We left the city and immediately encountered a lot of uphills, which we would keep on encountering today with very few downhill portions. We had lunch next to a horse field. After a particularly nasty set of uphill sections, we had a “coasting contest” (aka we bike safely down a very large hill to see who could go the farthest before they had to pedal). Noah won, although I managed to break my own speed record at 56.4kph (34.84mph). Adam managed to do the same as well. We biked through Cambridge to the campground. We hung around, played a few card games, had S’mores, and then went to bed.
Graduation day is finally here. We rode our final 30 miles into Bangor and have officially completed the trekking portion of our adventure. The rest of the day was made up of a relaxing round of laundry, hotel lobby computer minesweeper sessions, and a thorough scrubbing of the dirt and bike grease from our highly conditioned, finely tuned, and smelly bodies. For dinner we explored a bit of downtown Bangor and found an Irish pub where we could eat soda bread and play team trivia against the locals. We came in a respectable 4th place and are now making our final preparations for the bus ride back to Boston in the morning. It looks like the short ride to the station will also be our first ride of the trip in the rain. We would have been disappointed if we’d missed out on that opportunity so it’s nice to see that the weather is finally coming around.
Today we woke up well-rested from our hotel sleep, and enjoyed a glorious breakfast buffet. We had a day to explore all Albany has to offer! We toured the NY State Capitol, feasted on local donuts and then traveled vertically to the observation deck of Corning Tower to see the city from above. We ventured to the New York State Museum where we learned about the history of the state, rode a carousel, ate lunch, and then returned to the hotel to go swimming. Later, we wrote postcards (keep an eye on the mail in the next few days!) and got Thai food to eat while we watched opening night of Disney’s Newsies. Everyone enjoyed the musical, and we’re excited to bike again tomorrow!
The road from Acadia back to Balsam Cove Campground was good to us. With more downhill than climbing, we soared southbound, just one day closer to the trip’s end.
Spirits were high and the group seem to be riding with an extra pump in their pedal. An afternoon stop at a homemade ice cream joint beckoned us forward. Flavors like wild Maine blueberry, coffee heath bar and cookie butter dripped over fresh waffle cones as we took shade from the blaring ball of sunshine.
The miles went by fast. When an Ellsworth thrift shop caught our eye, we rested our bikes and took advantage of ample linger time, collecting funky gear like anime stickers, bucket hats, catchy t-shirts and rare cd’s, you know, non- essential junk that only the creative eye can treasure.
In the spirit of summer and dwindling days together, we partook in our second round of ice cream for the day. Dockside, at our home for the night, one spoon was full of Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia, the other swarmed through a pint of Chocolate Fudge.
Belly’s almost full, it was time to prepare a supper made with local Maine red potatoes and home grown zucchini’s from the same farmers market stand that Trekker Katie purchased bamboo toilet paper. Hot dogs rounded off the meal and nourished five continuously hungry bikers.
Tomorrow is our last day on the road. The crew longs for warm showers, clean clothes, a comfy bed and a delicious meal out. It’s amazing all the small things that stir such appreciation after an arduous outdoor adventure. We’ll tell you how satisfying it all is once we get there!
We started out with a very hilly street out of Myles Standish State Forest. We then continued onto Market Street, which took us to Plymouth Rock and museum which we explored for about 1 hour before leaving to do some miles by the bay before arriving at Dunkin’ Donuts for a pre lunch snack-while still about 10 miles from lunch. After biking 12 miles we arrived at the restaurant “Station 8” for a delicious lunch, and then to Star market for ice cream and dinner supplies. After biking another 15 miles, we arrived at Wompatuck Campground and biked into our campsite, K9. After completing 36.8 miles of extreme up hills and what felt like no downhills or flats, we were exhausted and chilled while eating dinner and s’mores, and then ended the day off with a cool, nice night. -Trekker Cully
P.S. from Trip Leader Cara: we’ve seen SO much improvement in this group, mentally and physically. Everyone is super strong and busting out hills like it’s nothing (with only minor complaints now). In the beginning, everyone was so opposed to getting ice cream from a grocery store vs. an ice cream shop, now it has become such a normal and part of our routine that we buy mostly everything from groceries stores (although we have eaten out a few times). Also, we’ve really become a cohesive group with a bunch of inside jokes and run-on games going (“contact” has become our favorite distraction). Tonight, while roasting s’mores by the fire, we were all loudly giggling, making silly jokes, and teasing each other. Feeling really bittersweet about leaving tomorrow!
