Day 17: Back in the Saddle!

By: Hannah Gensheimer

Hello, blog followers! I am back in the office after stepping in to lead one of our Coast to Quebec trips over the past eight days, and let me tell you, the office isn’t quite as fun as riding my bike through Canada… However, today is an exciting day as we are watching a number of new adventures get underway today!

Maine Coast College Essay (MCCE):

Today is the day for final essay polishing, enjoying the beautiful coast of Maine, and taking in the last day as a group. The week has been filled with hard work that will be sure to pay off in the coming months. These ten ambitious rising Seniors, along with their rock star leaders, will cap off the week by sharing their essays before heading out for their final dinner in Portland tonight.


Cape Cod and the Islands (CI):

The sun is shining, and so are the smiles on Kevin and Alyssa as they welcomed their new group of Capers today. Everyone made it safe and sound, and spent their first couple of hours playing get-to-know-you games. Tonight they are headed to their first campsite, and will take a ferry first thing tomorrow for Martha’s Vineyard where they will cycle around the island and explore the town.


New England Mountains and Coast (NEMC):

It’s rafting day for our NEMCers! And they couldn’t have asked for a better day to hit the water. It’s a perfect day for rafting up here in Maine, and the cool rapids of the Kennebec River brought plenty of excitement. Aaron and Isa said everyone had a blast and they’re all looking forward to their day of community service work with the good people at Mid Coast Hunger Prevention tomorrow afternoon! They’re in a bit of a cell-phone dead zone, so we’re not likely to get a picture from them today.

Vermont to Montreal A (VMA):

It’s Day 1 for our VMA group! All students arrived safely, and Jessi and Jonathan started off their two-week adventure with some pretty hilarious name-games before being shuttled to their first campsite. Tomorrow they will set off on their first ride as they work their way towards Canada.


Vermont to Montreal B (VM B):

Freddy, Anna, and their VMBers also got off to a great start with plenty of smiles and some games to start the group off on the right foot. Freddy and Anna are excited to start their second VM of the summer after an incredibly fun and successful first trip. Looks like this crew is ready for some great cycling tomorrow as they head north towards Montreal first thing tomorrow morning.


Maine’s Downeast Explorer (DEX):

All group members have made it safe and sound into Maine for the start of their 13-day adventure! Erinn and John welcomed the group with a few “get-to-know-you” games before making their way down to Camden this afternoon. This group couldn’t have asked for better weather today, and it looks like they’re in for more beautiful weather tomorrow as they head up into the lovely seaside hills outside of Camden.


California Mountains and Coast (CMC):

Folks out in San Francisco are shaking off their long flights today with name games in baggage claim! They’re leaving the airport behind this afternoon and trading it for California’s beautiful coastline. Tomorrow morning, Midge and Matt’s CMCers will start their California adventure on the water with three days of sea kayaking on beautiful Tomales Bay. They’ll be paddling during the day, watching for sea-rays, sea lions and shore-side elk, and camping on the beach under the stars. Not a bad introduction to the Golden State! Late-breaking news: We have a picture!


Caribbean Service Adventure (CSA):

Meanwhile, down in Old San Juan, Thomas and Emily’s group arrived safely this afternoon. With everyone’s gear loaded, and provisioned with a spare bag of plaintain chips, the gang lit out for the rain-forested hills above Utuado. They’ll be working on the grounds of the private preserve where they’re staying for the next few days. One of tomorrow’s highlights is sure to be their exploration of the largest stand of old-growth Tabanuco trees on the island.

CSA2First night provisions!

Montana Service Adventure (MSA):

What a day our Montanans had yesterday! All of their rides thus far have led up to yesterday’s travels up the Going to the Sun Road, climbing over 6,000 ft over in just 12 miles. While it was one of their longest days of riding of the trip, the breathtaking views made this climb not only bearable, but extraordinarily memorable. Today they will complete one more day of community service with the rangers of Glacier National Park before their final ride into Whitefish. Below are some pictures from the past couple of days, including their monumental ride and community service work in Glacier National Park.

MSA1Yesterday’s climb over Logan Pass!

MSA1Glacier selfie


MSA1Working to eliminate invasive plants in Glacier National Park.

MSA1Service with a view….

Northwest Explorer (NWX):

It’s the first of three days sea kayaking around the San Juan Islands for our NWXers! They’re giving their legs a rest, and putting their arms to work as they spend the next few days taking in the amazing wildlife as well as views along Cypress Island. Due to lack of cell phone service in the area, we do not have any photos today, but all is going well, and Will and Becca will do their best to get us some amazing pictures for tomorrow (Instagram-worthy, if you know what I mean).

Pacific Coast A (PC A):

According to West and Abby (and with confirmation from our friends at Google), this group is less than 100 miles from San Francisco! They’re pushing hard on these final few days and taking in the gorgeous coastline. They’re only a couple of days away from reaching their destination, and the excitement of San Francisco (as well as crossing the Golden Gate Bridge) is giving them the motivation they need on this home stretch.


Pacific Coast B (PC B):

It was grilled quesadillas over the fire last night for Mike and Sherry’s group. They filled their bellies with delicious grub in order to prepare for today’s ride, cycling 66 miles as they get closer and closer to San Francisco. All are in great spirits, and excited about their final days of riding!


PCBCool kids rocking even cooler socks

Alps Explorer A (AX A):

Noah and Emma sent us this gorgeous photo this morning. It was a cold, tough hike today, but the group is looking good, and will be finishing the Tour Du Mont Blanc in another day and a half. Noah texted us this afternoon that everyone was feeling great! Their legs are feeling strong, and they are all looking forward to the last stretch of their big hike.


Alps Explorer B (AX B):

Listen for the trumpets! Our AXB team successfully wrapped up the TMB early this morning! After ambling back in to Trient, Ally, Tim and the gang hopped on a train bound for Fiesch, Switzerland and their last hike of the trip. Unfortunately we were unable to get a picture from them as their campsite’s WIFI is down tonight, but according to Tim everyone is in exceedingly high spirits ! He also let us know that he will be sending numerous pictures tomorrow, so stay tuned…

Europe Coast to Coast A (ECC A):

Our ECC A group had a big day today filled with many hills – but not without the reward of many beautiful views. Jeanne said that the group did a fantastic job of riding today, and they’re looking forward to spending their final night in France before heading to Germany tomorrow. According to the photos below, the group is quite literally jumping for joy at the thought!


Europe Coast to Coast B (ECC B):

ECC B had a big day of riding through France today, over 90 km, but that didn’t stop them from stopping to smell the roses (or should we say sunflowers?). They are tucked safely into the quiet hamlet of Celles-sur-Plaine in the Vosges Mountains, and they are resting up tonight and getting ready for a fun but challenging day of hills tomorrow.

IMG_4178Postyn’s head is the size of the sunflower!

IMG954198Storing some cherries to snack on later.


America Coast to Coast (ACC):

Our ACC group rode a womping 95 miles as they crossed from Arkansas into Texas today! It was a hot day, but they pushed through the heat and are looking forward to cold showers and some majorly cool A/C tonight. It’s the little things in life…