Day 13: Beginnings, Middles, and Ends (and Poutine)!

New England Mountains & Coast (NEMC)

After a successful day on the ropes course, NEMC tackled their first peak today, summiting beautiful Mt. Willard in New Hampshire’s Crawford Notch State Park. Fun fact: my dad wanted to name me Willard instead of William.

Would ya just look at that!
Everything the light touches is ours, __________(name that Disney character)
Act natural

Maine Coast College Essay (MCCE)

A new group of essayists gathered in Freeport to begin their week of reflection, writing, and exploration. Jack, Jane, and Jaede (the world’s most interesting writing instructor) are excited to guide students along the odious (and fun) quest to a final draft.

Your latest essayists!

Maine Coast Photo (MCP)

MCP continued their never-ending quest for the perfect photo, waking up at sunrise to capture first light. They spent the afternoon hiking along Maine’s wild coast and are ready to sea kayak tomorrow.

Where’s Casey?
Classic Maine scene!
There she is! Looking goofy, gang

Maine’s Downeast Explorer (DEXA)

After a few days in Maine’s iconic Isle Au Haut Bay, the DEXers rolled downeast (still confused about this) to Freeport and Portland to share a final meal together. It’s safe to say they conquered Maine’s most beautiful challenges over the past two weeks.

Flatbread and Maine Root Beer to end a classic Maine trip
V hard to tell what’s going on here
And so…the sun sets on DEX

Vermont to Montréal (VM)

The Vermonsters sadly ended their trip after a great couple days in Montreal. Their final days were full of smiles, poorly pronounced French, laughs, and (you guessed it) poutine. Au revoir VM1!

Whats that? Poutine
What’s that? Sandwhich and some poutine!
What’s that? Poutine, poutine, poutine
Whats that? A cannon but no poutine
Awww, saying their au revoirs! Look how much they love each other

Costa Rica Language & Service (CRLS)

CRLS soaked up that pura vida on their penultimate day in Costa Rica. They spent the day in Manuel Antonio National Park in search of sloths, toucans, and monkeys, oh my! Word is: Connor can beckon sloths at will.

Pre or post zip-lining?
Vamos a la playa!
Zippity doo da zippity day
Me right now
Toucan Sam? Is that even a toucan? Where my birders at?
Happy Birthday Annika! (with attitude)

California Mountains & Coast (CMCA)

CMC Alpha spent the morning working on habitat restoration with CMCB and the rangers of Half Moon Bay State Park. As a final treat, they explored the many wonders of San Francisco and have plans for a delicious final dinner. Unfortunately due to some technical difficulties, we weren’t able to snag a picture today, but we’ll keep our fingers crossed for a final photo tomorrow.

California Mountains & Coast (CMCB)

After saving the coast one “invasive plant” at a time, CMCB rolled into San Francisco (you might know it from Mrs. Doubtfire) to explore its hills, quirky architecture, and unbelievable views.

Restoring that habitat!
Working hard or hardly working? Just kidding- they were removing invasive plants right before this photo
Overheard: Do you think the townspeople will thank us for saving Half Moon Bay?

Coast to Québec (CQA)

CQA pedaled to Quebec City for their final leg of the trip. They are enamored with QC’s cobbled streets and European ambiance (and poutine). Apology: I continue to make poutine references because I can’t stop imagining it.

Never too old for the jungle gym! Ok, never might be too strong a word
Overheard: Wait so they put gravy and cheese on their french fries? Yes. Ok, let’s ride

Coast to Québec (CQB)

CQB hit the road early and crushed the 65 miles to Quebec City. Ezra- a Wisconsin native- is excited to be back in a place where cheese curds are as ubiquitous as water. Unfortunately, they were too caught up in the excitement of arriving at their final destination to send us blog pictures – we’ll have to wait til tomorrow!

Montana Service Adventure (MSA)

MSA climbed into the mountains today, scaling three different passes before riding into Glacier National Park. They were constantly floored by the epic beauty of the region and can’t wait to explore the park. Fun fact: I once befriended a baby mountain goat in said park.

A majestic meadow and mountains in Montana
Glacier National Park! Yeehaw!


Northwest Explorer (NWXA)

NWXA continued their exploration of the Cascades (not to be confused with the popular dish soap) and can’t wait to send us some pictures! I promise they will be life-changing. [Editor’s Note: Please take Will’s promises with a grain of salt – thought they will be beautiful!]

Northwest Explorer (NWXB)

Sean, Ari, and the gang are headed to the Olympic Peninsula to gear up for a backcountry stint in Olympic National Park. Fun fact: the Olympic marmot, endemic to the park, communicates by whistling.

How many ferries have they ridden thus far?
Near, far, wherever you are…..

Pacific Coast (PCA)

PCA continued their journey through California, heading inland after a mystical stretch of woods. A majestic herd of Elk ran alongside them at one point as they rode among the trees. Rumor has it: they are never leaving the West coast (joking?).

For scale: those are normal sized bikers

Pacific Coast (PCB)

After a relaxing day of service, PCB rolled down “Avenue of the Giants,” a long stretch of road through gargantuan redwoods.  Don’t worry – they kept their eyes on the road despite the magical ents (Lord of the Rings reference) surrounding them. Despite their attempts, they were unsuccessful when it came to sending photos today, but we eagerly await when they have better service tomorrow.

Scottish Highland Explorer (SHX)

The highlanders rested their tired twigs and took to the sea by kayak. They had a wonderful time exploring the Sound of Arisaig- a rugged coastal stretch not unlike the Caribbean (do what you will with “not unlike”). The group even had a chance to see the iconic Hogwarts Express train tracks! You’re a wizard, Harry!

The classic Harry Potter train tracks
I’m on a boat!
Simply delightful

Alps Explorer (AXA)

AXA strolled 15 km into Italy along the Col de la Seigne. They certainly aren’t sick of the Alps yet and have perfected a wide array of Alpine songs – Dave unfortunately forgot his accordion at home. I promise there will be copious photos in the very near future.

Alps Explorer (AXB)

AXB had a mellow rest day in Courmayeur, a quaint Alpine town with a fine selection of pizza and gelato. Unfortunately no pictures today, so stay tuned for a deluge of beautiful photos!

Europe Coast to Coast (ECCA)

ECCA took the train to Bar-le-Duc and rested for the day after a lovely time in Paris. Tomorrow they set off on a multi-day ride through the French countryside as they approach the German border. Stay tuned for belles photos.

Europe Coast to Coast (ECCB)

ECC Bravo explored the baguettes of Paris by foot. They all fell under the city’s trance and have begun work on a collection of experimental poetry (kidding?). Unfortunately, they must leave tomorrow to continue their quest across Europe.

In front of a wondrous fresco of pastoral life
Chandler as hunchback?

America Coast to Coast (ACC1)

ACC1 ate 87 miles for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (along with standard food-based meals). They are in good spirits despite the heat and can’t wait for another border crossing tomorrow. Just in: leader Freddy, of the Randall Apogee legacy, took his first blog picture today!

All those miles couldn’t fill them up
Freddy may have taken this one

America Coast to Coast (ACC2)

ACC2 continued westward through Alabama, tackling a “manageable” 67 miles (define manageable). While they have enjoyed Alabama, they are excited to see what M-I-S-S-I-S-S-I-P-P-I has in store for them.

Church chillin!
The pastor’s dogs- check out that bike glove tan!