We started our day by waking up, in what was basically a sauna (aka our tents in direct sunlight). Then we made breakfast and ate on a porch. After that we biked to Stewart’s for some ice cream. Stewart’s receives a 6 out of 10 for style because it wasn’t styled like an ice cream shop, it was more like a Cumberland Farms. Taste was an 8 out of 10. Variety of ice cream was an 8. Accommodations/seating was a 5 (not very many seats). Location is an 8 (because it was not at the bottom of massive hill). Overall, the shop received a pretty good review, warm recommendation to all, especially if you need gas. On a massive hill sometime after, Erik hit a group record speed of 50.3 kph (31 mph), surpassing Adam’s record of 28.7 mph. We ended up eating lunch outside of a library (or liberry). After that we were halfway to Albany when Liam dropped his milk carton and everyone immediately stopped to pick it up. We arrived at the Holiday Inn Express and went to the pool, and then we decided to allocate more time to the showers so Liam had to shower after dinner. Then we went out to the laundromat. Then we after that we got pizza. Overall, the apoapsis for today is that we will be sleeping in an air conditioned room, and today’s periapsis was getting scolded in the library. Overall a pretty good day, was mostly met with a warm reception. –>Teen Thrifter Adam
As the trip goes on, each day brings us new sets of challenges, experiences, and opportunities to explore both ourselves and the world as we move through it. We have made new friends, seen new places, and eaten more frozen dairy than we ever thought we could have. These days have been special. So to show our gratitude and appreciation for these special people, places, views, and moments, we decided to wake up early this morning and give a warm thank you to the warm one that has made this all possible for us.
Since the fiery life giving orb in the sky has been waiting to greet us each and every morning with adventure and opportunity, we wanted to return the favor by hosting our own little celestial salutation of sorts. We wanted to be there for the Sun in the same way that it’s been there for us, waiting with open arms and a warm and loving, “good morning” to help it start its own North American adventure of the day. In order to do so, we had to start our pagan party at about 4 am. Even these most eastern lands still lie in darkness at that time. We activated our tiny star imitation devices and made our way to the top of the nearest mountain, where any good ceremony, pagan or otherwise, should be taking place. We summited Gorham Mountain about 10 minutes before the sun crested it’s beautiful orange face over the eastern islands that sit on the horizon and patiently waited for our good friend to show up to the party. Until the moment that the Sun actually rises, the sky just looks like a glowing bowl of orange sherbet while the rest of the land beneath it continues to sit in a sort of blue darkness. When it shows up though, everything starts to glow. It’s like we’re all sitting in that giant bowl of sherbet together.
It was a pretty neat way to start our last full day in Acadia. It also just feels good to know that you climbed a mountain before the sun came up. What else will we be able to accomplish in future early mornings once we all go our separate ways? Basically what I’m saying is that the best case version of our pagan ritual has inspired us all to be the best that we can be. We had quite the productive morning.
As our own celebration of all that we did and can now accomplish in the future, we decided to have a nice group nap in the early afternoon. What better way to show our continued gratitude for the Sun’s all giving rays than to sleep the day away. Following the nap though, we decided to hit the (literal) old dusty trails that run all through the Park. The wide crushed gravel carriage roads used to be used by New England’s landed elite as they explored the islands where they were summering. They’ve since been upgraded to being used by dirty children on bicycles. The Tri-Lake Loop was about a 20 mile ride and it was filled with views of mountainsides and bright blue lakes.
Now the day is done and the Sun has left us once more. We’ve eaten beans and dogs and are warming up cinnamon rolls by the fire. Early to rise and early to bed as we prepare for another day on the road with our good friend the Sun.
After having a breakfast of granola bars and fruit, we left the Shawme Cromwell State P ark and went to cross the Sagamore bridge. We then went north on a very hilly road to for around 12 miles, with a stop at Shaw’s to fill water. Then we got lunch at The Market in Plymouth. After resting in a park next to the market for 3 hours we went back to buy hot dogs and veggie burgers for dinner. We got to the campground entrance around 3:30, but still had to bike 6 miles to get to the actual campsites. We then set up tents, some people went swimming, and then we cooked dinner. -Trekker Cormac
Today after waking up early, we made our way to a diner and ate breakfast. I had too many (cinnamon raisin) pancakes. And then we continued on to a small orchard and picked blueberries and got peaches. Then we went to a different farm and got more fruits and vegetables; we ate lunch there. We went to a book store and got funny postcards from Viet Nam (yes, the space is on purpose). Then we got more fruits and vegetables, and rode undisturbed for a while until an ice cream place. Then we turned on to some really hilly, windy road to our next camping spot (the backyard of a friend of David).
t was a nice, relaxing morning at the Blackwoods Campgrounds. We had several bowls of honey comb cereal, delicious hot coffee, a little relax-and-read time underneath the towering pine trees. The crisp morning air, fresh from the ocean breeze, added a nice touch to a calm morning.
When the sun was high and our feet were eager, we hit the magical Acadia trails and summited Gorham Mountain. Clouds all around us, birds swooping by, we pulled out our books and snacks for the most scenic picnics of all of time. The beautiful Mount Desert Island peninsulas stretched into the water, creating beachy coves. The Sand Beach was within our site from the top of Gorham Mountain, so we ventured onward ‘til our toes hit the sand.
Trekker Max’s immediate reaction to the beach arrival was to build the world’s largest hole. He dug and dug until his feet hit seaweed and water below. A young boy passing by was intrigued by the Grand Canyon of Sand Beach, so the boys decided to let us bury them neck-down. Many giggles were shared as the two wiggled and wiggled their way out of the sand.
Tonight, we hit the hammocks and tents early, for an Acadian sunrise beckons our presence.